Moving Forward on Reconciliation
April 7, 2022
The federal government is committed to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, truth, co-operation, and partnership.
Budget 2022 proposes to invest an additional $11 billion over six years to continue to support Indigenous children and families, and to help Indigenous communities continue to grow and shape their futures.
Supporting First Nations Children Through Jordan’s Principle
The federal government is committed to eliminating the systemic barriers that prevent First Nations children from accessing services and support they need to thrive. Jordan’s Principle is a vital part of this work, helping to ensure that all First Nations children can access the health, social, and educational services they need, when they need them.
Implementing Indigenous Child Welfare Legislation
An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families came into force on January 1, 2020, and is an important step towards meaningfully addressing disparities in the child and family services system. Budget 2022 proposes important funding to support the Act’s implementation and affirm Indigenous jurisdiction over child and family services.
Addressing the Shameful Legacy of Residential Schools
The country was shaken following the multiple discoveries of unmarked burial sites at former residential schools over the past year, which are reminders of the shameful legacy of residential schools and colonialism.
The federal government will continue to be there to support communities as they respond to and heal from intergenerational trauma and the ongoing impact of residential schools. Addressing the legacy of residential schools will take time, and Canada will undertake this work in partnership with Indigenous people and communities.
Improving Health Outcomes in Indigenous Communities
As Canada comes through the pandemic, the government will continue making high-quality and culturally-relevant health care, free from discrimination, a reality for Indigenous peoples. This remains a significant task, but work is already underway with Indigenous partners and the provinces and territories to co-develop distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation and ensure health services are responsive to the distinct needs of all Indigenous people, no matter where they live.
Distinctions-based Mental Health and Wellness
Addressing the unique and deeply rooted traumas of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities—which include intergenerational trauma; overt and systemic racism and discrimination; and social and economic inequality—requires a distinctions-based approach to mental health and wellness that is developed and delivered by Indigenous peoples.
First Nations Elementary and Secondary Education
In 2019, the federal government implemented a new co-developed policy and funding approach to help ensure First Nations children living on reserve receive a high-quality education that meets their unique needs.
Clean Drinking Water and Better Infrastructure for First Nations Communities
Since 2015, the government has invested $5.3 billion to build and repair water and wastewater infrastructure and support the effective management and maintenance of water systems. To accelerate progress to end long-term drinking water advisories and continue addressing critical infrastructure gaps in First Nations communities on reserve:
The government affirms its commitment to repeal the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act that has been in place since 2013 and does not meet the needs of First Nations. The federal government will work with First Nations to develop replacement legislation. The government also intends to amend the Income Tax Act to exclude from taxation the income of the Safe Drinking Water Trust established under the Safe Drinking Water Class Action Settlement Agreement.
In 2018, Lubicon Lake Band and the governments of Canada and Alberta signed a settlement to resolve the First Nation’s longstanding claim that included an agreement to support new community infrastructure.
Investing in Housing for Indigenous Communities
The access to safe and affordable housing being critical to improving health and social outcomes and to ensuring a better future for Indigenous communities and children, the federal government has committed more than $2.7 billion to support housing in Indigenous communities since 2015.
- $2.4 billion over five years to support First Nations housing on reserves;
- $565 million over five years to support housing in Self-Governing and Modern Treaty Holder First Nations communities;
- $845 million over seven years to support housing in Inuit communities; and
- $190 million over seven years for housing in Métis communities.
We also know that Indigenous peoples, regardless of where they live, face unique barriers to affordable housing.
Along with these new investments, the federal government will allocate $2 billion of the $20 billion provided for long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program to target the housing needs of First Nations children once a final settlement agreement is reached.
Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples Act
The government remains committed to the full and effective implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples Act in partnership with Indigenous peoples.
Supporting Indigenous Businesses and Community Economic Development
Advancing reconciliation requires a commitment to Indigenous economic self-determination. The following investments will support Indigenous businesses’ and communities’ contributions to Canada’s economic recovery.
Partnering with Indigenous Peoples in Natural Resource Projects
Investing in partnerships with Indigenous communities early in the development of resources projects can ensure meaningful opportunities for Indigenous participation, as well as greater certainty for investors.
- $103.4 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to develop a National Benefit-Sharing Framework, and the expansion of both the Indigenous Partnership Office and the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program.
- $27.9 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, for the Line 3 and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project pipelines’ Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees, to enable Indigenous communities to identify common priorities and provide informed advice on these projects.