No relationship is more important to the federal government than our relationship with Indigenous peoples. The federal government continues to work with Indigenous peoples to build a nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, government-to-government relationship—one based on respect, partnership, and recognition of rights.
Through Budget 2021, the federal government is proposing a historic, new investment of over $18 billion over the next five years, to improve the quality of life and create new opportunities for people living in Indigenous communities. Working with Indigenous partners, these investments will make work towards closing gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, support healthy, safe, and prosperous Indigenous communities, and advance meaningful reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation. These investments will support continued action on infrastructure. They will also take meaningful action on the new approach that is needed to end the national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, one which addresses the root causes and the scope of the violence.
Budget 2021 proposes to:
- Provide $1.4 billion over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $40.6 million ongoing, to maintain essential health care services for First Nations and Inuit, continue work to transform First Nations health systems, and respond to the health impacts of climate change, including:
- $774.6 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to ensure continued high-quality care through the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program, for medically necessary services not otherwise covered, such as mental health services, medical travel, medications, and more.
- $354 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to increase the number of nurses and other medical professionals in remote and isolated First Nations communities.
- $125.2 million over four years, beginning in 2022-23, to continue to support First Nations communities’ reliable access to clean water, and help ensure the safe delivery of health and social services on reserve.
- $22.7 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to support First Nations and Inuit as they manage the health impacts of climate change, such as access to country food, impacts of extreme weather events, and mental health impacts of climate change on youth.
- $597.6 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, for a distinctions-based mental health and wellness strategy with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation.
- Budget 2021 proposes distinctions-based investments of $6 billion over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $388.9 million ongoing, to support infrastructure in Indigenous communities, including:
- $4.3 billion over four years, starting in 2021-22, for the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund, a distinctions-based fund to support immediate demands, as prioritized by Indigenous partners, with shovel-ready infrastructure projects in First Nations, including with modern-treaty and self-governing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
- $1.7 billion over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $388.9 million ongoing, to cover the operations and maintenance costs of community infrastructure in First Nations communities on reserve.
- Provide $2.5 billion over five years to build on the existing distinctions-based approach to Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care, with a long-term investment in Indigenous-led programming that parallels the government’s commitment to provinces and territories.
- Provide $42 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to expand the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program. Currently, only 36 per cent of Indigenous-led businesses are owned by women.
- Provide $22 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to support the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association’s (NACCA) Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.