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Kenora MP Bob Nault joins Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott, Slate Falls First Nation Chief Lorraine Craine and council, as they celebrate the lifting of their 14-year long-term drinking water advisory. Photo courtesy of Kenora MP Bob Nault. The 2018 federal budget is aiming to bring proper funding to Indigenous communities, programs and initiatives. Kenora MP Bob Nault says that building relationships with Indigenous people is extremely important to the federal and provincial governments.

“It’s clear that we remain committed to building a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership,” said Nault. “By investing an additional $172.6 million over three years, beginning in 2018–19, to improve access to clean and safe drinking water on reserve, we will support initiatives to speed up construction and renovation of affected water systems, which will result in 25 additional projects being completed by 2020 rather than the original time-frame of 2021.”

Investments into Indigenous programs, initiatives and communities include:

– $516 million over 10 years, including $500 million to support a Métis Nation housing strategy, as well as additional investments in post-secondary education and support to develop a health strategy.

– $248.6 million over three years, starting in 2018-19, will be provided for services, including mental health and emotional supports to survivors and their families for the duration of the Indian Residential School Settlement.

– $172.6 million over three years, beginning in 2018-19, towards the construction of new water systems and renovate existing ones to ensure that more affected water systems will become functional earlier than 2021.

– An additional $600 million over three years to support housing on-reserve as a part of a 10-year First Nations Housing Strategy under development with First Nations.

– $516 million over 10 years, including $500 million over 10 years to support a Métis Nation housing strategy.

– $10 million in 2018–19 to support Métis Nation post-secondary education, and $6 million over five years to support the Métis Nation in gathering health data and developing a health strategy.

– $1.5 billion over five years, starting in 2018-19 and $149 million per year on-going to improve critical care and nursing services, enhance culturally appropriate care, addictions services among other initiatives to keep Indigenous families healthy:

“I believe that Budget 2018 acknowledges the importance of rural and northern communities by making investments that support our economy, promote prosperity, and secure a stable future for generations to come,” added Nault. “It’s a good step in the right direction in building a more prosperous and diverse economy in the Kenora riding and beyond. In order to be successful in the north, we need successful First Nation communities, successful First Nation people and to create a strong economy,” Nault added.

The 2018 federal budget also provides more than $1.4 billion in new funding over six years, starting in 2017-18, for First Nations Child and Family Services. Recently, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released their fifth legal order, that recognized Indigenous Child and Family Service Agencies in Ontario have been chronically underfunded.

Ontario Indigenous Child Well-Being Agencies are funded by the Province of Ontario through the 1965 Welfare Agreement. It allows the province to be reimbursed 93 cents on the dollar by the Department of Indigenous Services Canada. Under the last order, Ontario Indigenous Agencies did not receive any direct funding. The 1965 Welfare Agreement is now under review by both the Chiefs of Ontario and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

The association notes that roughly 80 per cent of Indigenous children in care are special needs or complex-needs children. They hope that extra funding from the province would allow child care agencies to meet mental […]

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