- Indigenous peoples were offered C$4.3 billion over seven years to improve housing
- The 2022 budget delineates C$268 million for a year toward providing quality healthcare on isolated and remote reserves
- With regards to wastewater and water infrastructure on reserves, C$247 million has been set aside
Canada’s federal budget for 2022 seems very focused on housing. It is probably the biggest aspect of the budget along with a proposed national dental care program.
Indigenous peoples were given C$4.3 billion over seven years, specifically to improve housing. Of this, C$2.4 billion over five years is marked toward the improvement of housing on reserves.
Inuit communities shall receive C$845 million toward housing and this number for the Métis is C$190 million.
The 2022 budget delineates C$268 million for a year toward providing quality healthcare on isolated and remote reserves. A further C$190.5 million will go toward alleviating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Culturally-appropriate, Indigenous-led services” to raise mental health will be given C$227.6 million over two years.
Education and infrastructure
Over C$310 million more, over the next five years, will be earmarked for higher student outcomes via an agreement with the First Nations Education Council that comprises 22 Quebec communities.
With regards to wastewater and water infrastructure upon reserves, C$247 million has been set aside. This is part of a total of C$398 million for reserve infrastructure.
In what is hoped to be a path to self-determination, a First Nations-led initiative, considered first of its kind, the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority will get C$173.2 million over 10 years to transfer water infrastructure, including for wastewater to 17 communities.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples Act
To ensure compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples Act, the government of Canada has set aside some funds.
These include an additional C$65.8 million over five years along with the ongoing C$11 million for Natural Resources Canada and Justice Canada to work with Indigenous partners. The Department of National Defence will receive C$9.5 million over five years to work with Indigenous people to further compliance with the act.
The Community Opportunity Readiness Program and Lands and Economic Development Services Program will receive C$150 million over five years, as per the budget. Specialized training led by Indigenous organizations to boost economic capacity will get C$35 million over five years.
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Additionally, the effort to develop natural resource projects has been given C$131.3 million over five years.
The Assembly of First Nations asked for over C$40 billion and this seems to fall short of that. However, some of the initiatives may be seen as helping propel self-determination. Also, the budget recommends as much as 50 per cent of the COVID-Indigenous Business Initiative loans be forgiven.