THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says the Government of Canada has taken a meaningful step towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples with several significant funding commitments in Budget 2018.
“I am pleased with several aspects of this budget, especially the federal government’s long-awaited commitment to support Indigenous children in the child welfare system. We are disappointed that no new significant investments were made for housing, and specific details are needed on many of these allocations, but Budget 2018 contains significant investments to improve the well-being of our people and communities,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.
NAN is encouraged by the following commitments:
- $235 million for health transformation, with a focus on supporting models of self-determination, part of Canada’s commitment under the Weeneebayko Area Health Integration Framework Agreement to continue the process of developing health service delivery across NAN territory. This includes a significant contribution for a new hospital on the James Bay coast serving the Mushkegowuk communities.
- $1.4 billion (over five years) for Indigenous child welfare to keep families together and to focus on prevention of apprehension.
- $248.6 million (over three years) to support access to mental health and emotional support services for Indian Residential School survivors and their families.
- $5 million to support the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund and to advance reconciliation initiatives.
- Promotion of equal access to training and jobs for Indigenous women.
“Budget 2018 is people-focused and provides much-needed support for our women, youth, and survivors of the Indian Residential School system. We look forward to working with our federal Treaty partner to turn these commitments into action,” concluded Fiddler.