Archived - Chapter 7:
Moving Forward on Reconciliation
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.
Since 2015, the federal government has been guided by the principle that Indigenous nations are self-determining, self-governing, and rightfully aspire to having strong and healthy communities. Historic investments have been made to support Indigenous priorities and their path to self-determination. These investments are building progress to address the inequalities that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. But there is more work to be done and the federal government will continue to be there to work alongside Indigenous peoples to address historic injustices.
The government continues to work with Indigenous peoples to improve housing infrastructure, to support education and child care, to take action on the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
With the help of $5.3 billion in new funding announced since 2015, 131 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted on reserve as of March 21, 2022, and 212 short-term drinking water advisories have been prevented from becoming long-term. The federal government remains committed to ensuring all First Nations communities have access to clean drinking water.
As of March 21, 2022, 131 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted since 2015
The federal government has also co-developed key legislation that affirms Indigenous rights related to Indigenous languages and child welfare. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, which became law in June 2021, provides a framework to uphold Indigenous rights, both now and in the future. In the 2021 Economic and Fiscal Update, the government provisioned $40 billion to compensate for past harms experienced through the child and family services system and to support long-term program reforms that will ensure no child faces discrimination again.
Building on this foundation, 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.
Support for Indigenous Peoples (Actual and Projected)
Indigenous Investments 2015-16 to 2022-23
Key Ongoing Actions
Budget 2021 provided $18 billion in new investments to support Indigenous peoples and Indigenous communities, including a range of measures that are delivering important benefits in 2022-23:
$6 billion over five years to support community infrastructure projects in Indigenous communities, including the launch of the $4.3 billion Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund;
$1.04 billion from the $4.3 billion Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund to support water and wastewater systems on reserve;
$1.4 billion over five years to maintain and transform essential health care services for First Nations and Inuit, including funding to support First Nations communities’ reliable access to clean water.
$2.2 billion over five years to respond to the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls;
$1 billion over five years to help keep families together and reduce the number of children in care;
$2.5 billion over five years to build on the distinctions-based approach to Indigenous early learning and child care, including before- and after-school care on reserve;
$1.2 billion over five years to invest in the future of First Nations children by strengthening elementary and secondary education; and,
$2.7 billion over ten years in funding for core programs and services provided through ten-year grants to ensure funding keeps pace with the needs of First Nations.
7.1 Addressing Past Harms and Discrimination Related to Indigenous Children and Families
Indigenous children are the future leaders of both their communities and Canada, but generations of children were robbed of the chance to grow up surrounded by their loved ones, language, and culture—whether due to the tragedy of residential schools, or as a result of child welfare services. Canada has acknowledged the harms suffered and has begun the process of compensating the survivors of this shameful legacy, starting with the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and similar settlements for survivors of the Sixties Scoop and Federal Indian Day Schools.
Canada also continues to work with partners to finalize settlements that will deliver on the historic $40 billion agreements-in-principle announced on January 4, 2022. Once final, these settlements will provide compensation for First Nations children on reserves and in Yukon who were removed from their homes, and those impacted by the government's narrow definition of Jordan's Principle, including for their parents and caregivers. They will also achieve long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and a renewed approach to Jordan's Principle to eliminate discrimination and prevent it from recurring.
Budget 2022 continues the work of addressing the legacy of harms to Indigenous children and families with additional investments of more than $4.7 billion to support communities as they cope with their past and build a future where Indigenous children can thrive.
Supporting First Nations Children Through Jordan’s Principle View the impact assessment
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. Since 2016, the government has committed nearly $2.4 billion towards meeting the needs of First Nations children through Jordan’s Principle.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $4 billion over six years, starting in 2021-22, to ensure First Nations children continue to receive the support they need through Jordan’s Principle. This funding will also support long-term reforms to improve the implementation of Jordan’s Principle.
Jordan's Principle is named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, a young boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. He was born in 1999 with multiple disabilities and stayed in the hospital from birth.
When he was two years old, doctors said Jordan could move to a special home for his medical needs. However, different orders of government in Canada fund different services for First Nations children. The federal and provincial governments could not agree on who would pay for his home-based care, and because of their dispute, Jordan stayed in hospital until he passed away at the age of five.
In his memory, the House of Commons passed a motion in support of Jordan's Principle in 2007. Jordan’s Principle was a commitment that First Nations children would be able to receive the services and supports they need, when they need them—payments would be worked out later.
The government is working to reach a final agreement with First Nations representatives on how to support First Nations children for generations to come.
This is the legacy of Jordan River Anderson.
Implementing Indigenous Child Welfare Legislation View the impact assessment
The government is committed to addressing theImplementing Indigenous Child Welfare Legislation over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care. 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. In 2021, the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan became the first community to sign a Coordination Agreement, reclaiming jurisdiction over their child welfare system and the right to make decisions about what is best for their children and families.
Many more Indigenous communities are taking the steps they need to do the same. Investments in Indigenous-led solutions are required to both reduce the number of children in care, and to keep Indigenous children and youth connected to their families, their communities, and their culture. Budget 2022 proposes important funding to support the Act’s implementation and affirm Indigenous jurisdiction over child and family services.
Budget 2022 provides $340.8 million over ten years, starting in 2021-22, to support Wabaseemoong Independent Nations’ exercise of jurisdiction.
Budget 2022 also proposes to provide $87.3 million over three years, starting in 2022-23, to enable Indigenous communities to continue to work with the federal government and the provinces and territories to support the implementation of Indigenous child welfare laws.
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 announcements of these mass burial sites have brought up painful memories, and triggered suppressed traumas within Indigenous communities. Survivors and their families have experienced an increased need for emotional and cultural support. 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.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $209.8 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to increase the support provided to communities to document, locate, and memorialize burial sites at former residential schools; to support the operations of and a new building for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; and to ensure the complete disclosure of federal documents related to residential schools.
Budget 2022 also proposes $10.4 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Justice Canada to support the appointment of a Special Interlocutor who will work collaboratively with Indigenous peoples and make recommendations for changes to strengthen federal laws and practices to protect and preserve unmarked burial sites.
Budget 2022 also proposes $5.1 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Public Safety Canada to ensure the Royal Canadian Mounted Police can support community-led responses to unmarked burial sites.
Budget 2022 also proposes $25 million over three years, starting in 2022-23, to Library and Archives Canada to support the digitization of millions of documents relating to the federal Indian Day School System, which will ensure survivors and all Canadians have meaningful access to them.
Budget 2022 also proposes to provide $25 million over three years, starting in 2022-23, to Parks Canada to support the commemoration and memorialization of former residential schools sites.
7.2 Supporting Strong and Healthy Communities
Budget 2021 announced historic investments to support Indigenous communities. However, making good on the government’s commitments to close gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, and building strong and resilient Indigenous communities will require sustained focus and effort.
Bolstered by previous investments, Budget 2022 seeks to shore up the foundations necessary for healthy communities, including housing and clean drinking water. It also seeks to address ongoing health and mental wellness challenges by ensuring continued access to culturally-appropriate services that meet the unique needs of Indigenous peoples and communities. Proposed investments will also strengthen First Nations control over elementary and secondary education on reserve.
Improving Health Outcomes in Indigenous Communities View the impact assessment
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.
Budget 2022 proposes to invest $268 million in 2022-23 to continue to provide high-quality health care in remote and isolated First Nations communities on-reserve.
Indigenous communities continue to face unique challenges in responding to COVID-19. Budget 2022 proposes to invest an additional $190.5 million in 2022-23 to Indigenous Services Canada for the Indigenous Community Support Fund to help Indigenous communities and organizations mitigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.
Distinctions-based Mental Health and Wellness View the impact assessment
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.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $227.6 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to maintain trauma-informed, culturally-appropriate, Indigenous-led services to improve mental wellness, and to support efforts initiated through Budget 2021 to co-develop distinctions-based mental health and wellness strategies.
First Nations Elementary and Secondary Education
Education is key to a strong start in life. 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. Since then, First Nations education systems have benefited from more than $3.8 billion in investments.
Budget 2022 proposes to invest an additional $310.6 million over 5 years to support better student outcomes through a Regional Education Agreement with the First Nations Education Council, which includes 22 member communities in Quebec.
Clean Drinking Water and Better Infrastructure for First Nations Communities View the impact assessment
Working with First Nations communities to support sustainable access to safe drinking water is at the heart of the federal government’s commitment to Indigenous peoples. 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.
With the support of these investments, since 2015, First Nations have lifted 131 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves as of March 21, 2022 and initiatives are underway to resolve the remaining 34. In addition, 212 short-term drinking water advisories have been lifted before becoming long-term.
Progress on Lifting Long-Term Drinking Water Advisories
To accelerate progress to end long-term drinking water advisories and continue addressing critical infrastructure gaps in First Nations communities on reserve:
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $398 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Indigenous Services Canada to support community infrastructure on reserve, of which at least $247 million will be directed toward water and wastewater infrastructure.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide Indigenous Services Canada with $173.2 million over ten years, starting in 2022-23, to support the transfer of water and wastewater services in 17 communities to the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority. By putting service delivery into the hands of communities themselves, this first-of-its-kind, First Nations-led initiative will help chart the path to self-determination, while strengthening the management of water and wastewater infrastructure on reserves.
Ensuring lasting drinking water and wastewater infrastructure requires a modern and effective regulatory regime. To this end, 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.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $162.6 million over three years, starting in 2022-23, to enable the completion of required infrastructure with respect to the Lubicon Lake Band settlement agreement.
Investing in Housing for Indigenous Communities View the impact assessment
Access to safe and affordable housing is critical to improving health and social outcomes and to ensuring a better future for Indigenous communities and children. That is why the federal government has committed more than $2.7 billion to support housing in Indigenous communities since 2015.
Building on these investments, Budget 2022 proposes to provide a further $4 billion over seven years, starting in 2022-23, to Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to accelerate work in closing Indigenous housing gaps as follows:
- $2.4 billion over five years to support First Nations housing on reserves;
- $565 million over five years to support housing in First Nations Self-Governing and Modern Treaty Holders 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.
Budget 2022 proposes to invest $300 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to co-develop and launch an Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.
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.
These measures will result in a combined $6.3 billion over seven years towards improving and expanding Indigenous housing in Canada.
7.3 Advancing Self-Determination and Prosperity
As stewards and rights-holders of land and resources—and with a young, dynamic, and growing population—Indigenous communities play a vital role in our shared economic recovery and in achieving our long-term environmental goals. This path to shared prosperity, however, must be founded on a recognition of Indigenous peoples’ inherent right to self-determination.
That is why Budget 2022 is investing to ensure the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, and taking steps to advance Indigenous climate leadership. Budget 2022 also proposes investments to help position Indigenous communities to seize economic opportunities, including in key sectors like tourism and natural resources.
Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act View the impact assessment
The coming into force of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act marked a historic milestone in Canada’s collective journey towards reconciliation—one rooted in the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. The federal government remains committed to the Act’s full and effective implementation, in partnership with Indigenous peoples.
To this end, Budget 2022 proposes to provide $65.8 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, and $11 million ongoing, to Justice Canada and Natural Resources Canada to accelerate work to meet legislated requirements, including the co-development of an action plan with Indigenous partners.
To complement this work, Budget 2022 also proposes $9.5 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to the Department of National Defence to align its operations and engagement with Indigenous peoples with the Act.
Legislative Changes to Support Self-Determination
Building strong Indigenous nations requires strong Indigenous governments and Indigenous-led institutions. This is why Budget 2022 affirms the federal government’s commitment to make legislative changes that will help move beyond colonial systems to advance Indigenous self-determination.
Budget 2022 announces the government’s intention to replace the First Nations Land Management Act—which empowers First Nations to opt out of Indian Act provisions related to land management and replace them with their own laws—with the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management Act. This shorter, simpler legislation will continue to advance the First Nations Land Management Regime by giving force of law to the nation-to-nation Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management.
Budget 2022 also announces the government’s intention to enact the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement Act, which will create the Anishinabek Nation Government and community-level governments for participating First Nations, marking the first core self-governance agreement in Ontario.
Indigenous Climate Leadership View the impact assessment
Climate change has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities for Indigenous peoples, including flooding, wildfires, permafrost thaw, and threats to local food sources. As Indigenous peoples and their ancestors have long been the stewards and managers of the lands and waters that make-up Canada’s ecosystem, Indigenous peoples are critical partners to conversations about addressing climate change at all levels of Canadian Society. That is why Indigenous climate leadership, through a strong nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationship is a cornerstone of Canada’s 2020 strengthened climate plan.
As announced in the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, Budget 2022 proposes to provide $29.6 million over three years, starting in 2022-23, to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to support the co-development of an Indigenous Climate Leadership Agenda to support self-determined action in addressing Indigenous peoples’ climate priorities. The funding will also support the phased implementation of distinctions-based climate strategies.
Partnering with Indigenous Peoples in Natural Resource Projects View the impact assessment
Many natural resource projects are located in or near Indigenous communities, including projects to develop the critical minerals that will be needed for Canada’s economy to reach net-zero by 2050. Investing in these partnerships early in the development of resources projects can ensure meaningful opportunities for Indigenous participation, as well as greater certainty for investors.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $131.3 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, as follows:
- $103.4 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Natural Resources Canada to develop a National Benefit-Sharing Framework, and the expansion of both the Indigenous Partnership Office and the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program. At least $25 million of this funding should be dedicated to early engagement and Indigenous communities' capacity building to support their participation in the critical minerals strategy. These investments will provide opportunities for Indigenous communities to benefit from all types of natural resources projects, including critical minerals.
- $27.9 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Natural Resources Canada 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.
Indigenous Economic Participation in Trans Mountain
Once completed, the Trans Mountain Expansion Project will be an integral part of Canada’s long term energy infrastructure. Over the life of the pipeline, the Trans Mountain Corporation will generate billions in cash flow. The federal government believes that Indigenous communities along the project corridor and marine shipping route should have the opportunity to participate in the economic opportunity created by the project. Indigenous economic participation in Trans Mountain can serve as a significant source of ongoing funds for those communities’ economic development and a further step in the development of an alternative model for Indigenous partnership in natural resource development in Canada.
The federal government has been engaging with the Indigenous communities along the project corridor and marine shipping route and will announce, later this year, the next steps toward their participation in Trans Mountain.
Supporting Indigenous Businesses and Community Economic Development View the impact assessment
Advancing reconciliation requires a commitment to Indigenous economic self-determination. With more than 50,000 Indigenous-owned businesses in Canada—and with many investing profits back into their communities—Indigenous economic development projects and community-owned businesses provide sustainable revenue streams that support a better, more prosperous future for generations to come. Together with support for the Indigenous tourism industry outlined in Chapter 2, the following community-level investments will support Indigenous communities’ contribution to Canada’s economic recovery.
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $150 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Indigenous Services Canada’s Lands and Economic Development Services Program and Community Opportunity Readiness Program, to advance shovel-ready economic opportunities in Indigenous communities.
To complement the above, Budget 2022 also proposes to provide $15 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency to support Indigenous economic development in the North.
To ensure that all communities are well positioned to benefit from these investments, Budget 2022 also proposes to provide $35 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Indigenous Services Canada to increase economic capacity supports, including specialized training opportunities delivered by Indigenous-led organizations.
We also know that the cumulative effects of multiple waves of COVID-19 have had a significant impact on Indigenous businesses, with more than 75 per cent of businesses surveyed by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business reporting decreases in revenues as a direct result of the pandemic.
To further support Indigenous small and medium-size enterprises, Budget 2022 proposes to forgive up to 50 per cent of the COVID-Indigenous Business Initiative loans that supported businesses in need during the pandemic. This action will help ensure that Indigenous-owned businesses are positioned for long-term success.
Advancing Tax Jurisdiction for Indigenous Governments
Since 1998, the federal government has entered into 61 tax jurisdiction agreements with Indigenous governments, generating important revenues that support community priorities and advance self-determination.
The government confirms its commitment to negotiating agreements with interested Indigenous governments to enable the implementation of a First Nations Goods and Services Tax within their settlement lands or reserves. The government also confirms its commitment to working with interested self-governing Indigenous governments to enable them to implement personal income taxes within their settlement lands.
As committed in Budget 2021, the government will work with Indigenous groups and organizations on a potential fuel, alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco (FACT) sales tax framework as an additional option for Indigenous governments to exercise tax jurisdiction.
The government has a continued interest in facilitating taxation arrangements between interested provinces or territories and Indigenous governments.
|7.1. Addressing Past Harms and Discrimination
Related to Indigenous Children and Families
|Supporting First Nations Children Through Jordan’s Principle1
|Implementing Indigenous Child Welfare Legislation
|Addressing the Shameful Legacy of Residential Schools
|7.2. Supporting Strong and Healthy Communities
|Improving Health Outcomes in Indigenous Communities
|Distinctions-based Mental Health and Wellness
|First Nations Elementary and Secondary Education
Less: Funds Sourced From Existing Departmental Resources
|Clean Drinking Water and Better
Infrastructure for First Nations Communities
|Investing in Housing for Indigenous Communities
|7.3. Advancing Self- Determination and Prosperity
|Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
|Indigenous Climate Leadership2
|Partnering with Indigenous Peoples in Natural Resource Projects
|Supporting Indigenous Businesses and Community Economic Development
|Additional Investments – Moving Forward on Reconciliation
|Yellowknives Dene First Nation (Giant Mine)
|Funding provided to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to support the implementation of a Collaborative Process Protocol Agreement respecting the historical impacts of the operation of Giant Mine on the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
|Chapter 7 - Net Fiscal Impact
Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding.
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