(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief RoseAnne Archibald says the 2022 federal budget tabled today in Ottawa falls short in addressing the urgent and long-term needs identified by First Nations and that First Nations must share in the wealth derived from the land and resources of Canada.
“First Nations require economic reconciliation and a path forward that supports a process where First Nations benefit from the resources extracted from their lands and waters,” said AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald. “Canada derives its wealth from First Nations lands, while First Nations seek investments from budget cycle to budget cycle. All of the wealth in Canada is built on First Nations land. When First Nations are in a position to build their economies and have access to the wealth derived from their lands and waters, they won’t need to look to budget cycles for investments. First Nations need to be supported to build their own wealth and have access to the wealth derived from their lands and waters, and we need to build the agreements required to do this.”
The federal budget released today by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland identifies $11 billion over six years (average $1.8 billion per year) in new investment for Indigenous priorities and includes a $4 billion investment toward Jordan’s Principle and about $3 billion for First Nations housing. Many of the priorities identified in the AFN’s pre-budget submission, such as governance, implementing the MMIWG Calls to Justice and non-water related infrastructure saw no new investments.
“I’m pleased to see investments in housing and to child and family services, specifically to support the full application of Jordan’s Principle, but overall investments fall short based well documented research,” said National Chief Archibald. “I will continue to work to ensure First Nations have the fiscal capacity to exercise rights, title and jurisdiction and that First Nations priorities are supported and advanced at every level. When First Nations people are in a position to thrive, so too will Canada’s economy and its social fabric.”
The AFN conducted thorough analysis of First Nations housing needs, identifying a required investment of $44 billion over 10 years. The $2.4 billion over five years for First Nations housing falls short of the AFN’s well-researched identified need.
The AFN took part in the pre-budget submission process and outlined specific asks in a number of priority investment areas, such as rights implementation, governance, restorative justice, education, health, infrastructure, economic development, environment, housing and to reform the First Nations Child and Family Services program and implement the Missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Calls for Justice and to support the investigations and commemoration of unmarked graves and other Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
For the full AFN pre-budget submission click here: http://www.afn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/2022-2023-AFN-Preliminary-Budget-Submission.pdf
The AFN is conducting a full analysis on investments to be made available in coming days.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations Chiefs in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.