Budget commits nearly $8.4 billion to improving living conditions of indigenous peoples

News Mar 23, 2016 by Ben Spurr, Joanna Smith OurWindsor.Ca

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government unveiled what was billed as a “historic” investment in Canada’s First Nations communities on Tuesday, one question leapt to Jackie Szkoda’s mind: will it be enough?

Trudeau has promised a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples, and the new Liberal government’s first budget puts nearly $8.4 billion into meeting those atmospheric expectations.

But Szkoda, a 55-year-old Shawnee woman originally from the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, 35 km northeast of Sarnia, Ont., said even that sum may not be sufficient to solve problems facing indigenous communities.

“I think it’s great that they’re putting more money into our issues,” said Szkoda, who works as intake co-ordinator at the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. “But there’s so much need out there. And $8.4 billion sounds like a lot of money, but is it really?”

Szkoda said she left home at 18 because she saw no opportunities for her on reserve. Three decades later, the same problems she fled — lack of running water, insufficient housing, enduring trauma from residential schools — still plague many indigenous communities.

The 2016 federal budget commits the unprecedented amount of funding — spread out over five years — toward improving the socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples and their communities.

The money is designed to tackle everything from safe drinking water and housing to waste management and the overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples in the criminal justice system.

“We want to make sure that these resources are utilized in an effective and efficient way to deliver results on the ground for our people and that’s in the best interest of not only our people, but in the best interests of Canada,” said National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations.

That includes $2.6 billion over five years towards improving primary and secondary education for First Nations children on reserves.

There is another $969.4 million for school infrastructure in indigenous communities.

The 2016 federal budget proposes $634.5 million over five years to strengthen the First Nations Child and Family Services program.

Toronto Star

Budget commits nearly $8.4 billion to improving living conditions of indigenous peoples

Money is designed to tackle everything from safe drinking water and housing to waste management and the overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples in the criminal justice system.

News Mar 23, 2016 by Ben Spurr, Joanna Smith OurWindsor.Ca

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government unveiled what was billed as a “historic” investment in Canada’s First Nations communities on Tuesday, one question leapt to Jackie Szkoda’s mind: will it be enough?

Trudeau has promised a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples, and the new Liberal government’s first budget puts nearly $8.4 billion into meeting those atmospheric expectations.

But Szkoda, a 55-year-old Shawnee woman originally from the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, 35 km northeast of Sarnia, Ont., said even that sum may not be sufficient to solve problems facing indigenous communities.

“I think it’s great that they’re putting more money into our issues,” said Szkoda, who works as intake co-ordinator at the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. “But there’s so much need out there. And $8.4 billion sounds like a lot of money, but is it really?”

Szkoda said she left home at 18 because she saw no opportunities for her on reserve. Three decades later, the same problems she fled — lack of running water, insufficient housing, enduring trauma from residential schools — still plague many indigenous communities.

The 2016 federal budget commits the unprecedented amount of funding — spread out over five years — toward improving the socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples and their communities.

The money is designed to tackle everything from safe drinking water and housing to waste management and the overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples in the criminal justice system.

“We want to make sure that these resources are utilized in an effective and efficient way to deliver results on the ground for our people and that’s in the best interest of not only our people, but in the best interests of Canada,” said National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations.

That includes $2.6 billion over five years towards improving primary and secondary education for First Nations children on reserves.

There is another $969.4 million for school infrastructure in indigenous communities.

The 2016 federal budget proposes $634.5 million over five years to strengthen the First Nations Child and Family Services program.

Toronto Star

Budget commits nearly $8.4 billion to improving living conditions of indigenous peoples

Money is designed to tackle everything from safe drinking water and housing to waste management and the overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples in the criminal justice system.

News Mar 23, 2016 by Ben Spurr, Joanna Smith OurWindsor.Ca

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government unveiled what was billed as a “historic” investment in Canada’s First Nations communities on Tuesday, one question leapt to Jackie Szkoda’s mind: will it be enough?

Trudeau has promised a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples, and the new Liberal government’s first budget puts nearly $8.4 billion into meeting those atmospheric expectations.

But Szkoda, a 55-year-old Shawnee woman originally from the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, 35 km northeast of Sarnia, Ont., said even that sum may not be sufficient to solve problems facing indigenous communities.

“I think it’s great that they’re putting more money into our issues,” said Szkoda, who works as intake co-ordinator at the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. “But there’s so much need out there. And $8.4 billion sounds like a lot of money, but is it really?”

Szkoda said she left home at 18 because she saw no opportunities for her on reserve. Three decades later, the same problems she fled — lack of running water, insufficient housing, enduring trauma from residential schools — still plague many indigenous communities.

The 2016 federal budget commits the unprecedented amount of funding — spread out over five years — toward improving the socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples and their communities.

The money is designed to tackle everything from safe drinking water and housing to waste management and the overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples in the criminal justice system.

“We want to make sure that these resources are utilized in an effective and efficient way to deliver results on the ground for our people and that’s in the best interest of not only our people, but in the best interests of Canada,” said National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations.

That includes $2.6 billion over five years towards improving primary and secondary education for First Nations children on reserves.

There is another $969.4 million for school infrastructure in indigenous communities.

The 2016 federal budget proposes $634.5 million over five years to strengthen the First Nations Child and Family Services program.

Toronto Star