Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. The federal government unveiled spending plans to manage the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis and chart an economic course for a post-pandemic Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. The federal government unveiled spending plans to manage the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis and chart an economic course for a post-pandemic Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Federal Budget 2021: Liberals pledge $18 billion for Indigenous communities

More than $4 billion in COVID-19 funding announced for Indigenous communities

The federal Liberal government plans to spend more than $18 billion over the next five years to try to narrow the socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and to help these communities fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in her budget speech the government has made progress in righting the historic wrongs in Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples, but a lot of work remains be done.

“It’s important to note that Indigenous Peoples have led the way in battling COVID,” Freeland said. “Their success is a credit to Indigenous leadership and self-governance.”

In its 2021 budget blueprint, the government says the new funding for Indigenous Peoples will address inequalities they continue to face in Canada and advance reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis.

The government says Indigenous communities have faced extraordinary health challenges since the start of the pandemic and continue to be vulnerable to the novel coronavirus and its variants.

The budget pledges to provide Indigenous communities with an additional $1.2 billion this fiscal year to support their response to COVID-19 pandemic including money to hire nurses, provide mental health assistance, address food insecurity and support children.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has announced more than $4 billion in COVID-19 funding for Indigenous communities and organizations supporting them since the beginning of the pandemic.

Part of Monday’s budget pledge is $1.4 billion over five years to maintain essential health care services for First Nations and Inuit, to continue work to transform First Nations health systems and to respond to the health impacts of climate change.

The government promises to provide $1 billion over five years to increase funding under the First Nations child and family services program.

The budget also promises to invest an additional $2.2 billion over five years to address the roots of the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The government proposes to spend more than $6 billion for infrastructure in Indigenous communities including funding for clean water projects, housing and other community infrastructure projects.

Trudeau’s government has failed to deliver on its 2015 promise to end all drinking water advisories in First Nations communities by March 2021.

As of April 9, 52 long-term drinking water advisories remain in effect in 33 First Nation communities across the country.

The government says it’s still committed to ending all remaining advisories without providing a new deadline.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

2021 Federal BudgetCoronavirusfederal government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two vehicles were involved in a collision around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Main Street and Industrial intersection. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Traffic slow after collision at Main and Industrial in Penticton

Two vehicles were involved and first responders are on scene

RCMP. (Black Press File)
BREAKING: Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered in Naramata

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Cpl. Laurie Rock of the Penticton RCMP with other participants at the SOWINS Walk to End Abuse at the 2019 Walk where $50,000 was raised. (Mark Brett - Western News file photo)
Walk with your bubble June 13 to stop violence against women in Penticton

SOWINS says the pandemic has amplified the risk of abuse to women and children

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

A Falkland man will present a 600+ signature petition to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board Thursday, May 20, opposing dog control in Electoral Area D, which includes Falkland, Silver Creek, Salmon Valley and Ranchero/Deep Creek. (File photo)
600-plus sign Falkland man’s petition against dog control

Similar bylaw rejected by 200 public hearing attendees when topic came up 9 years ago

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Notes of hope, encouragement and camaraderie were left on the message board inside the kitchen of TacoTime. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Adiós, Taco Tuesday: Kelowna residents flock to TacoTime on restaurant’s final day

‘We don’t need another Starbucks. We need tacos on Tuesday, with extra hot sauce’

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

Most Read