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

Just Posted

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of May 3

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Fraser Health adds 4 first-come-first-serve vaccination clinics to Surrey

First 1,000 people to show up to receive vaccine

(Delta Police Department photo)
South Delta crime beat, week of May 3

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

(Clockwise, from top-left) Brenda DeJong, Carol Jones, Marcia Strang, Cathy Collis and Mark East star in the upcoming Sidekick Players Zoom presentation of the Norm Foster play “Halfway There,” directed by Carroll Lefebvre, on May 22, 2021. (Submitted photos)
Delta’s Sidekick Players continue ‘Foster Zoom Fest’ with ‘Halfway There’

Tsawwassen-based theatre company hosting another online performance on Saturday, May 22

The leadership team at Johnston Heights Secondary is looking to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through the Relay for Life, planned as an online and in-person event (following COVID-19 restrictions) for the week of June 1 to 7.
Pushed back a year, Surrey students well on their way to Relay for Life fundraising goal

Johnston Heights Leadership Team aims to raise $6,500 for Canadian Cancer Society

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

B.C. Wildfire Services shows a fire on Chehalis Forest Service Road as of Sunday, May 16, 2021. (BC Fire Services)
Wildfire near Harrison Mills grows to 3 hectares, BC Fire Service on site

Resident near wildfire: ‘I pray that the Creator brings rain as soon as possible’

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Most Read