August 13, 2021 — Ottawa, Traditional Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada is making historic investments in Indigenous infrastructure to address critical infrastructure gaps and improve economic, social and health outcomes in their communities.
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, announced $200 million over four years to support Métis Nation governments’ infrastructure priorities. This marks an important first federal investment in infrastructure for Métis communities, a reflection of the Government’s commitment to distinctions-based investments reflecting the unique character of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The recipients are the five Métis Governing Members comprising the Métis National Council: Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Metis Federation, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, and Métis Nation British Columbia.
Additionally, the Government of Canada announced $40 million over four years to support the urgent infrastructure priorities in the Métis settlements of Alberta. The 8 Métis Settlement communities are represented by the Métis Settlements General Council (MSGC). The Metis Settlements are unique and historic in Canada as the only Métis governed area with a provincially legislated land base, by the Government of Alberta.
This will support the Métis settlements’ vision of long-term sustainability by addressing their most urgent short-term needs, and will allow these Settlements to implement plans describing the administration and delivery of infrastructure programming. We will be engaging with our Alberta and the Metis Settlement partners in the near future in order to develop plans and deliver on these important investments.
The Government of Canada recognizes that access to adequate infrastructure, which includes clean drinking water, sufficient transportation infrastructure, well-built homes, quality health and cultural facilities, schools, and reliable Internet access, is vital to a community’s physical, mental and economic health and well-being.
Budget 2021 infrastructure funding targets shovel-ready projects over a short, four-year timeframe, ensuring that support is delivered as expeditiously as possible and with maximum flexibility to partners in order for them to address their citizens’ needs. This Métis-led initiative will build on the ongoing implementation of Budget 2018 funding for the Métis Nation Housing Strategy, which included an investment of $500 million over 10 years from 2018-2028.
The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for infrastructure developments in northern and remote communities. Supporting immediate infrastructure needs, as prioritized by Indigenous partners, will create jobs and build healthier, safer and more prosperous Indigenous communities.
“Infrastructure funding from the Government of Canada provides our Nation the opportunity to build housing, child care spaces and places for our Métis people to gather and celebrate our arts and culture. This in turn provides access to culturally appropriate resources, programs and services, including employment and training initiatives,” says Lissa Dawn Smith, MNBC Acting President. “We look forward to continued collaboration and partnerships to provide sustainable funding that helps build our Nation to new heights.”
Lissa Dawn Smith,
Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) Acting President