Several First Nation groups and organizations are offering their input into yesterday’s federal budget.
The National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples says the budget is a “disappointment” for off-reserve Aboriginal people.
Chief Betty Ann Lavalleee says the budget did include language to address the economic needs of Aboriginal people, but she says there is little there in the way of actual help.
“I’m disappointed to see there is no new money for housing or for missing and murdered Aboriginal women,” said Lavallee. “There is so much that could have been done to help our people, but unfortunately it’s not going to happen.”
Lavallee says there is not enough funding in this year’s budget to actually change the economic disadvantages faced by Aboriginal people across Canada.
“As we all know more than a third of Aboriginal people living off-reserve are living in poverty and right now with this budget we are looking at less than $70 per year for Aboriginal people off-reserve and that is not going to help lift people out of property.”
According to their calculations, the $341.8 million invested in programs for off-reserve Aboriginal people over the next five years, will give a total of less than $70 a year per person.
A couple other First Nations organizations are responding more positively to the budget.
The First Nations Financial Management Board says they were glad to see the feds include amendments to the First Nations Financial Management Act. They say these changes will lead to an increase in economic opportunities for First Nations on-reserve.
The amendments will see increased participation in the Fiscal Management Act as well as a reduction of administrative burdens for participating First Nations.
The Indigenous led charity Indspire also says they welcome the $12 million dollars in funding coming their way.
The funding will be spread out over 3 years and will be used for scholarships and bursaries for First Nations and Inuit Students.
Indspire says the primary barrier keeping Indigenous students from competing schooling is a lack of finances.