Job training on reserves is getting a large share of the new money announced in Thursday’s budget for Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.

Ottawa is boosting the on-reserve Income Assistance Program for First Nations.

Most of the money will be directed towards infrastructure and compliance, while $109 million will go towards skills development for people on welfare.

Howeve,r there is a catch.

The new money will only be available to First Nations that require their young residents who are receiving assistance to be taking part in training programs.

New Democrat MP Jean Crowder said she can’t understand the rationale behind this measure:

“I think the other piece of it is you wonder how much better it would have been to actually invest in decent schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12, so that these young people completed their education and didn’t end up in the income assistance system.

She went on to say she’s also disappointed no money has been set aside to hold an inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

For his part, Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback said he wasn’t sure whether money had been allocated for an inquiry or not.

When asked whether he thought there would be value in holding such an inquiry, he was non-committal:

“You know I really don’t know.  There may or may not be.  I’m not going to say it’s a good thing or a bad thing, I really don’t know.”

Hoback went on to say though that the problem is an issue that needs to be addressed, it just remains to be seen in what form.

He claimed that the government is spending more money in Aboriginal communities than has ever been spent before, and the government is also looking to combat homelessness and boost affordable housing in Prince Albert.

Meantime, the budget also sees $52 million being given over two years to enhance health services for First Nations and Inuit.

Another $9 million will be spent over two years to expand the First Nations Land Management Regime.

That program allows bands to opt out of 34 land-related clauses found in the Indian Act.

It also opens the door for First Nations to develop their own land code.

There is also some direct help for communities, with an additional $24 million being allocated this year and next to First Nations health care, an additional $18 million for First Nations policing, and an extension of the Aboriginal Justice Program.