Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Wanuskewin Heritage Park Tuesday morning where he highlighted many Indigenous investments in last week’s budget.

The budget included $9 billion for Indigenous files and Trudeau highlighted many of them during his address.

The Prime Minister spoke on investments in infrastructure, healthcare, and education for Indigenous people in Canada. He also highlighted the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program, which will offer up to $5 billion in loan guarantees for Indigenous communities to benefit from natural resource and energy projects.

“This is what budget 2024 is all about, making sure everyone has the chance to succeed,” he said.

Trudeau also highlighted $21 million for the virtual health hub at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology to be deployed at Whitecap Dakota First Nation. SIIT President Riel Bellegarde and Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear spoke on that investment at the event.

“We are bringing innovation and technology to young people in Saskatchewan that is Indigenous-led,” said Bellegarde.

While Tuesday’s event highlighted Indigenous investments in the budget, some Indigenous groups say this year’s budget was not enough to close the Indigenous infrastructure gap by 2030, a previous promise of the Liberal government.

Some estimates believe it would take an investment of over $400 billion to close the gap.

MBC Radio News asked Trudeau about these concerns.

“We know there is an awful lot more to do,” said Trudeau. “Reconciliation is going to be the job of decades if not generations, but there is also real urgency to close the gap as quickly as possible.”

Trudeau spoke on the “tens of billions” of dollars the Liberal government has invested in Indigenous people, which he says is more than any other government in history.

“Yes, we put forward $9 billion in investments in housing, in education, in economic reconciliation, in healthcare, but there is always going to be more to do for the coming years and we are going to continue to step up in the real partnership that is at the heart of reconciliation.”

The Prime Minister was also asked about capital gains, firearms, and Ottawa’s current fight with the Province of Saskatchewan over the carbon tax.

(PHOTO – Justin Trudeau speaks on Indigenous investment at Wanuskewin Heritage Park with Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality behind him on the left and Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear on the right. Photo by Joel Willick.)