Many Indigenous people in Canada are optimistic about the future with the release of the 2018 federal budget.
The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation issued a press release saying they are pleased with the government’s continued focus on Inuit housing needs.
The budget also included new funding for indigenous child welfare, health care, water and housing. There will also be cash set aside for self-government and treaty negotiations.
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief Robert Bertrand says although he’s encouraged by many of the steps being taken by the Canadian government, the budget has neglected the needs of the largest portion of indigenous people in the country, those living in urban settings.
“If they’re not well taken care of, if they don’t have a proper education, they won’t be able to join the workforce. You will just aggravate the problem of poverty, unemployment insurance, welfare. We have to take care of these people off reserve, in order to start solving the problem.”
Bertrand added he’s happy this money is being handed down to people who need it, but he wants to see the government address the “Daniels Decision” which declared off reserve indigenous people have Indian status.
In Canada, roughly 55% of indigenous people live off reserve and have moved to urbanized areas.