Build the Indigenous economy to address poverty – Policy Options

by ahnationtalk on September 19, 201875 Views

September 19, 2018

In its past three budgets, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made important investments to help address the critical needs facing Indigenous communities and families. These investments are laudable and long overdue, and they will go a significant way toward ensuring that Indigenous people have better housing, child and family services, education, health care and access to clean drinking water.

The 2018 budget also provided significant investments to support capacity-building and to advance self-determination and self-government — which the government rightly identified as necessary to achieving “truly transformational change.” Together, investments in healthy communities and steps to advance self-government are critical preconditions for strong communities and for what the Minister of Justice has characterized as the reconstitution and rebuilding of Indigenous nations.

However, while these steps are critical, truly transformational change is not possible while the majority of Indigenous people still live in poverty. According to data from the 2016 census, four out of five First Nations reserves have median incomes that fall below the poverty line. A recent study conducted by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that Indigenous children in Canada are more than twice as likely to live in poverty as non-Indigenous children.

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