April 7, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario
Inuit welcome Budget 2022’s investment of $845 million over seven years for housing across Inuit Nunangat. It is three times the Budget 2018 allocation of $400 million over 10 years and ushers in a new era in housing investment for Inuit.
“There is a housing challenge across Canada, but the Inuit housing crisis is both uniquely acute and long-standing,” said ITK President Natan Obed. “This investment is a significant step in the right direction toward improving deteriorating housing stock and relieving widespread overcrowding across Inuit Nunangat which has contributed to devastating physical, social and mental health challenges.”
ITK is also encouraged by a commitment of $227.6 million over two years for Indigenous-led mental health services and the co-development of distinctions-based mental health strategies. Additional support for the implementation of ITK’s evidence-based and Inuit-specific suicide prevention strategy, the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy released in 2016, will result in more immediate and positive impacts for Inuit.
A number of other areas provide much needed support for Inuit priorities. While there is no identified allocation for Inuit, we welcome the spirit of these investments and look forward to learning more details in the weeks and months ahead.
- Roughly $10.6 billion in spending to address past harms toward Indigenous peoples, to support healthy communities and to advance self-determination.
- $209.8 million over five years to increase supports to communities so that they might locate and memorialize burial sites at former residential schools.
- $29.6 million over three years to support Indigenous priorities regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation. Our homeland is experiencing some of the most significant environmental changes in the world and Inuit must set the agenda for any future adaptation plans and policies across Inuit Nunangat.
Plans to develop a National School Food Policy are also welcome. Partnerships between Inuit and governments that respect and support Inuit self-determination and Inuit food sovereignty are necessary to ensure that food security measures are effective. The Inuit Nunangat Food Security Strategy released in July 2021, calls for the creation of an Inuit Nunangat school food program and we continue to work on this with the federal government through the Inuit Crown Partnership Committee.
ITK continues to advocate for an Inuit-Nunangat-specific approach to federal budget allocations. Implementing an Inuit Nunangat fiscal policy in federal budgets creates efficiency, cost savings, and more immediate positive impacts and benefits for Inuit that in turn benefit all Canadians. We continue to work towards enhanced federal budget planning informed by the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee.