April 19, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
The 2021 federal budget includes promising references to Indigenous-specific funding and commits federal spending for Inuit in critical areas such as early learning and childcare, infrastructure and food security.
“There is a great deal to be encouraged about in this federal budget. I am optimistic about the level of investment for Inuit, First Nations and Métis,” said ITK President Natan Obed. “But it will be days or weeks before we have a complete picture about how Inuit fit into this picture.”
Among other Indigenous-specific announcements, ITK is continuing to follow and learn more about the following:
Early Learning and Child Care: $30 billion over five years to for permanent ongoing funding for quality not for-profit child care, including capacity-building and social and physical infrastructure investments. The plan aims to reduce fees for regulated child care by 50 per cent on average, by 2022, with a goal of reaching $10 per day on average by 2026 (outside of Quebec).
Infrastructure: $4.3 billion for an Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund.
MMIWG: An additional $2.2 billion over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $160.9 million ongoing in response to the tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to help build a safer, stronger, and more inclusive society.
COVID-19: An additional $1.2 billion in 2021-22 to continue supporting the COVID-19 response in Indigenous communities.
Research: $1.2 billion in funding for research, science, and research related programs and initiatives, plus $4 million over three years to support the development of an Inuit data strategy.
Mental Wellness: $597.6 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, for a distinctions-based mental health and wellness strategy with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation.
Language and Culture: $460 million over the next five years to support Indigenous language and culture revitalization and reclamation.
Post-Secondary Education: $177 million over the next two years to support Indigenous students and institutions involved in post-secondary education complete their studies through the pandemic.
Food Security: $164 million over three years to work with Indigenous partners, including in Inuit Nunangat, to expand the Nutrition North Canada program.
UN Declaration: $31 million over two years to support the co-development of an action plan to implement legislation on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Climate Change: $22.7 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, to help Inuit and First Nations manage the health impacts of climate change, such as access to country food, impacts of extreme weather events, and mental health impacts of climate change on youth.
ITK has advocated for the implementation of an Inuit-Nunangat-specific approach to federal budget spending. Implementation of an Inuit Nunangat fiscal policy in federal budgets creates clarity, efficiency, cost savings, and more immediate benefits for Inuit, that in turn benefit all Canadians.