Budget 2021 investments to support Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people
Historic investments to support the implementation of the Federal Pathway and directly contribute to ending violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people.
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Budget 2021 provided a significant investment of $2.2 billion over 5 years and $160.9 million per year ongoing to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people. These investments contribute toward ending this national tragedy by committing to take action in 4 key areas:
- health and wellness
- human safety and security
It also provided further investments targeted to Indigenous Peoples and of general application that will contribute to addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people. This builds on previous investments and work we are doing to end this national tragedy.
These amounts build on investments presented in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, which announced $781.5 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22 and $106.3 million ongoing, including investments of:
- $724.1 million to launch a comprehensive Violence Prevention Strategy to expand access to culturally relevant supports for Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQI+ people facing gender-based violence. This strategy will support new shelters and transition housing for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples across the country, including on reserve, in the North and in urban areas.
- $49.3 million toward the implementation of Gladue Principles in the mainstream justice system and Indigenous-led responses in order to help reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples in the criminal justice system.
- $8.1 million to the Department of Justice Canada for the negotiation of administration of justice agreements with Indigenous communities to strengthen community-based justice systems and support self-determination.
Budget 2021 investments support Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people by nurturing opportunities for them to:
- revitalize their cultures
- restore their traditional roles
- strengthen their identity, their strong sense of family, community and belonging
- continue to thrive, be celebrated and honoured, and pass on their leadership, teachings and resilience
The Government of Canada is investing $453.1 million over 5 years to support the preservation, restoration and promotion of cultures and languages, as well as participation in sport. These are powerful tools for healing, reconciliation and fostering a strong sense of identity in Indigenous communities. This investment provides:
- $275 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, and $2 million ongoing to Canadian Heritage, to support the efforts of Indigenous Peoples in the reclamation, revitalization and strengthening of Indigenous languages as a foundation for culture, identity and belonging. This funding will support various initiatives such as:
- languages and culture camps
- mentor-apprentice programs
- the development of Indigenous languages resources and documentation
- $14.9 million over 4 years, beginning in 2021-22, for the preservation of Indigenous heritage through Library and Archives Canada. This will ensure that Indigenous women, girls, 2SLGBTQI+ people, and all people in Canada have meaningful access to their cultures and languages.
- $108.8 million over 2 years, beginning in 2021-22, to reestablish and revitalize Indigenous cultural spaces. Having a dedicated, permanent space to share culture is a key component of building strong Indigenous identities. Re-establishing and revitalizing cultural spaces that are inclusive of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people will help ensure they have a seat at the decision-making table. This proposal responds to the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which calls for all Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people to be provided with safe, barrier-free, permanent and meaningful access to their cultures and languages.
- $40.1 million over 3 years, beginning in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage for the Indigenous Screen Office to ensure Indigenous Peoples can tell their own stories and see themselves reflected on-screen.
- $14.3 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, and $2.9 million ongoing, to ensure that Indigenous women and girls have access to meaningful sports activities through the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities Program.
Health and wellness
The Government of Canada is investing $139.2 million to the support the creation of health systems free of racism and discrimination and better health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples. This investment provides:
- $126.7 million over 3 years, beginning in 2021-22, to take action to foster health systems free from racism and discrimination where Indigenous Peoples are respected and safe. This funding will support patient advocates, health system navigators and cultural safety training for medical professionals.
- $12.5 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, and $2.5 million ongoing, to support the well-being of families and survivors through project-based programming in collaboration with the National Family and Survivors Circle.
This builds on other critical investments outlined in the budget, including broader investments to support the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples and $597.6 million over 3 years, beginning in 2021-22 for distinctions-based mental wellness supports. These supports provide community-based, culturally relevant and trauma-informed wellness services for families and survivors.
Human safety and security
Budget 2021 works to find and implement solutions to address the discrimination and violence Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people are experiencing to ensure Canada is a place where they are respected and their human safety and security is safeguarded. The Government of Canada recognizes that threats to wellness and personal safety are not just physical threats, such as violence, but also include:
- lack of access to affordable
- adequate and safe housing
- environmental threats,
- political repression
- social unrest
- denial of cultural practices
- food insecurity
- human rights abuses
Indigenous communities, like all communities in Canada, should be places where people and families feel safe, secure and empowered. A well-funded, culturally sensitive and respectful police service is essential for community safety and well-being.
The Government of Canada is investing $861 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, and $145 million ongoing, to support culturally responsive policing and community safety services in Indigenous communities. This investment provides:
- $43.7 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, to co-develop a legislative framework for First Nations policing that recognizes First Nations policing as an essential service
- $540.3 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, and $126.8 million ongoing, to support Indigenous communities currently served under the First Nations Policing Program and expand the program to new Indigenous communities
- $108.6 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, to repair, renovate, and replace policing facilities in First Nation and Inuit communities
- $64.6 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, and $18.1 million ongoing, to enhance Indigenous-led crime prevention strategies and community safety services
- $103.8 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, for a new Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative for Indigenous communities to develop more holistic community-based safety and wellness models
These investments seek to address the issues identified by the Calls for Justice, which are further supported by critical investments to advance a new National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, including:
- $55 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, for Women and Gender Equality Canada to bolster the capacity of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQI+ organizations to provide gender-based violence prevention programming aimed at addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people.
The investments under the Justice theme seek to end systemic racism and discrimination throughout the policing and justice systems. They will improve access to a fairer, stronger, more inclusive and representative justice system that respects and upholds the rights of Indigenous Peoples and protects Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people.
The Government of Canada is investing $74.8 million over 3 years, beginning in 2021-22, to improve access to justice for Indigenous people and support the development of an Indigenous Justice Strategy to address systemic discrimination and the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system. This investment provides:
- $27.1 million to Justice Canada to help Indigenous families navigate the family justice system and access community-based family mediation services
- $24.2 million to Justice Canada to support engagement with Indigenous communities and organizations in the development of legislation and initiatives that address systemic barriers in the criminal justice system, including collaboration on an Indigenous Justice Strategy
- $23.5 million for Public Prosecution Service of Canada to support victims of violence by increasing prosecutorial capacity in the territories
Working with partners
The Government of Canada is investing $36.3 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, and $8.6 million ongoing to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, to enhance support for Indigenous women's and 2SLGBTQI+ organizations, ensuring that the voices and perspectives of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQI+ people are reflected in all aspects of decision-making that impacts their lives.
The Government of Canada is also investing $20.3 million over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, to work with Indigenous partners to ensure that appropriate monitoring mechanisms are in place to measure progress and to keep the government accountable, now and in the future.
Investments to address root causes of violence
As Budget 2021 notes, actions to address the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people must be broad in order to address the socio-economic root causes. This includes addressing:
- loss of cultures and languages
- poverty and lack of access to housing
- the need for community safety, food security, employment, education, health care, infrastructure, and the many threads that tie the fabric of society together
The Government of Canada is investing more than $18 billion in investments to:
- further narrow gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
- support healthy, safe and prosperous Indigenous communities
- advance meaningful reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation
This includes the $2.2 billion over 5 years and $160.9 million per year ongoing to respond to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Many of these investments are reported on in the Federal Pathway Annual Progress Report.
Investments for Indigenous people
Improving health outcomes in Indigenous communities
$1.4 billion over 5 years, beginning in 2021-22, and $40.6 million ongoing, to:
- maintain essential health care services for First Nations and Inuit
- continue work to transform First Nations health systems
- respond to the health impacts of climate change
These investments are in addition to the government's commitment to co-develop distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation so that Indigenous communities have greater control over the design and delivery of high-quality and culturally relevant care.
Supporting Indigenous children and families
- $1 billion over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, with $118.7 million ongoing to increase funding under the First Nations Child and Family Services Program.
- $73.6 million over four years, starting in 2021-22, to support the implementation of the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families. This will support First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in developing their own child and family services models that reflect their values and traditions.
- $2.5 billion over the next 5 years in Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care, including:
- $1.4 billion over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, and $385 million ongoing, to ensure that more Indigenous families have access to high-quality programming. Guided by Indigenous priorities and distinctions-based envelopes, this investment will build Indigenous governance capacity and allow providers to offer more flexible and full-time hours of care, build, train and retain a skilled workforce, and create up to 3,300 new spaces. This will include new investments in Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities.
- $515 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, and $112 million ongoing, to support before and after-school care for First Nations children on reserve.
- $264 million over 4 years, starting in 2022-23, and $24 million ongoing, to repair and renovate existing Indigenous early learning and child care centres, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for children and staff.
- $420 million over three years, starting in 2023-24, and $21 million ongoing, to build and maintain new centres in additional communities. The government will work with Indigenous partners to identify new infrastructure priorities.
Providing high-quality education
- $1.2 billion over 5 years, and $181.8 million ongoing, to invest in the future of First Nations children and continue to support a new, co-developed policy and funding approach to better respond to the needs of First Nations students on-reserve, including:
- $112 million in 2021-22 to extend COVID-19 support so children on reserve can continue to attend school safely, including PPE for students and staff, laptops to support online learning and more teachers and other critical staff.
- $726 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, and $181.8 million ongoing, to:
- enhance funding formulas in critical areas such as student transportation
- ensure funding for First Nations schools remains predictable from year to year
- increase First Nations control over First Nations education by concluding more Regional Education Agreements
- $350 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, to expand access to adult education by supporting First Nations people on-reserve who wish to return to high school in their communities and complete their high school education.
Supporting Indigenous post-secondary education
- $150.6 million over 2 years, starting in 2021-22, to support Indigenous students through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program, the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy and Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategy
- $26.4 million, in 2021-22, through the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program, the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy and the Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategy to support Indigenous post-secondary institutions during COVID-19.
On-reserve income assistance
- $618.4 million over 2 years for the On-reserve Income Assistance Program to help eligible individuals and families cover the costs of daily life and provide access to employment supports, including:
- $540 million over 2 years, starting in 2021-22, to continue to address basic needs and increased program demand, including as a result of COVID-19.
- $78.4 million over 2 years, starting in 2021-22, to continue providing case management and support to help people find work.
- Over $6.0 billion over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, with $388.9 million ongoing, for distinctions-based approaches to support infrastructure in Indigenous communities, including:
- $4.3 billion over 4 years, starting in 2021-22, for the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund, a distinctions-based fund to support immediate demands, as prioritized by Indigenous partners, with shovel-ready infrastructure projects in First Nations, including with modern-treaty and self-governing First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities.
- $1.7 billion over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, with $388.9 million ongoing, to cover the operations and maintenance costs of community infrastructure in First Nations communities on-reserve.
Supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs
- $22 million over 3 years, starting in 2021-22, to support the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association's (NACCA) Indigenous Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative by providing tools, services and resources to increase the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs. This funding would support NACCA in achieving its target of increasing the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs who access financing through Aboriginal Financial Institutions by 50 per cent.
- $42 million over 3 years, starting in 2021-22, to expand the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program. This will directly support Indigenous-led businesses and help Indigenous communities generate wealth by improving access to capital and business opportunities.
- $2.4 million in 2021-22 to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to help the Indigenous tourism industry rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Supporting Indigenous economies
- $117 million in 2021-22 to renew the Indigenous Community Business Fund. This will ensure First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities can continue to provide services and support jobs for their members through collectively owned businesses and microbusinesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $33.4 million in 2021-22 to support the First Nations Finance Authority pooled borrowing regime.
Supporting Indigenous governance and capacity
- $104.8 million over 2 years, starting in 2021-22, to support the administrative capacity of First Nations governments and other organizations that deliver critical programs and services.
- $151.4 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, to provide wrap-around supports for First Nations with the greatest community development needs.
Implementation of legislation on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- $31.5 million over 2 years, starting in 2021-22, to co-develop an Action Plan with Indigenous partners to implement Bill C-15, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, and to achieve the objectives of the Declaration. This process will support Indigenous self-determination and enhance nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationships.
Engagement with Indigenous peoples
- $50 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, and $10 million ongoing, to renew and make permanent dedicated consultation and policy development funding.
Commemorating the legacy of residential schools
- $13.4 million over 5 years, with $2.4 million ongoing, to Canadian Heritage for events to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools, and to honour survivors, their families and communities, as well as to support celebrations and commemoration events during the proposed National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Supporting Indigenous communities to fight against COVID-19
- Building on the investments of $2.5 billion to date to support Indigenous Peoples through the COVID-19 crisis, Budget 2021 provides an additional $1.2 billion in 2021-22 for Indigenous communities as follows:
- $478.1 million on a cash basis to continue to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities, including support to hire nurses, help at-risk people to isolate, and distribute personal protective equipment.
- An additional $760.8 million for the Indigenous Community Support Fund to help First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities, as well as urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations that serve Indigenous Peoples, meet the unique needs of their populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will provide funding to:
- prevent the spread of COVID-19
- support Elders and vulnerable community members
- provide mental health assistance and emergency response services
- address food insecurity
- support children
Support for Indigenous-led data strategies
- $73.5 million over 3 years, starting in 2021-22, to continue work towards the development and implementation of a First Nations Data Governance Strategy.
- $8 million over 3 years, starting in 2021-22, to support Inuit and Métis baseline data capacity and the development of distinctions-based Inuit and Métis Nation data strategies.
Investments for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
In addition to these initiatives and actions for Indigneous communities, a number of other Budget 2021 investments available for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada also contribute to supporting:
- early learning and child care
- skills development
- adult education
- youth justice
- gender-based violence programming
Advancing a national action plan to end gender-based violence
- $601.3 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, to advance a new national action plan to end gender-based violence
Supporting the mental health of those most affected by COVID-19
- $100 million over 3 years, starting in 2021-22, to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support projects for innovative mental health interventions for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including:
- health care workers
- front-line workers
- Indigenous people
- racialized and Black Canadians
Renewing the territorial health investment fund
- $54 million over 2 years, starting in 2021-22, to renew the Territorial Health Investment Fund:
- $27 million to Nunavut
- $12.8 million to Yukon
- $14.2 million to the Northwest Territories
- $2.5 billion, and a reallocation of $1.3 billion in existing funding, to speed up the construction, repair or support of 35,000 affordable housing units. This will help families, young people, low income Canadians, people experiencing homelessness, and women and children fleeing violence find a safe and affordable place to call home. The government will ensure these projects meet the energy efficiency requirements set out under the National Housing Strategy, which will reduce their carbon footprints and reduce families' energy bills.
- $25 million, in 2021-22, to the Government of the Northwest Territories to address housing priorities. Funding will support the construction of 30 new public housing units across the territory.
- $25 million, in 2021-22, to the Government of Nunavut to support the territory's short-term housing and infrastructure needs including priority redevelopment and refurbishment projects resulting in approximately 100 new housing units.
- An additional $567 million over 2 years, beginning in 2022-23, to Employment and Social Development Canada for Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy. This would maintain the 2021-22 funding levels announced in the Fall Economic Statementin response to the pressures of COVID-19.
Establishing a National Institute for Women's Health Research
- $20 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a new National Institute for Women's Health Research. The new institute will advance a coordinated research program that addresses under-researched and high-priority areas of women's health and ensure new evidence improves women's care and health outcomes. It will also ensure an intersectional approach to research and care to tackle persistent gaps for all women, including for racialized women, Black and Indigenous women, women with disabilities, and members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities.
- $50 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, for the Public Health Agency of Canada to design and deliver interventions that promote safe relationships and prevent family violence, including intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse.
A Canada-wide early learning and child care plan
- $30 billion over the next 5 years, and $8.3 billion ongoing for early learning and child care and Indigenous early learning and child care.
Diverting youth away from the justice system
- $216.4 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, and $43.3 million ongoing for the Youth Justice Services Funding Program to increase funding to the provinces and territories in support of diversion programming and to help reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples, Black Canadians, and other racialized groups in the youth justice system.
Ensuring food security in the North
- $163.4 million over 3 years, starting in 2021-22, to expand the Nutrition North Canada Program and enable the Minister of Northern Affairs to work directly with Indigenous partners, including in Inuit Nunangat, to address food insecurity.
Helping employers train and recruit workers
- $960 million over 3 years, beginning in 2021-22, to Employment and Social Development Canada for a new sectoral workforce solutions program. Working primarily with sector associations and employers, funding would help design and deliver training that is relevant to the needs of businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, and their employees. This funding would also help businesses recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy
- $109.3 million in 2022-23 for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to better meet the needs of vulnerable youth facing multiple barriers to employment, while also supporting over 7,000 additional job placements for youth.
Supporting women entrepreneurs
- $146.9 million over 4 years, starting in 2021-22, to strengthen the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. Women entrepreneurs would have greater access to financing, mentorship, and training.
Helping charities, non-profits, and social purpose organizations grow
- $50 million over 2 years, starting in 2021-22 to renew the Investment Readiness Program. This program supports charities, non-profits and social purpose organizations in capacity-building activities such as:
- business plan development
- expanding products and services
- skills development
Ending child exploitation
- $20.7 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, for the RCMP to enhance its ability to:
- pursue online child sexual exploitation investigations
- identify victims and remove them from abusive situations
- bring offenders to justice, including those who offend abroad
Supporting work to address systemic racism in public safety institutions
- $75 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, and $13.5 million ongoing, for the RCMP to take action, with steps to combat systemic racism through:
- reforming recruitment and training processes
- the collection, analysis, and reporting of race-based data
- more rapidly evaluating the impact of policing activities on certain communities
- improving community engagement and consultation with Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities.
- Funding will be provided for programs, practices and systems for setting the foundation to address racism and deliver modern policing services able to meet evolving needs and expectations.
Re-establishing the Law Commission of Canada
- $18 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22 and $4 million ongoing, to Justice Canada to revive the Law Commission of Canada to provide independent expertise to help Canada's legal system be more responsive to the complex challenges of the day, such as systemic racism in the justice system and establishing a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples.
Accelerating Broadband for Everyone
- An additional $1 billion over 6 years, starting in 2021-22, to the Universal Broadband Fund to support a more rapid rollout of broadband projects in collaboration with provinces and territories and other partners. This would mean thousands more Canadians and small businesses will have faster, more reliable internet connections.
Better data for better outcomes
- $6.7 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, and $1.4 million ongoing, to Justice Canada and Statistics Canada to improve the collection and use of disaggregated data. This is part of ongoing efforts to address the over-representation of Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities in the justice system.
- $172 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, with $36.3 million ongoing, to Statistics Canada to implement a Disaggregated Data Action Plan that will fill data and knowledge gaps. This funding will:
- support more representative data collection
- enhance statistics on diverse populations
- support the government's, and society's, efforts to address systemic racism, gender gaps (including the power gaps between men and women) and bring fairness and inclusion considerations into decision-making
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