Government of Canada announces funding to support infrastructure action plans for Métis governments 

News release

August 13, 2021 — Ottawa, Traditional Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada is making historic investments in Indigenous infrastructure to address critical infrastructure gaps and improve economic, social and health outcomes in their communities.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, announced $200 million over four years to support Métis Nation governments’ infrastructure priorities. This marks an important first federal investment in infrastructure for Métis communities, a reflection of the Government’s commitment to distinctions-based investments reflecting the unique character of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The recipients are the five Métis Governing Members comprising the Métis National Council: Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Metis Federation, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, and Métis Nation British Columbia.

Additionally, the Government of Canada announced $40 million over four years to support the urgent infrastructure priorities in the Métis settlements of Alberta. The 8 Métis Settlement communities are represented by the Métis Settlements General Council (MSGC). The Metis Settlements are unique and historic in Canada as the only Métis governed area with a provincially legislated land base, by the Government of Alberta.

This will support the Métis settlements’ vision of long-term sustainability by addressing their most urgent short-term needs, and will allow these Settlements to implement plans describing the administration and delivery of infrastructure programming.  We will be engaging with our Alberta and the Metis Settlement partners in the near future in order to develop plans and deliver on these important investments.

The Government of Canada recognizes that access to adequate infrastructure, which includes clean drinking water, sufficient transportation infrastructure, well-built homes, quality health and cultural facilities, schools, and reliable Internet access, is vital to a community’s physical, mental and economic health and well-being.

Budget 2021 infrastructure funding targets shovel-ready projects over a short, four-year timeframe, ensuring that support is delivered as expeditiously as possible and with maximum flexibility to partners in order for them to address their citizens’ needs.  This Métis-led initiative will build on the ongoing implementation of Budget 2018 funding for the Métis Nation Housing Strategy, which included an investment of $500 million over 10 years from 2018-2028.

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for infrastructure developments in northern and remote communities. Supporting immediate infrastructure needs, as prioritized by Indigenous partners, will create jobs and build healthier, safer and more prosperous Indigenous communities.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada acknowledges that adequate infrastructure is necessary for the overall health of communities. The funding provided to Métis governments will address immediate infrastructure needs as identified by the communities. These projects will create safer and healthier Métis communities.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Today I am pleased to join Indigenous partners in announcing the Indigenous Community Infrastructure funding to support infrastructure priorities in Métis communities and organizations. This is a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together and recognize and respect Indigenous people’s right to self-determination.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

“We were very encouraged to see a promise of funding to address critical infrastructure gaps in Budget 2021, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is extremely pleased to hear that the Government of Canada has now made a four year, multi- million dollar commitment to advance the needs and interests of our Métis families and communities.

The Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund will help to give the MNO, its Regions and Community Councils an opportunity to build a solid base from which to continue the vital work needed to improve economic, social and health outcomes in our communities across Ontario. We look forward to working with the federal government on this commitment to strong Métis communities and stronger Métis governments to support our citizens along the path of self-governance and self-determination.”

President Margaret Froh
Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) 

“The Métis Nation of Alberta is looking forward to realizing what this new infrastructure investment will mean to our citizens and government.  Investments in Métis Nation infrastructure have been sparse in the past. We are also pleased to see that the Métis Settlements in Alberta (which are the only recognized Métis land base in Canada) are receiving support for infrastructure. This distinction-based support is another example of reconciliation in action.”

President Audrey Poitras
Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) 

“The Metis were once known as the road allowance people. Dispossessed of our lands and rights, our people worked tirelessly to provide for their families, while advocating for our rights as Metis. Today, our Metis government is continuing that work, in advancing our right to self-government and self-determination across areas such as health, child care, and education. Infrastructure is the foundation on which we will support the health, well-being and economic development of our communities and citizens, and ensure the success of future generations.”

President Glen McCallum
Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S)

“Infrastructure funding from the Government of Canada provides our Nation the opportunity to build housing, child care spaces and places for our Métis people to gather and celebrate our arts and culture. This in turn provides access to culturally appropriate resources, programs and services, including employment and training initiatives,” says Lissa Dawn Smith, MNBC Acting President. “We look forward to continued collaboration and partnerships to provide sustainable funding that helps build our Nation to new heights.”

Lissa Dawn Smith,
Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) Acting President

“This is a substantial and critical investment for the Red River Métis. With this funding we will be better equipped to provide our Citizens with quality culturally appropriate venues to come together and celebrate our history as well as places to receive physical and mental health supports, depending on the identified needs of our Citizens. COVID-19 has had a drastic effect on the socioeconomic conditions our Citizens face and this will go a long way toward supporting our Citizens as we exit COVID. We know that our Métis communities are behind others when it comes to access to sufficient infrastructure, and we look forward to using this support to work toward closing that gap.”

President David Chartrand LL.D (hon.), O.M.
Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) 

“We look forward to a new beginning with our federal partner and we are grateful for the opportunity to begin bringing our communities into parity with our neighbors. These funds create hope for our constituents. They offer a brighter future for the youth in our communities so that they too have an opportunity to contribute to a sustainable community, province, and country. The repairing of water and wastewater systems, cisterns and septic systems, roads, community buildings, landfills and housing, allows us to develop a strong foundation for the future that encourages our members and continues on the path of self-determination. Thank you to Minister Bennett and her government.”

President Herb Lehr
Metis Settlements General Council (MSGC) 

Quick facts

  • From Budget 2018, more than $140 million has been delivered to support the Métis Nation Housing Strategy in reducing the core housing need experienced by Métis people. From 2018 to March 31, 2021, the Métis Nation Housing Strategy resulted in:

    • 1,158 homes built or purchased;
    • 2,096 homes renovated; and,
    • 7,584 annual household rent subsidies.
  • As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada proposed historic, new investments of over $18 billion over the next five years to address critical infrastructure gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and improve economic, social and health outcomes to advance meaningful reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis governments.

  • Funding for Métis governments includes $200 million for the:

    • Métis Nation of Ontario;
    • Manitoba Metis Federation;
    • Métis Nation Saskatchewan;
    • Métis Nation of Alberta;
    • Métis Nation British Columbia
  • Funding for Métis governments includes $40 M to the Métis Settlements in Alberta. 

  • There are 8 Métis settlements in Alberta and their governing body is the Métis Settlements General Council (MSGC).

  • The Métis Settlements General Council (MSGC) is a political and administrative body representing the interests of the Métis Settlements of Alberta, which were formed through the Métis Population Betterment Act in 1938 and continued through the Alberta-Métis Settlements Accord legislation, including the Métis Settlements Act. 

  • The eight Métis Settlements are comprised of Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement, East Prairie Métis Settlement, Elizabeth Métis Settlement, Fishing Lake Métis Settlement, Gift Lake Métis Settlement, Kikino Métis Settlement, Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement, and Peavine Métis Settlement. 

  • The Métis Settlements and MSGC bear responsibilities to provide a unique and diverse suite of governmental services to Métis Settlement members including land allocation, infrastructure, housing, business and economic development, health care, education and culture.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Ani Dergalstanian
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca

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