Government of Canada invests $10 million in critical infrastructure and housing for First Nations communities in the Northwest Territories 

News release

August 12, 2021 — Yellowknife, Northwest Territories — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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

Today, Yvonne Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Northern Affairs, along with Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, on behalf of Minister of Northern Affairs, Daniel Vandal, announced $10 million for First Nations communities in the Northwest Territories to respond to their urgent critical infrastructure and housing needs.

This historic investment builds on Budget 2021’s proposed investments towards immediate housing and infrastructure priorities in the Northwest Territories, including $25 million to the Government of the Northwest Territories to support the construction of 30 new public housing units across the territory. It further responds to urgent needs identified by partners that have not historically received distinctions-based infrastructure funding in Northwest Territories.

The Government of Canada understands the need to close social and economic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and that access to adequate infrastructure is vital to a community’s social and economic health and well-being.

Through Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, Canada is working with Indigenous, territorial and provincial partners to identify immediate and long-term priorities for the North. The need to address northern infrastructure and housing was identified as a top priority in order to support resilient and healthy northern and Indigenous people.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is working together with Indigenous partner to build and improve infrastructure in their communities, based on their priorities and needs. Infrastructure including water treatment facilities, community infrastructure, quality health and cultural facilities and schools, housing, and reliable Internet access, will build healthy, sustainable, and thriving communities.”

Yvonne Jones, M.P.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Northern Affairs and Member of Parliament for Labrador

“The socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada remains significant. In partnership with Indigenous and Territorial partners and other stakeholders we are making progress, but we know there is much more to do. Aging, inadequate, and a lack of critical infrastructure in northern communities, especially in remote and Indigenous communities, has impacted social, health, and economic outcomes and opportunities. With this historic new investment through Northern Affairs Canada, our government is directly supporting the immediate infrastructure and housing needs of Canada’s northern Indigenous communities.”

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

“Budget 2021 reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to close the significant infrastructure and housing gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in the North. This investment will make significant strides in addressing northern Indigenous communities’ critical and immediate infrastructure needs and help to improve the quality of life of all Northerners.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

“The Government of Canada is accelerating work to close infrastructure gaps in Canada’s North and provide the support necessary for northern Indigenous communities to thrive. By working with our partners through the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund, our Government is supporting healthy, safe, and prosperous Indigenous communities; and advancing meaningful reconciliation.”

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

"Today's investment in support of the infrastructure and housing needs of First Nations is an important step towards a better future for Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories."

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • 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 Nation.

  • This includes $4.3 billion for the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund, including $18 million over four years in First Nations communities on non-reserve lands and Métis communities in the Northwest Territories to respond to their urgent critical infrastructure and housing needs. Funding allocations will be determined by Indigenous partners for their communities.

  • Through Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, Canada is working with Indigenous, territorial and provincial partners to identify immediate and long-term priorities for the North. The Framework guides the Government of Canada’s priorities, activities and investments in the Arctic to 2030 and beyond and better aligns Canada’s national and international policy objectives with the priorities of Northerners.

  • The Government of Canada launched Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework on September 10, 2019. For the first time, the federal government worked collaboratively with Indigenous representatives and six territorial and provincial governments to define and co-develop this long-term vision. The Framework reflects the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people and is grounded in inclusive engagement across the Arctic and the North. 

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Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Ryan Cotter
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs
819-953-1153

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

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