Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister on a fairer future for every generation of Indigenous Peoples


Toronto, Ontario — April 23, 2024

Good afternoon.

I would like to start by acknowledging that we are gathered on the traditional territories of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat Peoples.

Today’s event is about ensuring Indigenous Peoples— wherever they live—are able to share in Canada’s prosperity. This event is about building the supportive infrastructure and housing needed for Indigenous families and communities to live longer, healthier lives.  

Today is about fairness. We are acting today to ensure fairness for every generation.

We are moving with purpose to help build more homes, faster. We are making life cost less.

And we are driving the kind of economic growth that will ensure every generation of Canadians can reach their full potential, including creating the tools to ensure that every generation of Indigenous Peoples can succeed well into the future.

Economic reconciliation is absolutely a part of this.

In 2015, our government made a commitment to chart a new path of reconciliation based on the recognition of rights, respect, and partnership. We have been delivering on that commitment—in fact, since 2015, our government has invested approximately $200 billion in support for Indigenous Peoples.

But in order to deliver fully on this commitment, it is crucial that Indigenous communities can share in the benefits of major projects carried out in their territories—and on their own terms. Unfortunately, Indigenous groups often lack the capital to make major investments. That’s a legacy of the discriminatory laws and the colonialism that have stained our country's history.

That’s why, in the budget I tabled last week, we delivered on our commitment to create an Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program. This Program will help facilitate Indigenous equity ownership in major projects in the natural resource and energy sectors and ensure Indigenous Peoples can fully participate in the Canadian economy.

The Program will provide up to $5 billion in loan guarantees to Indigenous communities and will support natural resource and energy projects across the country by unlocking access to affordable capital for Indigenous governments and communities seeking ownership stakes, supporting their economic development priorities and creating new economic opportunities.

Through the program, successful applicants will be able to access loans from financial institutions at lower interest rates.

The budget also provides $16.5 million over two years to Natural Resources Canada, including $3.5 million over two years to support capacity funding for Indigenous communities. This investment will help Indigenous communities apply for the Program and to support its delivery.

The Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program is a very important step for Indigenous self-determination and in Canada’s path of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. And, as Finance Minister, I also know this is an important step for Canada’s economic growth and prosperity.

A fair future for Indigenous Peoples also requires better housing, education, and health care. That is why, in addition to the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program, our government is investing more than $9 billion in Indigenous communities through our 2024 budget.

This includes a $918 million investment to build more safe and affordable homes, faster, address overcrowding, and help more Indigenous communities to grow and prosper.

We are also investing in the next generation of Indigenous post-secondary students with a $242.7 million investment through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program.

We are providing nearly $1.2 billion in new funding for First Nations’ kindergarten to grade 12 education programming and infrastructure to create healthy learning environments for First Nations students.

And we are investing in mental health, including $630.2 million to support Indigenous people’s access to mental health services, including through distinctions-based mental wellness strategies.

We are building on forward-looking investments our government has made. And we are continuing to do even more because we know that this is an essential part of Canada’s economic future.

Today we’re saying to our younger generations and to those who care about them: we’re putting the power of government to work for you.

Together, we will unlock the door to the middle class for more Canadians—and renew the promise of our great country.

Thank you very much.  

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