Budget 2019: Advancing Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

Budget 2019: Advancing Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Since its first budget in 2016, the Government of Canada has taken significant action to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples has improved the way Indigenous people access services in their own communities.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, was in Vancouver to highlight the Government’s proposed Indigenous-related investments in Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class. These important investments represent the next step in the ongoing path toward reconciliation and a better future for Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians.

Speaking at an event at the Musqueam Cultural Pavilion, Minister Carolyn Bennett, discussed how the Government is building on its historic investments in areas of critical need for Indigenous communities, including education, mental wellness and housing.

Through Budget 2019, the Government proposes to:

  • Forgive all outstanding comprehensive claim negotiation loans and reimburse Indigenous governments that have already repaid these loans, to address rights and self-determination in communities.
  • Ensure that First Nations children continue to have access to the services that they need through Jordan’s Principle.
  • Improve access to clean drinking water, supporting ongoing efforts to eliminate and prevent long-term drinking water advisories.
  • Support the revitalization of Indigenous languages by implementing the proposed Indigenous Languages Act, supporting Indigenous-led language projects and creating the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages.
  • Help First Nations communities prepare for emergencies and adapt to the threats of climate change by supporting increased resiliency and emergency management services on-reserve, as well as investing in on-reserve infrastructure.
  • Ensure that First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples are able to fully contribute to and share in Canada’s economic success by supporting more Indigenous entrepreneurs and revitalizing Indigenous-led businesses, and institutions.
  • Enable First Nations, Inuit and Métis students to have better access to post-secondary education, and provide more support to ensure that they can succeed during their studies.

With these investments, the Government is taking concrete action to advance reconciliation and make a better future for Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians.


“Communities have done tremendous work in reconstructing their nations and asserting their inherent right to self-determination and self-government, but they have had to do so by shouldering millions of dollars in debt. Last year we ended the practice of communities needing to take out loans to assert their rights, and this year we are forgiving and repaying the loans for these groups that have concluded their treaties. This is about fairness for those who spent years and millions of dollars to negotiate agreements and Budget 2019 follows through on our commitment to change the way we support self-determination and treaty discussions.”

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

Quick facts

  • With Budget 2019, the total federal government investments in Indigenous programs are more than $17 billion in 2021–22, an increase of 50 per cent compared to the year the Government was elected.
  • Forgiving and reimbursing loans will allow more than 200 Indigenous communities to reinvest in their priorities like governance, infrastructure and economic development that will increase health and well-being for all community members.
  • Since 2015, the Government has invested nearly $2 billion to build, repair and upgrade public water systems in First Nations communities, resulting in more than 80 long-term drinking water advisories being lifted, with the final goal of having all advisories lifted by 2021.
  • To help First Nations children access important health and social services, Budget 2019 proposes to provide $1.2 billion over three years, beginning in 2019–20.
  • To address the immediate needs of Inuit children who face a number of challenges accessing health and social services, Budget 2019 proposes to invest $220 million over five years, beginning in 2019–20.

Related products


For more information, media may contact:

Matthew Dillon-Leitch
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Stay connected

Join the conversation about Indigenous peoples in Canada:

Twitter: GovCan — Indigenous
Facebook: GovCan — Indigenous Peoples
Instagram: @gcIndigenous

You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.cirnac.gc.ca/RSS

Share this post