Over 8 billion for Indigenous people but vast majority earmarked for First Nations as in 2.6 billion for First Nations education. No funds allocated for Métis specific education. No funds for social infrastructure, housing or health for Métis.
The government claims here that this budget surpasses the Kelowna Accord but the ‘Accord’ promised over a billion for Métis over 10 years ago! In contrast, we see a paltry 25 million over 5 years for Métis economic development but any other Métis-specific funds are unclear or buried in other funding pots as the “proposed 96 million to advance Aboriginal representative organizations and 10 million ongoing.”
In addition, Métis community leaders were not consulted and full partners in this fiscal plan that concerns them….
What does the budget potentially discuss in relation to Métis going forward?
The government plans to renew and expand the Aboriginal Skills and Employment training strategy with 15 million over 2 years in a pilot project to align with community needs. The BCMF will follow up as the government plans to “consult with stakeholders including Aboriginal organizations.”
They also seek to renew the 51 million per year urban Aboriginal strategy. They aim to “strengthen the program” so BCMF will also follow up on behalf of members and member communities.
Government plans to invest 5 million per year in a language program and wish to work with groups to “consider how to best support” and as such the BCMF will also address.
In conclusion, most funding efforts appear to be driven by piecemeal efforts for a “better quality of life” for individuals and to “contribute to and participate in Canada’s prosperity” but there is NO clear effort to support Métis people in ways that are accountable to the well being and sustainability and autonomy of historic and contemporary communities with land rights and nation-to-nation partnerships.
There can be no ‘partnership’ without reciprocity (mutual recognition) and as such BCMF is committed to fully representing our members and communities going forward.