Budget at a Glance  In this issue of CRE Explains, we break down some of the […]


Budget at a Glance 

  • In this issue of CRE Explains, we break down some of the Budget 2022 investments that will impact Indigenous youth and their communities the most. 
  • On April 7, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered the federal budget for 2022, the first created under the new Liberal-NDP confidence and supply agreement.  
  • The agreement allows the minority Liberal government to stay in power until 2025 by including some NDP priorities in their budget and legislative agenda in exchange for support from the NDP. This budget includes items which are part of this agreement, such as subsidized dental care. 
  • Conversations surrounding potential contents of this budget questioned what it would include for: support for Ukraine amidst the ongoing war with Russia, responding to the climate crisis, affordable housing and the rising cost of living, subsidized dental care, and support for Indigenous communities in continuing to uncover graves at former residential school sites.  

All citations refer to the Budget 2022 PDF, which you can access here.

View the full pdf here!

 The financial support for the NCTR’s new home will allow us to fulfill our vision of constructing a new building to house the existing sacred items, five million historical records, and seven thousand survivor statements gathered during the TRC – along with many other sacred items and documents that will be gathered in the years to come

[News release]

Stephanie Scott, Executive Director, NCTR 

Inuit welcome Budget 2022’s investment of $845 million over seven years for housing across Inuit Nunangat. It is three times the Budget 2018 allocation of $400 million over 10 years and ushers in a new era in housing investment for Inuit.

[News release]   

Inuit Tapiirit Kanatami

Funding set aside for Indigenous communities 

  • $75 million to implement UNDRIP 
  • $3.9 billion for housing in Indigenous communities 
  • $228 million for distinctions-based mental health and wellness 
  • $280 million for implementing Indigenous child welfare legislation 
  • $275 for addressing the legacy of residential schools 
  • $20 million for a new Indigenous tourism fund 
  • $39 million for purchasing new firefighting equipment  
  • $131 for partnering with Indigenous peoples in natural resources projects  

Indigenous Communities & Reconciliation 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list – check out the full Budget for more detail! 

Reconciliation & Self-Determination 

  • The Budget includes funds for the government to support communities as they locate, document and memorialize burial sites at former residential schools: 
  • $209.8 million over five years to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to 1) fund communities as they locate burial sites at former residential schools; 2) support the building and operations of a new National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; and 3) to ensure the complete disclosure of federal documents related to residential schools (p. 170). 
  • $10.4 million over two years to Justice Canada to appoint a Special Interlocutor who will work with Indigenous peoples to strengthen federal laws and practices to protect and preserve unmarked burial sites. (p. 170). 
  • $5.1 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Public Safety Canada to ensure the Royal Canadian Mounted Police can support community-led responses to unmarked burial sites (p. 170). 
  • $65.8 million over five years to Justice Canada and Natural Resources Canada to meet new standards set by UNDRIP, and $9.5 million over five years to the Department of National Defense to better align with UNDRIP (p. 175). 

Child Care 

  • $4 billion over six years, starting in 2021-22, to ensure First Nations children continue to receive the support they need through Jordan’s Principle. This funding will also support long-term reforms to improve the implementation of Jordan’s Principle (p. 168). 
  • An additional $11 billion over six years to continue to support Indigenous children and families, and to help Indigenous communities continue to grow and shape their futures (p. 166). 
  • Budget 2022 also proposes to provide $87.3 million over three years, starting in 2022-23, to enable Indigenous communities to continue to work with the federal government, provinces and territories to support the implementation of Indigenous child welfare laws (p. 169). 


  • $6 billion over five years to support community infrastructure projects in Indigenous communities (p. 167). 
  • $1.04 billion from the $4.3 billion Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund to support water and wastewater systems on reserve (p. 167). 
  • At least $247 million to Indigenous Services Canada to support community water and wastewater infrastructure (p. 173). 
  • $173.2 million over ten years, starting in 2022-23, to support the transfer of water and wastewater services in 17 communities to the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority (a community-led entity) (p. 173). 

Health Care

  • $1.4 billion over five years to maintain and transform essential health care services for First Nations and Inuit (includes funding to support reliable access to clean water) (p. 167). 
  • $268 million for health care in remote and isolated First Nations communities on-reserve (p. 171). 
  • $190.5 million (on top of existing funds) to Indigenous Services Canada for the Indigenous Community Support Fund to help Indigenous communities and organizations continue to respond to COVID-19 (p. 171). 
  • $227.6 million over two years to maintain trauma-informed, culturally-appropriate, Indigenous-led services to improve mental wellness, and to support efforts started in Budget 2021 (p. 172). 

Criminal Justice

  • $60 million in 2023-24 for increasing the federal contribution to criminal legal aid services (p. 193). 
  • $2.2 billion over five years to respond to the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (p. 167). 


  • $4 billion over seven years to “improve and expand” housing for Indigenous peoples (p. 174).  
  • $2.4 billion over five years for housing on reserves 
  • $565 million over five years for housing in First Nations Self Governing and Modern Treaty Holders communities  
  • $845 million over seven years for housing in Inuit communities 
  • $190 million over seven years for housing in Métis communities 

Indigenous Climate Leadership 


  • $1.2 billion over five years to invest in the future of First Nations children by strengthening elementary and secondary education (p. 167). 
  • $2.5 billion over five years to build on the distinctions-based approach to Indigenous early learning and child care (p. 167). 


  • $25 million over two years for Women and Gender Equality Canada to establish the Menstrual Equity Fund, to make menstrual products available to those in need (p. 158).  
  • $140 million over two years, to Health Canada for the Wellness Together Canada portal, which provides free mental health and wellbeing services (p. 156). You can access the Wellness Together portal here.  
  • A new subsidized dental care plan will be phased in over the next three years, costing $5.3 billion over five years (p. 152).  
  • Starting in 2022, children under 12 will be eligible for this program, with folks under 18, seniors, and those living with disabilities to be eligible in 2023. 
  • Those making less than $90,000 will be eligible for coverage by 2025. 
  • $2 billion to be transferred to provinces and territories to address the backlog of surgeries which were delayed or canceled due to COVID-19 (p. 152). 
  • $20 million set aside over five years for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to research the long-term effects of COVID-19, and its impacts on the health care system (p. 153). 

Affordable Housing and Cost of Living 

  • A one-time payment of $500 to folks facing housing affordability difficulties, totaling $475 million this year. The government currently has no plan on how this will be delivered (p. 40).  
  • Starting in 2024, $562.2 million over two years to increase funding for Reaching Home: Homelessness Strategy, which will provide support for organizations working to prevent and curb houselessness (p. 43).  
  • $18.1 million over three years for research through Infrastructure Canada on potential measures to eliminate chronic housing insecurity.  
  • A $4 billion investment starting this year into the Housing Accelerator Fund, to provide incentives for construction and speed up development time. The goal is to have 100,000 new housing units created though this fund, and double the rate of housing construction (p. 37).  
  • Also, Budget 2022 has $1.5 billion over two years, starting this year, allotted to the Rapid Housing Initiative to create at least 6,000 new affordable housing units. At least 25% of this funding will go towards women-focused housing projects (p. 38).  
  • Waiving interest on Canada Student Loans until March 2023 and enhancing repayment assistance so that no person making $40,000 or less will need to make payments on their federal student loans (p. 11). 

Fighting Systemic Discrimination 

  • $85 million over four years to the Department of Canadian Heritage to launch a new Anti-Racism Strategy and National Action Plan on Combatting Hate. This funding supports projects that ensure that Black and racialized Canadians, and religious minorities have access to resources that support their participation in the Canadian economy, while raising awareness of issues related to racism and hate in Canada (p. 184). 
  • $50 million over two years to Employment and Social Development Canada for the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative, to continue empowering Black-led and Black-serving community organizations (p. 185). 

CRE’s Impressions

  • CRE is happy to see the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) being re-invigorated with funding to support the important and ongoing work of following up on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, as well as the construction of a physical space to house the important sacred items entrusted to the Centre over the years. 
  • We are also glad to see efforts to invest in Indigenous self-determination, including transferring control of water services and infrastructure to communities, and allocating funds to simplifying the process through which First Nations can opt out of the Indian Act. 
  • At the same time, we are disappointed at the lack of substantive investments in Indigenous youth needs and realities, especially around access to quality, culturally-safe, affordable education and mental health services. 
  • Given the agency’s history and role in the Residential School System, CRE is also concerned to see funding directly allocated to RCMP to “support community-led responses to unmarked burial sites” (p. 170), especially while communities will have to access a funding pot that is shared with both the funding of the NCTR, and the funding of CIRNAC’s own efforts to release all government documents related to residential schools. 
  • The needs of Indigenous youth—as defined by the youth themselves—must be embedded more in all funding and policy measures impacting Indigenous communities. CRE will continue to advocate for that space whenever and wherever possible, and to capacitate Indigenous youth to lead those conversations. 
  • Stay tuned to CRE’s social media for follow-ups related to Budget 2022 as we keep an eye on how all these commitments will play out! 

Budget 2022 commits a total of $11 billion over 6 years for Indigenous priorities. [This] is a substantial reduction from the rate of investment this government had made over its first 6 years in office and falls short in addressing the urgent and long-term needs identified by First Nations. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is pleased to see the investment in child and family services, specifically the $4 billion to support the full application of Jordan’s Principle. [source] 

Assembly of First Nations

Pauktuutit is pleased to see the federal budget [invests] in the co-development of health strategies with Inuit that are culturally appropriate. We are also encouraged to see new funding for a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. Budget 2022-23 must be backed by timely action to improve the safety and well-being of Inuit women.


Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

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