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    May 2, 2006

    The Union of BC Indian Chiefs response to Prime Minister Harper's
    Federal Budget anouncement

    The Union of BC Indian Chiefs responded to today’s Budget Speech of the
    Government of Canada, stating that the fear of many First Nations
    leaders, that the Harper government would not honour the commitments
    made by the Government of Canada at the First Ministers Meeting in
    Kelowna, has now been realized.

    “Our fear, suspicion and mistrust of Prime Minister Harper's
    Conservative government to support the historic Kelowna Accord were well
    placed. I had hoped, however, that the Harper government would have the
    integrity and political will to fully implement the historic Kelowna
    Accord representing a $5.1 billion dollar investment in Aboriginal
    communities.” stated Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC
    Indian Chiefs. “Today, Aboriginal People across Canada learned that
    Prime Minister Harper has a wooden heart to match his wooden smile.”

    “In addition, First Nations leaders in British Columbia now understand
    Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice speaks with a forked tongue. On
    March 9, 2006 Minister Prentice publicly committed to assembled Chiefs
    that he would work hard to put 'wheels on Kelowna’. Rather, the Harper
    government has chosen to junk the whole Accord and relegate it to the
    proverbial scrap heap” said Chief Phillip.

    Chief Phillip concluded “Like many First Nations leaders, we waited for
    the Budget Speech to get a true sense of this government’s commitment to
    collaborative approaches with First Nations. It is now beyond question;
    Prime Minister Harper has set an adversarial, if not outright hostile
    tone regarding Federal - First Nations relationships in Canada.”
    – 30 –

    Chief Stewart Phillip
    (250) 490-5314 or (250) 493-0048

    *If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this message, please retain this
    UBCIC's Protecting Knowledge Conference site:

    Yahoo! Groups Links
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  • #2
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    Tories Gut Liberal-Brokered $5.1 Billion In Native Funding

    May 3, 2006. 01:00 AM


    OTTAWA—The Kelowna deal is dead.
    Last year's Liberal-brokered, $5.1-billion plan to lift bleak native health,
    education and housing standards over 10 years would have allocated more than
    $600 million this year for those needs.
    Instead, the Conservatives are promising just $150 million this year and
    $300 million next year for vaguely defined efforts to improve education
    programs, provide clean water, repair crumbling housing stocks and close "the
    socio-economic gap."
    Almost as much cash — $400 million over two years — was devoted to fight
    the pine beetle scourge.
    The new government insists it "is committed to meeting the targets agreed
    upon" at the Kelowna, B.C., meeting of native leaders and politicians last
    November, says the budget.
    Conservatives point out that the Liberal government made little headway to
    ease that suffering.
    Ottawa spent $9.1 billion last year for education, social services, health
    and other programs for native people, many of whom are owed that support under
    historic, mutually agreed upon treaties.
    Opposition critics and most native leaders have urged the Conservatives to
    honour the Kelowna deal.
    Crafted after 18 months of talks, it included a 19-page plan of targets and
    reporting requirements. It would have provided $624 million for First Nations
    in the first year alone, plus millions of dollars more for the Inuit and
    There have long been hints that the Tories would scrap it.
    As the budget sunk in, reaction from native leaders and political critics
    was swift and sometimes harsh. "Shame!" yelled Liberal MPs in the Commons as
    Finance Minister Jim Flaherty outlined the brief aboriginal portion of the new
    Some native leaders were openly furious. "Our fear, suspicion and mistrust
    of (the) Conservative government to support the historic Kelowna Accord were
    well placed," said Chief Stewart Phillip, head of the Union of B.C. Indian
    Chiefs. "Today, aboriginal people across Canada learned that Prime Minister
    (Stephen) Harper has a wooden heart to match his wooden smile."
    Liberal native affairs critic Anita Neville called the Conservative budget
    "a real abandonment.
    "I find it shocking, actually. To my mind, this is a reversion to the old
    Reform Party politics — it's utter disrespect for aboriginal people
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    • #3
      Attention News Editors:
      Assembly of First Nations Statement on the 2006 Federal Budget - First
      Nations Sacrificed to Build a Better Canada
      OTTAWA, May 2 /CNW Telbec/ - "First Nations will remain in last place as

      a result of today's so-called "Building a Better Canada" federal budget. This

      disappointing budget does not begin to address the gap in quality of life

      between First Nations and other Canadians and could increase the gap through


      The Canadian public may see a $3.2 billion figure dedicated for

      Aboriginals in the 2006 budget, but $2.2 billion was already set aside last

      November as compensation for residential schools survivors. We welcome the

      money for survivors, but it was a measure to provide redress and acknowledge

      liability, not a new measure to build a better Canada for First Nations.

      The money allocated to address the critical socio-economic and

      infrastructure gaps faced by First Nations is more realistically described as

      a portion of the two-year, $450 million funding commitment that has been

      earmarked for "Aboriginal Canadians". That money is a drop in the bucket when

      compared to the $17 billion surplus, and is only a third of the money that had

      been allocated to improving quality of life for First Nations and other

      Aboriginal Canadians under the corresponding first two years of the Kelowna


      The government committed in this budget to measures that will correct

      fiscal imbalances at the provincial and territorial level. Nowhere is fiscal

      imbalance more apparent than in the critical under-funding of First Nations

      health, education, housing and infrastructure, yet today's budget perpetuates

      the imbalance for our communities.

      There is a critical need to address First Nations health, social and

      childhood development issues, yet First Nations are excluded from the

      government's new comprehensive plan on wait time guarantees. This budget

      committed to a 6% escalator in health for provinces and territories, but

      despite previous announcements, there was no corresponding escalator for First

      Nations health. There is no First Nations-specific component in the

      government's child care plan and, while over $300 million was committed to

      addressing diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in developing countries,

      there was no funding to address rising tuberculosis and HIV infection rates

      for First Nations.

      This government stated today that they will consult with provinces,

      territories and Aboriginal leaders to "develop a new approach". The approaches

      developed in Kelowna were developed with and supported by Aboriginal leaders,

      provinces and territories. These were not commitments from a particular party,

      but by the federal and all provincial and territorial governments. The

      Minister of Indian Affairs, Jim Prentice, has stated publicly that he was

      committed to "putting the wheels on Kelowna". Why is it now necessary to

      reinvent the wheel?

      This government has consistently stated that they are willing to discuss

      Kelowna targets. We are more than willing to meet to discuss implementing

      measures that will improve quality of life for First Nations, but this budget

      does not appear to offer much."


      Phil Fontaine

      National Chief

      Assembly of First Nations


      The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing

      First Nations citizens in Canada.

      For further information: Don Kelly, AFN Communications, Director, (613)

      241-6789 ext. 320, cell: (613) 292-2787; Ian McLeod, AFN Bilingual

      Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789 ext. 336, cell: (613) 859-4335
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      • #4
        Attention News Editors:
        NAN Grand Chief disappointed with fraction of FMM commitments in budget
        THUNDER BAY, ON, May 2 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief

        Stan Beardy is disappointed only a fraction of the priorities addressed by the

        former Liberal government at the First Ministers Meeting on Aboriginal Issues

        was part of the 2006 federal budget announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

        in the House of Commons this afternoon.

        "It's good to see the Harper Government recognize the need for resources

        to upgrade water, housing, and social services both on and off-reserve,

        especially considering the ongoing challenges of many of the communities

        across Nishnawbe Aski territory, including the second evacuation of

        Kashechewan in less than one year," said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy who

        represents 49 First Nation communities across Ontario.

        "It remains disappointing, however, that other priorities identified at

        the November 2005 First Ministers Meeting, such as health and economic

        opportunities continue to be neglected."

        As announced in Budget 2006, the Conservatives are committing

        $450 million to improve water supply and housing on reserve, education

        outcomes, and socio-economic conditions for Aboriginal women, children and

        families, $300 million to provinces to address immediate pressures in

        off-reserve Aboriginal housing, and funds to meet governmental obligations

        associated with the legacy of residential schools - a fraction of what was

        announced by the former federal government last November.

        The First Ministers Meeting on Aboriginal Issues, which took place in

        Kelowna, B.C. November 2005, had former Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal

        government announcing contributions of more than $5 billion over the next five

        years to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians in the

        areas of education, health, housing, and economic opportunities.

        "If significant steps and strategies for implementation are not taken

        today to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, there

        will be continued hardship in taking responsibility for ourselves in terms of

        decreasing the burden currently posed on all of Canada," said Beardy. "In

        order to take responsibility for ourselves we need economic development and

        business opportunities, particularly in terms of skill development and

        partnerships with industry."

        For further information: Jenna Young, Director of Communications,

        Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4952 OR (807) 628-3953 (mobile)
        Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


        • #5
          Attention News Editors:
          Budget a 'patchwork foundation' to Harper's aboriginal agenda
          NIPISSING FIRST NATION, ON, May 2 /CNW/ - First Nations had been

          expecting some key financial deliverables arising from the November First

          Ministers' Meeting including financial commitments to address the elimination

          of poverty, aboriginal health care, drinking water quality and substandard

          infrastructure, and housing.

          "This budget is a far cry from what was committed by the First

          Ministers," said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. "Once again, we've been left

          out in the cold. Like the proverbial poor person looking in through a frosted

          window watching somebody having a real nice dinner in a fancy restaurant."

          "Addressing poverty and improving the living conditions of First Nations

          people is arguably the most pressing social issue in Canada today," said

          Beaucage. "Unfortunately, the government is laying only a patchwork foundation

          to Stephen Harper's aboriginal agenda."

          "This budget will mean First Nations will continue to be marginalized and

          subject to third world poverty," he said.

          Beaucage expressed disappointment in the $450 million "new approach" plan

          to improve education outcomes, socio-economic conditions for aboriginal women,

          children and families and water supply and housing on-reserve.

          Beaucage was particularly critical with the lack of any fundamental

          investment for on-reserve housing. First Nations have long maintained there is

          a significant shortage of housing in First Nations' communities across Canada.

          Needs estimates range from 35,000 to 85,000 new units.

          In this budget, the government committed up to $300 million to address

          immediate pressures in off-reserve Aboriginal housing.

          "I acknowledge the government's attempt toward addressing housing

          especially off-reserve and in urban centers. It may not be what was committed

          by the First Ministers but it's a start," said Grand Council Chief Beaucage,

          who holds the National Portfolio for Housing at the Assembly of First Nations

          and the Ontario First Nations portfolio for Housing at the Chiefs of Ontario.

          These funds, however, will be allocated to the Provinces

          "The Government of Ontario must now begin working with our First Nations

          governments in addressing off-reserve and urban housing," said Beaucage. The

          Grand Council Chief looks forward to working with The Hon. David Ramsay,

          Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and The Hon. John Gerretsen,

          Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to implement a constructive approach

          to implementing this new funding commitment for housing.

          "Despite our disappointment, we are very willing to work with this

          government and the Province of Ontario to address our immediate housing needs

          and demonstrate that our vision of housing can work," he said

          Despite this overall disappointment, Beaucage expressed pleasure in the

          $2.2 billion commitment to address the legacy of residential schools.

          "I am excited to see the Harper government honour the agreement to

          compensate residential school survivors," said Beaucage. "Our elders have

          fought their entire lives, have sacrificed so much in addressing this tragic

          part of Canadian history. I now look forward to the establishment of a truth

          and reconciliation commission that will educate all Canadians about

          Residential Schools and how it has affected all First Nations society."

          The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its

          secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 42 member First

          Nations across Ontario. The UOI is the oldest political organization in

          Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which

          existed long before European contact.

          For further information: Bob Goulais, Executive Assistant to the Grand

          Council Chief, Phone: (705) 498-5250 or (705) 497-9127, E-mail:

          [email protected]
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          • #6
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            Critics Slam Tory Budget Over Lack Of Support For Natives, Kyoto

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            ";vt.1;ai.13271429;ct.1", 1146652212781))


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            0060502/n050256a.jpg&credit=', 'largephoto',
            'width=500,height=500,location=no,menubar=yes,scro llbars=yes,resizable=yes'))
            Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe responds to the governments Budget. (CP
            PHOTO/Fred Chartrand)

            Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press

            Published: Tuesday, May 02, 2006

            OTTAWA (CP) - Critics are slamming Stephen Harper's first budget, but the
            Bloc Quebecois has guaranteed that the minority Conservative government will
            easily survive a vote on the document.
            Opponents accused the Tories on Tuesday of abandoning aboriginals and the
            environment by slashing spending for projects in those areas. Provincial
            premiers also expressed disappointment that the feds scrapped a $5.1-billion deal
            for aboriginal housing, education and health care. But Bloc Leader Gilles
            Duceppe said he will await next year's budget to pass judgment on the Harper
            "The real budget will be next year. So we'll see next year if they deliver,"
            Duceppe said.
            Duceppe denied that his instantaneous show of support had anything to do with
            the Bloc's troubling poll numbers in Quebec.
            A CROP survey suggested his party had fallen behind the Tories, who found
            themselves surveyed in first place in the province for the first time in about
            15 years.
            Duceppe welcomed the Tories' recognition that a fiscal imbalance exists
            between Ottawa and the provinces and said he wants to see it resolved by next
            For now, the support of 51 Bloc MPs would give the Tories a 20-seat cushion
            in any confidence vote.
            The other two opposition parties came out with their guns blazing.
            The Liberals and NDP said the budget came up short on aboriginal issues, the
            environment and child care. The Grits also took aim at the Tory tax plan.
            "This budget increases taxes for all Canadians," Liberal Leader Bill Graham
            "It has very little in it for students, for universities, it is going to make
            it impossible to fund our Kyoto requirements.
            "And basically it does not address the needs of middle income Canadians."
            The Tories disputed the tax claim, as did some independent analysts who said
            Canadians will generally pay lower taxes.
            All taxpayers face a half-per-cent increase at the lowest tax rate, but that
            hike is more than offset by a one-per-cent cut in the GST and a variety of
            other benefits.
            The budget promises a taxable $1,200 child-care allowance for parents with
            young children, and offers tax breaks for tradespeople.
            It doubles the amount of pension income that can be claimed under the pension
            income credit, and promises help for university students with their
            It also offers up to $150 a year in tax deductions for transit users. The
            government calls the $150 million plan an environmental measure.
            The NDP and Liberals called it a disgrace.
            The Tories have dismantled Canada's Kyoto programs and made only the most
            peripheral reference to climate change, the opposition noted.
            "(These are) major steps backward on the environment," NDP Leader Jack Layton
            "This is certainly not a budget that the New Democrats will be able to
            support . . . We need a budget that invests in the future."

            Initial provincial reaction was mixed.
            -Alberta Premier Ralph Klein said he was generally impressed, but was upset
            to see the Tories tear up the Liberals' $5.1 billion aboriginal deal with the
            "I don't particularly like it, nor do the other premiers and territorial
            leaders," Klein said. "I liked the commitment that was given by the Liberal
            government to the First Nations and the Metis people.
            "I think it went a long way to addressing some of their needs."
            -Manitoba Premier Gary Doer said he was also disappointed to see the Tories
            scrap the Kelowna deal on aboriginals. But he applauded the Tories for
            delivering on their promises.
            -British Columbia's finance minister said several initiatives will benefit
            her province, including money to combat a pine-beetle infestation in forests.
            Carol Taylor said, however, that she hopes to see more funding for the 2010
            Vancouver Olympics.
            -Nova Scotia Finance Minister Michael Baker said increases in military
            spending will benefit his province.
            -New Brunswick Finance Minister Jeannot Volpe said the budget is in line with
            his own government's desire to reduce taxes.
            © The Canadian Press 2006

            __________________________________________________ ______________________
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            • #7
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              Tories Replace Aboriginal Accord
              Two-year plan, one-fourth the cost

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              ";vt.1;ai.13272735;ct.1", 1146652520140))

              JACK AUBRY, CanWest News Service

              Published: Wednesday, May 03, 2006

              The Harper government is scrapping the five-year, $5.1-billion Kelowna accord
              to improve the lives of aboriginals, while coming up with its own two-year
              plan - at less than one-quarter of the cost.
              The Conservative plan appears to be worth about $225 million a year in new
              expenditures, as opposed to $1 billion a year in new spending under the Kelowna
              The new number in yesterday's budget is $450 million over two years to
              improve the water supply and housing on reserves, as well as education and
              socio-economic conditions for aboriginal families.
              Finance Minister Jim Flaherty confirmed the government would honour the
              Liberal government's commitment to place $300 million into a pair of third-party
              trust funds to increase the supply of housing for off-reserve natives and for
              the general population in the territories. The housing initiative was part of
              a last-minute budget deal between the Liberals and the NDP in 2005, which
              the Conservatives strongly opposed at the time.
              The Tories would also honour the former Liberal government's commitment of
              $2.2 billion toward an agreement-in-principle to address the negative legacy of
              residential schools.
              The Kelowna five-year agreement - which former prime minister Paul Martin and
              the premiers signed with aboriginal leaders last fall - promised to improve
              housing stock by encouraging private ownership and providing aboriginals with
              carpentry training to build new houses. It also would have integrated
              aboriginal schools with provincial school boards and spent money to train new
              aboriginal teachers.
              Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, expressed
              disappointment with the decision to axe the Kelowna accord. He said the budget
              does not relate the sense of urgency native leaders have about resolving
              problems in aboriginal communities.
              "We have a housing crisis with 170 communities that don't have safe drinking
              water. The budget talks about acceptable wait times in urban centres when we
              don't even have basic health care in our communities," Fontaine said.
              He said the Kelowna deal was not simply devised by aboriginal leaders, but
              included the federal and provincial governments.
              "So this budget doesn't speak to our plan or about its commitment to begin
              attacking our problems. We have Third World living conditions that are not
              being addressed," Fontaine said.
              Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge, who is parliamentary secretary to Indian
              Affairs Minister Jim Prentice, said last week that the new government's approach
              to aboriginal policy would be based on "accountability and taking
              In advance of the budget, Conservative sources said the money to pay for the
              Kelowna deal had not been set aside by the former Martin government. Former
              Liberal finance minister Ralph Goodale warned that scrapping the deal it would
              be "a great human tragedy."
              Conservatives said the government already spends $9.1 billion each year to
              fund programs directed towards natives. Budget documents pointed out that over
              the last five years, spending has grown by about 4.3 per cent or $350 million
              a year.
              © The Gazette (Montreal) 2006
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              • #8
                Attention News/Health Editors:
                Federal Budget Ignores Health Crises in First Nations Communities
                OTTAWA, May 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief

                Phil Fontaine said it is alarming to see a complete absence of funding in the

                federal budget to address urgent health crises faced by First Nations

                communities, such as those faced by Garden Fill First Nation in Manitoba and

                Kashechewan First Nation in Ontario.

                "It is ironic that the federal government saw fit to invest in combating

                epidemics of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in developing countries, while many

                First Nations are living with these diseases, and there is no new assistance

                for them," states National Chief Fontaine.

                While the Conservative government honored the commitment to the Ten-Year

                Plan to Strengthen Health Care which gives provinces and territories a 6%

                increase in transfers, the federal First Nations health system is capped at

                3%. First Nations communities already facing significant disparities in health

                status and access to quality care, will suffer from this fiscal imbalance.

                "We expect shortfalls reaching close to $2 billion over the next two

                years," says National Chief Fontaine, "This means cutbacks in medical

                transportation, access to drugs, diabetes prevention and many other essential

                health services in our communities. Ultimately, this means heavy risk to

                patient safety and further widening of the gap between First Nations and

                Canadians' health and well-being."

                Honoring the investment of $1.3 billion in health under the Kelowna

                Accord would have achieved an equitable 6% growth rate. Although, the overall

                2% cap on other federal socio-economic programming would have remained.

                First Nations communities appear to have no way to access the Wait Times

                Reduction Transfers totaling $5.5 billion, nor are they presently included in

                talks leading to the development of the Wait Times Guarantee. "Unless this

                guarantee takes into account primary care and public health, as well as access

                to the basic determinants of health such as housing and education," stressed

                National Chief Fontaine, "it will have no relevance to truly measuring the

                performance of federal, provincial, and territorial governments in meeting

                their responsibilities to First Nations."

                Budget announcements in cancer care and pandemics and other public health

                emergencies were also silent as to whether they will reach First Nations

                communities. First Nations have also been excluded from recently introduced

                Public Health legislation.

                "Perhaps of greatest concern is the lack of consideration of First

                Nations children, from investments in child care to children with

                disabilities," concludes National Chief Fontaine, "our population is younger

                and our communities more challenged to support adequate facilities for our

                children. And yet, the needs of our children appear to have been ignored."

                The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing

                First Nations citizens in Canada.


                Backgrounder on Health Crises in First Nation Communities


                Health Status

                - In 2000, life expectancy at birth for the First Nations population was

                estimated at 68.9 years for men and 76.6 years for women. This

                represents a gap of 7.4 years and 5.2 years respectively with the

                Canadian population.

                - The gaps in potential years of life lost between First Nations and

                Canadians were estimated in 1999 to be three times greater on injuries,

                almost double in endocrine diseases such as diabetes and more than

                double from mental illness.

                - In 1999, the First Nation suicide rate was 27.9 deaths per 100,000; the

                Canadian suicide rate was 13.2 deaths per 100,000 population.

                - In 1999, the First Nations infant mortality rate (0 to 1 years) was

                8.0 deaths per 1,000 live births (based on 65 deaths), compared with

                5.5 for Canada as a whole.

                - Over half of on-reserve First Nations children are either overweight

                (22.3%) or obese (36.2%).

                - In 2001, the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) disease in First Nations

                communities was, on average, ten times higher than that of the Canadian

                population as a whole (6 per 100,000).

                - In 1999, the gap between First Nations and Canadian rates of enteric,

                food and waterborne diseases among children, ages 0-14 years, were

                reported as twice for giardiasis, more then ten times for hepatitis A

                and 22 times for shigellosis.

                - 191,000 First Nations are currently living with disabilities (31.4% of

                total population).

                Health Determinants

                - The 1999 Tuberculosis in First Nations Communities report from FNIHB

                states that: "TB is far more likely to occur in communities with higher

                levels of crowding. It is recognized that overcrowded communities may

                also be more likely to suffer from other risk factors for TB, such as

                poverty, substance abuse, remoteness, and various underlying medical

                conditions." In fact, housing density was seen as a significant

                predictor of TB incidence.

                - First Nations' homes are four times more likely to need major repairs.

                Less than half of First Nations' on-reserve homes are considered

                adequate by the federal government. In 1999, 41.4% of First Nations

                communities had 90% of their homes connected to centralized water

                treatment plants and 36.6% connected to community sewage disposal

                systems. In 2002-03, First Nations were 25 times more likely to live in

                an overcrowded home than Canadians.

                - First Nations are twice as likely not to complete high school than

                Canadians, and more than three times less likely to not complete

                university degrees.

                - 9,000 First Nation children are in the care of First Nation agencies

                across Canada, and in 38% of these cases exposure to family violence

                was the substantiated form of maltreatment leading to placement.

                - Aboriginal youth are 8 times more likely to be incarcerated due to a

                series of factors: higher rate of families reliant on social assistance

                (47%), substance abuse problems (57% confirmed and 24% suspected),

                involvement in the child welfare system (39%), lower rates of high

                school completion (2%), suicidal attempts (1 in 5).

                Wait Times

                - First Nations experience greater challenges in accessing health care as

                a result of: a larger health care burden (higher levels of acuity and

                urgency), greater challenges in recruitment and retention of health

                care staff in First Nations communities, geographic remoteness (30% of

                First Nations communities located more than 90 km from physician

                services), language and cultural differences, and impacts of provincial

                health reforms (such as hospital closures) coupled with cutbacks in

                federal medical transportation funding.

                - First Nations are ten times more likely to have difficulty accessing

                family physicians.

                - First Nations with disabilities are twice as likely to not be able to

                afford medical transportation and child care. Nearly two-thirds of

                children with special needs are refused child care services by licensed

                facilities because they do not have the funding to adequately meet the

                child's needs. Almost half of children with disabilities do not have

                access to adapted transportation within their community.

                - The 2005 First Nations Framework in the Blueprint on Aboriginal Health

                was aimed at recommending innovative strategies that would address the

                disparities in access to quality care between First Nations and other


                Fiscal Imbalance

                - There is 3% cap in federal First Nation health funding vs. a 6%

                escalator granted to provinces and territories.

                - There is a 2% cap on federal First Nation socio-economic program

                funding resulting in a 13% actual decrease in the total budget since

                1999/2000. Total federal spending which, adjusted for inflation and

                growth in the Canadian population, held steady from 1999-2000 to


                - $269 million in cutbacks in federal First Nation health funding are

                being implemented. As non-discretionary funding that must take into

                account population growth and inflation, any decreases in the Canada

                Health and Social Transfer require new legislation to be passed.

                - Honoring the Kelowna Agreement would raise federal First Nation health

                funding from the 3% cap to a comparative 6% annual growth for 3 years.

                Fiscal equalization in a First Nations context means no difference in

                the capacities of communities or tribal councils to provide services to

                their populations.

                - Most First Nation recipients of income assistance live well below the

                poverty line.
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                • #9

                  For further information: Bryan Hendry, AFN Health and Social

                  Communications, (613) 241-6789, ext. 229, cell (613) 293-6106; Don Kelly, AFN

                  Communications Director, (613) 241-6789 ext. 320, cell (613) 292-2787; Ian

                  McLeod, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789 ext. 336, cell

                  (613) 859-4335


                  __________________________________________________ ______________________
                  Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


                  • #10
                    Attention News Editors:
                    The Federal Budget Is a Source of Concern for the Assembly of First Nations
                    of Quebec and Labrador
                    WENDAKE, May 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The socioeconomic problems related to

                    infrastructures are extreme in the Aboriginal communities of Quebec and

                    Labrador. In some cases, the situation is unbearable and the Assembly of First

                    Nations of Quebec and Labrador is of the opinion that its share out of the

                    450 millions announced yesterday in the federal budget will not be sufficient

                    to meet the needs properly.

                    The rejection of the Kelowna agreement does not come as a surprise. Right

                    from the outset, the Chiefs of Quebec and Labrador had expressed their

                    dissidence as to the lack of proper consultation with the communities leading

                    to the ratification of this agreement. Now, with the election of a new

                    government, everything has to be started all over again.

                    "Yesterday, we were told by the government that it acknowledges the goals

                    of Kelowna and that it wants to develop a new approach to achieve them. We

                    remain open to dialogue, but this time, it is crucial that all Aboriginal

                    communities get involved. Time is of the essence and the problems that we face

                    are affecting everybody, Aboriginal as well as non-Aboriginal peoples. The

                    longer we wait to solve them, the more costly it will be. We constantly hear

                    about closing the gap of socioeconomic conditions between Aboriginal and

                    non-Aboriginal peoples; how can this goal be achieved with the very few

                    resources put at our disposal?", underlines the Regional Chief of the AFNQL,

                    Ghislain Picard.

                    On the other hand, in its budget, the new government attaches much

                    importance to the accountability of the communities as to the management of

                    funds which will be allocated to them. The AFNQL and the Chiefs support

                    entirely this principle, except that they demand from the Department of Indian

                    Affairs to be accountable not only to its minister, but to the communities as


                    "If we can agree on the goals and priorities, we should be able to agree

                    on the most efficient and best adapted solutions in achieving them, except

                    that the government will have no other option but to allocate the necessary

                    funding. This is what the AFNQL will try to make the new government

                    understand." concluded Mr. Picard.

                    The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional

                    organization representing the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and


                    For further information: Alain Garon, Communications and Information

                    Officer, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020, Cell. : (418) 956-5720
                    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


                    • #11
                      Attention News Editors:
                      Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) President Beverley Jacobs
                      expressed disappointment with the lack of clear financial commitment the
                      Conservative Government has committed to Aboriginal people in its 2006 Budget.
                      OTTAWA, May 2 /CNW Telbec/ - "Today's disappointing budget is a confusing

                      change to the mutually developed approaches that were addressed in Kelowna.

                      The government has taken a strong turn in a completely different direction

                      that is leading Aboriginal peoples down a completely unknown course," said

                      President Jacobs.

                      Jacobs expressed concerns of how the cuts in funding to child care,

                      education, water and housing will adversely affect Aboriginal women, who

                      already are the most marginalized population in Canada. She states that the

                      $150 million in 2005/2006 and $300 million in 2007/2008 are inadequate to

                      address all these diverse areas of concern.

                      "I do not believe that the amount in this budget will be able to deal

                      with complex and deep issues that face Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal

                      women today. The issue of heath was not addresses and that is very

                      discouraging to Aboriginal peoples, especially women and children."

                      Jacobs applauds the $2.2 billion dollars that will be used to compensate

                      residential school survivors, but also states that this will not address the

                      huge loss of language, family bonding and traditional teachings that

                      Aboriginal people have sustained as a result of genocidal policies of the

                      residential school era.

                      NWAC does acknowledge that the federal budget makes reference to the

                      pivotal role that Aboriginal women play within their families and communities;

                      however the budget did not reflect the capacity building required to

                      capitalize on this resource.

                      "Aboriginal women have traditionally sustained their families during

                      rough times, and I have a sense that once again, now more then ever,

                      Aboriginal women have to be vigilant within these roles."

                      NWAC is strongly committed to working with the Federal government to

                      ensure that the needs of Aboriginal women and their children are at the

                      forefront of the decision-making processes that are implemented in the 2006

                      federal budget.

                      For further information: Linda Kayseas, Media Coordinator,

                      (613) 722-3033 ext.231, Mobile: (613) 552-4249
                      Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


                      • #12
                        ************************************************** ******************
                        This Message Is Reprinted Under The FAIR USE
                        Doctrine Of International Copyright Law:
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                        age=TS_News&call_pageid=968332188492&call_pagepath =News/News_
                        e&pubid=968163964505&cid=1146693012793&col=9687058 99037&call_page=TS_News&call

                        Prepare For Conflict, Chiefs Warn Ottawa

                        May 3, 2006. 07:08 PM
                        SUE BAILEY
                        CANADIAN PRESS

                        OTTAWA — Expect more blockades, warn critics who say the Tories have shunted
                        native issues to the political backburner amid frustration underscored by
                        the Caledonia standoff and the Kashechewan crisis.
                        "The focus of many of our communities will most likely shift to conflict and
                        other direct measures to make the federal Conservatives accountable for
                        their lack of action," said Chief Stewart Paul.
                        The co-chairman of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs was
                        among several dismayed by what wasn't in the new government's first budget.
                        Namely, more than $5.1 billion promised under the Kelowna deal reached last
                        November by aboriginal leaders, the former Liberal government and the
                        Its exclusion comes on the heels of a botched police raid that escalated a
                        continuing land dispute in Caledonia, near Hamilton, Ont., and another flood
                        crisis on Kashechewan, a remote northern Ontario reserve that has repeatedly
                        made grim headlines.
                        "We've been a very patient people for hundreds of years," said Stan Louttit,
                        grand chief of the Mushkegowuk Council representing Kashechewan.
                        The tiny First Nation on the James Bay coast has been evacuated three times
                        in the last two years because of flooding and, last fall, polluted drinking
                        "I don't know how far people can be pushed before they start carrying out
                        things such as civil disobedience to make their point," Louttit said Wednesday.
                        "If that's what it takes, well, I suppose that's what it will be."
                        Opposition MPs taunted Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice in the Commons
                        on Wednesday as he defended the budget.
                        It commits just $150 million this fiscal year to lift education, housing and
                        water standards and to help close "socio-economic gaps" between native and
                        non-native people.
                        Another $300 million is promised next year.
                        Prentice stressed that $600 million is also earmarked for housing
                        off-reserve and in the North.
                        What he didn't say is that there's a catch.
                        Those housing funds are one-time payments "to be paid into a third-party
                        trust, contingent on sufficient funds from the 2005-06 surplus in excess of $2
                        billion," says the budget.
                        In other words, the Conservatives would use cash from the last fiscal year —
                        if more than $2 billion is left over when the numbers are finalized — a
                        practise of carrying over funds that has been sternly criticized by the auditor
                        Still, Prentice called it "a very fair and reasonable approach.
                        "The budget, if it's fully understood, involves significant commitment to
                        aboriginal Canadians and it's one that has support out there."
                        Patrick Brazeau, head of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, represents
                        constituents living off-reserve.
                        He supported the budget after being assured he'll be included in new talks
                        this summer toward meeting the goals outlined in the Kelowna deal — a flawed
                        agreement Brazeau said gave short shrift to those living off-reserve.
                        "Everybody's getting a little piece of the pie — which was not the case in
                        previous budgets," he said Wednesday.
                        Others say the last thing needed is more talk.
                        "The minister of Indian Affairs, Jim Prentice, has stated publicly that he
                        was committed to `putting the wheels on Kelowna'," said Phil Fontaine,
                        national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. ``Why is it now necessary to
                        reinvent the wheel?
                        "We are more than willing to meet to discuss implementing measures that will
                        improve quality of life for First Nations, but this budget does not appear
                        to offer much."
                        Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


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