Jukasa News Update Tuesday, July 25, 2017
The federal government announced changes to the way First Nations reserves carry their funding.
AFN Chief Perry Bellegard and Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett shared the news with journalists Tuesday that band council funding will now be able to roll over from year to year instead of having to return funds from projects not completed in the fiscal year.
The previous system was over 20 years old. Bellegarde said that system was outdated and didn’t match the needs of First Nations communities in 2017.
Ottawa also said they will work with First Nations communities to make a new approach to funding fire and emergency services, schools, water and waste treatment systems.
A Saskatchewan First Nation is finally getting clean drinking water after a five years of a boil water advisory.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett announced a $9 million dollar investment for the White Bear First Nation whose 800 residents haven’t been able to drink the community’s water since 2011.
The investment is part of the liberal governments commitment to end long term drinking water advisories on reserves by 2021.
As of May 31 there are still 97 drinking water advisories on reserves across Canada.
The AFN General Assembly started in Regina this week with a plea from its leadership for an end to racial discrimination against indigenous people in Canada.
AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde recalled the hateful reactions to the shooting death of First Nations man Colton Boushie at the hands of a non-indigenous Saskatchewan farmer.
Bellegarde said every child deserves to grow up free from racism and called on Canadians to work together with First Nations to make a better society.
The AFN is meeting continues this week through to Thursday.
Senator Murray Sinclair has been appointed to lead an investigation into the Thunder Bay Police Services.
The Ontario Civilian Police Commission agreed to an open investigation into the police services board in Thunder Bay after outcries from locals systemic racism was preventing justice from being served.
Last month Police chief JP Levesque was charged with obstructing justice and breach of trust.
Just last week the Thunder Bay mayor, his wife and a friend were all additionally charged with obstructing justice.
Nishnawbe Asks Nation leadership says they are pleased with the appointment of Sinclair, who previously led Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Sinclair is expected to have an interim report in the investigation ready by October 31 and a final report by March 2018.