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The McGuinty government's progress on Aboriginal Affairs

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The McGuinty government's progress on Aboriginal Affairs

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

The McGuinty government is committed to strengthening relationships with First Nation, Métis, and Inuit leaders, communities, and organizations.  Through the newly established Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, the Government of Ontario is investing in improving the quality of life for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people. 

The province invests about $600 million annually on programs and services for Aboriginal people through a number of ministries across government.  About $300 million of this goes to children and social services, $85 million in health services, $80 million for justice and policing initiatives, and $45 million on education and training programs. 

BUILDING STRONGER ABORIGINAL RELATIONSHIPS
The Government of Ontario has:

  • Developed resources, capacity, and skills necessary for Aboriginal communities to effectively represent their interests by investing $25 million in the New Relationship Fund while encouraging greater coordination with government and industry.
  • Increased opportunities for Métis engagement with the government by strengthening the relationship with the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and finding new ways to work together on joint initiatives.  This includes providing $200,000 to develop a new historic framework agreement with MNO.

IMPROVING SOCIAL CONDITIONS
The Government of Ontario has:

  • Signed a Gaming Revenue Sharing Agreement with First Nations across the province to improve the quality of life for First Nation communities.  The agreement provides First Nations with a stable source of funding.  First Nation communities received $201 million immediately and about $3 billion in total over 25 years for health and education, as well as cultural, economic, and community development projects.
  • Invested in Aboriginal child protection services through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services by providing a total of $94.1 million in 2006-07 for six Aboriginal children's aid societies.
  • Provided culturally-salient, community-based support to at-risk urban Aboriginal children and their families by increasing funding for Akwe:go Urban Aboriginal Children's program by $4 million annually.
  • Provided child well-being and prevention services to First Nation communities by investing $22.6 million annually.
  • Helped to create and sustain more than 300 new licensed off-reserve child care spaces for Aboriginal children by contributing funding of $6.75 million in 2007-08.
  • Provided $750,000 through the Aboriginal Community Capital Grants Program for the construction of a new community centre on Pikangikum First Nation.
  • Invested in culturally appropriate approaches to health and healing among Aboriginal people by providing $49.5 million for Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy. This includes $8.5 million to support the Aboriginal Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program.
  • Helped to promote healthy lifestyles and skills development among First Nation children and youth by contributing $3.7 million for feasibility studies, construction, and renovation of community centres and small business centres through the Aboriginal Community Capital Grants Program.  Small business centres foster growth of small businesses in the local area and assist entrepreneurs.  Through this program $500,000 was provided for the construction of community centres for The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Missanabie Cree First Nation, and Naotkamegwanning First Nation.
  • Worked with First Nation communities to address infrastructure needs for self-administered police services, including contributing a total of $3.2 million to Nishnawbe-Aski Police Services (NAPS) since 2003 for rent and minor capital projects. NAPS serves 43 First Nation communities in Nishnawbe Aski Nation (Treaty 9/5) territory

FOCUSING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, JOB SKILLS, EDUCATION, AND TRAINING
The Government of Ontario has:

  • Committed to respecting Aboriginal and treaty rights, protecting the environment, and promoting Northern development by providing $7 million over four years to implement Ontario's Mineral Development Strategy, including the modernization of the Mining Act.
  • Dedicated funding for Native Studies and Native Languages programs by investing $23 million in 2007 to the Aboriginal Education Strategy for elementary and secondary schools.
  • Invested $24.1 million in 2007-08 for Aboriginal postsecondary education and training, which includes $14.7 million in postsecondary education programs and initiatives at colleges, universities and Aboriginal institutions, and $9.4 million in Aboriginal training initiatives.
  • Introduced legislation that would, if passed, grant university status to Algoma University College in Sault Ste. Marie. Currently an affiliate college of Laurentian University, the proposed legislation would provide Algoma with greater independence to focus on the postsecondary needs of the North and the significant population of Aboriginal students it serves.
  • Established a Research Chair in Aboriginal and Rural Health, a first of its kind in Canada, at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Sudbury and Thunder Bay through an investment of $1.5 million.
  • Committed to convene an Aboriginal Economic Development forum promoting business partnerships to take place early 2009.

RESOLVING LAND CLAIMS AND RECONCILIATION
The Government of Ontario has:

  • Initiated the return of Ipperwash Park to the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation - a key recommendation in the Ipperwash Inquiry Report. 
  • Formed a joint Ipperwash Park Resolution Table with the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation to develop an interim plan with the local community to determine how the land will be used and managed until the transfer of the park is complete.
  • Settled seven agreements on land claims and related issues since 2003: Lake Nipigon Ojibway, Wahta Mohawks, Rainy River, Tyendinaga (Turton Penn), Sand Point, Michipicoten, and Hunters Point.

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Aboriginal People