OTTAWA- Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says the next federal budget will include more money for First Nations child welfare services on reserves, but she won’t say how much.
Speaking at a special chiefs meeting convened by the Assembly of First Nations, Philpott says the Liberal government is keen to fix the “funding gap” in the resources available to Indigenous children as compared to non-Indigenous kids.
She says she plans to discuss funding levels with Finance Minister Bill Morneau prior to the release of the next budget in 2018.
Philpott’s office is looking to address outstanding concerns about the underfunding of First Nations child welfare services, the subject of a legal battle at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
Both the AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society want the federal government to earmark more money and point to a unanimous motion passed in the Commons calling for an immediate injection of $155 million.
At the time of the motion’s passage, former Truth and Reconciliation chairman turned Sen. Murray Sinclair said it was impossible to overstate importance of Ottawa properly funding child welfare services on reserve.