OTTAWA, May 22, 2018 /CNW/ – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says the move now underway towards ten-year funding grants for First Nations is an important step in building a new, more effective and efficient fiscal relationship between First Nations and Canada and is a significant result of the Canada-First Nations New Fiscal Relationship.
“This new approach is an essential and significant step towards a new fiscal relationship between First Nations and Canada, aimed at sufficient, predictable, sustained funding,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “The current year-to-year funding approach is unpredictable and burdensome. The move to ten-year grants means our governments can take a strategic approach to long-term planning and maximize the effectiveness of all resources. This builds stronger First Nations governments and will make a real difference on the ground for our families.”
The ten-year grants were included in recommendations in a report endorsed by Chiefs-in-Assembly at the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly in December 2017. A ten-year grant is intended to increase the flexibility and the predictability for First Nations governments to manage funds and reduce the administrative burden under the current annual “contributions agreements” approach. Eligibility requirements for a ten-year grant are based on a co-developed approach to assessing financial performance and administration, including a Financial Administration Law.
Chief David Jimmie of Squiala First Nation, who co-chairs the AFN Chiefs Committee on Fiscal Relations with the National Chief, stated: “The new approach means First Nations will be able to leverage long-term, sustainable, predictable funding to invest in their priorities. It provides an opportunity for greater planning along with the leverage needed when looking for financing partners. It also puts accountability for First Nations governments with their citizens first, where it should be. This single step benefits all of us because when First Nations succeed, we all succeed.”
Information is now being provided to First Nations about the new approach and how to access it. It is anticipated that at least 100 First Nations will be eligible for ten-year grants within the first year, with more to follow. The 2017 report by the Canada-First Nations New Fiscal Relations Working Group A New Approach: Co-development of a New Fiscal Relationship Between Canada and First Nations is available at: http://www.afn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/A-New-Approach-Co%E2%80%90development-of-a-New-Fiscal-Relationship.pdf
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.