First Nations and other aboriginal groups are affected in various ways by Canada’s 2012 federal budget, released on March 29. Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo said, “It’s not all we hoped for, but it leaves room for hope” in noting the commitments to improving on-reserve education that finally came through, as well as other nods to aboriginal issues.
Aboriginals are “the key to keeping this country strong,” he says below, reiterating his call for Canada’s government to honor the original treaties struck with the Crown. “This is our agenda, and we will be vigilant.”
For the education provisions—to allocate $275 million over the next three years to improving on-reserve educational facilities and programs—he gives “full credit to our youth.” It was young people who took their own case to the United Nations, and young people who are working to make their desire for education known, “demanding equity and fairness,” he notes. “I stand with our youth, as do our leaders.”
Below is his message to First Nations about the budget and how it dovetails, or doesn’t, with First Nations issues and priorities.