What we heard about housing and infrastructure
Since May 2016, INAC has been involved in engagement sessions with First Nations and their representative organizations, technical groups and other interested parties.
INAC overview of housing and infrastructure engagement sessions
During the housing and infrastructure engagement sessions, consistent themes and messages have been raised by First Nation partners, such as:
- Full partnership between First Nations and the Government of Canada is needed in any First Nations' program reform. First Nations want to be involved from the planning to the implementation.
- First Nations' relationship with INAC has to reflect the words of the Minister when she talks about partnership and a "nation-to-nation" relationship. This requires open and transparent information sharing with First Nations.
- First Nations want to discuss First Nations' institution building, as encouraged by the Minister to the Chiefs Committee on Housing and Infrastructure at the AFN Annual General Assembly in July. This discussion is gaining momentum among First Nation partners.
- There must be a holistic approach to on-reserve infrastructure program reform. The well-being of the overall community and on-reserve residents depends on the progress of all community programming. For example, having a great school will not be as helpful if all the students live in over-crowded poor housing.
- First Nations would like INAC and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to leave housing on-reserve in the control of First Nations, reflective of First Nations' self-determination.
- First Nations communities, tribal councils and regional organizations need adequate capacity development funding in order to succeed in assuming program governance and control.
- First Nations want to drive their own future. The Government of Canada needs to support and respect communities' aspirations.
- The First Nation representative collective will determine a national or regional approach to First Nations housing and infrastructure control.
- Agreement is needed on the vision and approach to on-reserve infrastructure program reform.
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