It’s time for a new, better approach

First Nations chiefs know that funding does not keep pace with inflation or the needs of the fastest growing population in the country, forcing First Nations to try and do more and more with less and less. The result was a growing gap in the quality of life between First Nations people and Canada.

It’s time for a new, better approach, consistent with the original nation-to-nation relationship based on partnership, mutual respect, mutual recognition, and sharing. AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde is working to close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations people and Canada, eliminating the funding gap, and establishing a new fiscal relationship with equitable escalators for ongoing funding.

 – AFN National Chief Says Fall Fiscal Update Underscores Need for Sustained Investment to Close the Gap and will Flag Priorities at First Ministers Meeting
November 22, 2018

It’s time for a new fiscal relationship with First Nations that gives your communities sufficient, predictable and sustained funding. This is a promise we made and a promise we will keep.

Prime Minister Justin TrudeauAFN Special Chiefs Assembly 2015

At the 2016 AFN Annual General Assembly, National Chief Bellegarde and INAC Minister Carolyn Bennett signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a Fiscal Relations Working Group.  Under the MOU, the AFN and INAC will examine options for a new fiscal relationship that will identify what “sufficient” funding means. It is not only about removing the 2% cap. It is about meeting real needs now and in the future. It is about changing the way financial allocations are determined. It means looking at the most effective and efficient ways for transferring funds to allow for strategic planning and getting results on the ground. It means addressing how First Nations governments deliver accountability to their citizens. It means ways to measure whether the gap is closing and how quickly that is happening. It means looking at all these areas and more.

Through this work, a report and options for next steps will be presented to Chiefs-in-Assembly for review and further direction. Any recommendations from this work will not be binding.

Documents and Resources


This section identifies the documents governing the fiscal relations work done by the Assembly of First Nations.


This section provides materials produced jointly by the AFN and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) concerning fiscal relations.


This section provides copies of research papers produced for the AFN and ISC in support of developing a new fiscal relationship.

Contact Policy Staff

Amber Potts

Bertina Lou
Policy Analyst

Daniel Wilson
Associate Director

Kalyne Beaudry
Junior Policy Analyst

Khamarie Desjarlais
Administrative Assistant

Laila Kasuri
Sr. Policy Analyst

Lisa Smith
Senior Policy Analyst

Natasha Beedie
Senior Policy Coordinator

Vivian O’Donnell
Special Advisor

Angie TurnerFiscal Relations