It’s time for a new relationship between First Nations and Canada, and that includes a new fiscal relationship. First Nations are seeking long-term sufficient, predictable and sustainable funding to support their citizens and build strong communities and strong nations.
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.
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.
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 document, signed by the National Chief and Minister in July 2016, set the parameters for the work on fiscal relations up to December of 2017, ending with the joint AFN-ISC report, A New Approach: Co-development of a new fiscal relationship between Canada and First Nations.
This section provides materials produced jointly by the AFN and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) concerning fiscal relations.
Interim Report of the Joint Advisory Committee on Fiscal Relations – for Engagement Purposes – June 2019
Honouring our Ancestors by Trailblazing a Path to the Future is the interim report of the Joint Advisory Committee on Fiscal Relations presented to the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and Minister of Indigenous Services Canada on June 10, 2019. The Joint Advisory Committee, AFN and ISC were directed by Chiefs-in-Assembly to pursue extensive engagement on the report and its recommendations through Resolution 24-2019.
Summaries of regional engagement sessions
These are reports from the engagement sessions about a new fiscal relationship held with First Nations across the country that informed the joint report of December 2017.
This section provides copies of research papers produced for the AFN and ISC in support of developing a new fiscal relationship.
Establishing a First Nations Auditor General
This paper considers how to design a First Nations Auditor General (FNAG) institution to meet the unique circumstance and requirements of First Nations communities and governments. The ideas presented are drawn from practices and experiences in a number of Canadian and international external audit institutions, recognizing that no existing institutional model could be simply adopted “as is” to create an FNAG.
Review of Accountability and Mutual Accountability Frameworks
This paper provides a framework to guide research into what other levels of government are doing in Canada to support shared and mutual accountability for the provision of essential programs and services similar to those delivered to First Nations.
Sufficiency: Comparability and Various Institutional or Other Arrangements to Support New Approaches to Comparability
This report defines comparability and related terms and concepts; details the current context as it pertains to funding First Nations; explains how Canadian and international governments assess comparability to determine funding and/or service levels; and concludes with a discussion of how using comparability of outcomes for funding some services for First Nations could be beneficial, how that would work, and the supports that would be needed to undertake that change.