In their mandate letter, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development was mandated to “lead the development of a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.” The AFN has provided a First Nations lens to poverty and poverty reduction, namely, that poverty is multi‑dimensional and compounds on First Nations along with historical trauma and colonialism. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) anticipates working with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) over the coming months and years to develop and implement a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy. The AFN continues to advocate for a Nation-to-Nation relationship and adequate support for First Nations, regardless of their residency.
On November 6, 2018, the government of Canada introduced Bill C-87, An Act respecting the reduction of poverty, to the House of Commons for its first reading. This piece of legislation will entrench the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) in legislation, which would also establish a number of other mechanisms and institutions that are part of the PRS. The legislation will establish, among other things, the National Advisory Committee on Poverty, official poverty rates and poverty reduction targets, and official indicators of poverty. The AFN is working with ESDC to ensure the PRS will meet the needs of First Nations living in poverty.