Release of Canada’s Budget 2024

On April 16, 2024, Canada released the 2024 federal budget.[1] The theme of Budget 2024 is “Fairness for Every Generation”.

Canada calls its budget the government’s plan to “build more homes, faster, help make life cost less, and grow the economy in a way that helps every generation get ahead.”  The Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, in her Foreword sets out the goal of the Budget: a “fair chance to build a good middle class life”, saying this is “the promise of Canada”. Speaking directly to younger Canadians, specifically Millennials and “Gen Z,” Deputy Minister Freeland positions herself alongside parents and grandparents who want the best for their children. In stark contrast, she says absolutely nothing to Indigenous Peoples, communities, or families.

It takes deeper digging to find Canada’s Budget 2024 commitments to Indigenous Peoples, in Chapter 6 “A Fair Future For Indigenous Peoples”.[2] While Backgrounder on Budget 2024[3] for Indigenous Peoples acknowledges that a “fair Canada” requires meaningful progress towards reconciliation, discussion of reconciliation makes its first appearance in Budget 2024 in Chapter 6.  Concerningly, the CBC has reported that the theme of reconciliation was not mentioned in the House of Comments when the Deputy Minister tabled the budget, nor were the issues facing Indigenous Peoples mentioned at an earlier news conference.[4] The omission of reconciliation is being decried by Indigenous leaders.[5]

In this high-level picture of Budget 2024’s key promises, new investments, and meaningfully expanded programs, we start with the big picture, then highlight some programs that Nations and communities may want more information about. If your community would like to discuss these opportunities further, we are ready to work with you towards justice and reconciliation.

Links to more detailed information, resources, and analysis are the end of this blog.

Budget 2024’s Big Picture:

  • Canada is promising $9 Billion in new cash for Indigenous communities over the next five years. This is less than in some past budgets, and $2.3 Billion of this is to renew existing programs set to expire.
  • The $9 Billion for Indigenous communities is about 17% of the total new funding over the next five years.
  • Canada has flagged 102 “direct and indirect benefits” for Indigenous Peoples and First Nations in the Budget.
  • Budget 2024’s talk of more affordability and “making life cost less” could help a lot of Indigenous peoples and families in less direct ways.

Programs of particular interest for Indigenous Nations and communities:

  • Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program for communities to invest in natural resource and energy projects:
    • For Indigenous governments and wholly owned and controlled entities.
    • Up to $5 Billion in loan guarantees.
    • Natural Resources Canada will lead intake and capacity building, and is receiving funding to support communities in their applications for loans under this program.
    • Funding for an Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing strategy.
  • Opt-in Fuel, Alcohol, Cannabis, Tobacco and Vaping (FACT) sales tax framework for Nations to exercise tax jurisdiction and share revenue with the federal government:
    • This is an intention to table legislation, so nothing is set yet.
    • There is an opportunity for interested communities to influence the way this framework is drafted.
  • Housing:
    • Funding for Indigenous Services Canada (“ISC”) and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (“CIRNAC”) to support First Nations, Inuit, and Metis housing and infrastructure.
    • Additional funding to narrow housing and infrastructure gaps in Indigenous communities.
  • Funding for Indigenous economic development, including for financial institutions, the Indigenous tourism industry, and in the clean energy sector.
  • Funding for CIRNAC to support communities to document, locate, and memorialize burial sites at former residential schools.
  • On-Reserve Income Assistance is set to receive a major investment to expand services and programs for clients, including people with disabilities.
  • Emergency Management, Preparedness, and Community Safety:
    • Funding to support climate resiliency and protect communities from climate disasters, including over $10 million earmarked for modern treaty and self-governing Nations.
    • Funding for facilities and programming for First Nations and Inuit policing.

Programs of particular interest to Indigenous people and families:

  • Indigenous Justice Programming:
    • The Indigenous Justice Strategy aims to reduce overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system, by funding the Indigenous Courtwork Program and for capacity building and the revitalization of Indigenous legal orders.
  • Food Security:
    • Investments in Northern Food Security, including culturally important foods.
    • Expansion of the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program to support safe access to shellfish harvest.
  • Health:
    • Significant funding for medical travel and services through the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program.
    • Funding for addressing anti-Indigenous racism in health care and health services.
  • Youth and Education:
    • Indigenous Youth Roots organization is funded to deliver programs to empower Indigenous youth.
    • Funding for the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning – a land-based education program in the North.
    • Funding to support communities exercising jurisdiction in child welfare.
    • Funding for Inuit children’s health, social and educational services.
  • Culture and connection:
    • Funding to Canadian Heritage for Indigenous languages and cultures, and specifically for the Indigenous Screen Office.
    • More funding to Friendship Centres.

What’s Missing?

  • The funding for infrastructure and housing is less than 1% of what the Assembly of First Nations says is required in First Nations communities alone.
  • The First Nations Major Projects Coalition says the loan guarantee for natural resource and energy sector projects is not enough.
  • Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami called for more funding for its operations and projects.
  • Much of the budget references past commitments and ongoing projects, rather than new investments in Indigenous Peoples’ priorities.

More information about Budget 2024 specific to Indigenous Peoples is available, including:


[1] Budget 2024 (

[2] Chapter 6: A Fair Future for Indigenous Peoples | Budget 2024 (

[3] A Fair Future for Indigenous Peoples –

[4] Liberals pledge $9B in new money for Indigenous communities in 2024 budget | CBC News

[5] Omisson of reconciliation ‘glaring’ and ‘alarming’ in budget speech, First Nations leaders say | CBC News

[6] Chapter 6: A Fair Future for Indigenous Peoples | Budget 2024 (

[7] A Fair Future for Indigenous Peoples –

[8] Budget 2024 promises $9B and loans for resource projects (

[9] Assembly of First Nations Reacts to 2024 Federal Budget – April 17, 2024 | Headline Politics |