The Assembly of First Nations (AFN), in collaboration with industry experts and over 400 First Nations, released Closing the Infrastructure Gap by 2030 report.” The report outlines the national capital and operational investments required from the Government of Canada to fulfill its mandate of Closing the Infrastructure Gap by 2030.

The report highlights the urgent need for action to address the gap in infrastructure, housing, and digital connectivity. It estimates that Canada must invest $349.2 billion by 2030 to fulfill its commitment.

“The recent Auditor General’s “Housing in First Nations Communities” report highlights the failure of the federal government to meet its housing commitments to First Nations, indicating an urgent need for dedicated, long-term funding in Federal Budget 2024 for First Nations housing,” said National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak. “Failure to act will only widen the gap. Inaction will lead to soaring costs due to inflation and labour shortages, and will further deteriorate on-reserve community infrastructure, hindering the well-being of First Nations. Promises have been made and must now be kept.”

“The 2024 Federal Budget must align with the priorities set forth by First Nations, including in this report,” added Chief Woodhouse Nepinak. “The Government of Canada must ensure that our voices are not only heard but are leading the conversation and action on matters that affect our communities directly. This includes ensuring significant investments that match what First Nations have deemed necessary for our future.”

The Assembly of First Nations estimates the cost of closing the infrastructure gap at nearly $350 billion. (AFN)

“Continued underfunding of First Nations infrastructure priorities will represent a serious disregard for the Crown’s fiduciary obligations to First Nations,” said Newfoundland Regional Chief Brendan Mitchell. “With the federal budget announcement expected next week, First Nations require dedicated, adequate, and sustained investments to address the urgent and long-term needs of First Nations and improve the well-being of our communities. We need action now to prevent further delays and ensure a sustainable future for First Nations.”

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Featured image: Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, March 5, 2024.  (AFN)


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