Investing in Indigenous community infrastructure

Indigenous Services Canada works in partnership with Indigenous communities to support projects through targeted infrastructure investments.

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Background

There is a significant infrastructure gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada. Infrastructure investments are a key element of the government's commitment to foster the growth of safe, healthy, and prosperous Indigenous communities and support Indigenous economic participation.

Since the Budget 2016 announcement and as of March 31, 2022, $7.57 billion has been invested toward 7,474 projects that will benefit Indigenous communities.

Water and wastewater

Working in partnership with First Nations communities to improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure and expand access to clean drinking water is a priority for Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).

To learn more about the progress made on the Government of Canada's commitment to end long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves, visit Ending long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 950 water and wastewater-related infrastructure projects:
    • 464 projects completed
    • 486 projects ongoing
  • 586 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $2.68 billion of targeted funds has been invested to support infrastructure projects related to water and wastewater, including:
    • 116 new water and wastewater treatment plants or lagoons
    • 630 renovations and upgrades to existing water and wastewater systems
    • 107 feasibility study and design projects
    • 97 supporting projects and initiatives, including training and capacity building

Housing

To address on-reserve housing needs, ISC works in partnership with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation to support housing projects in First Nations communities including new builds, retrofits and renovations.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 3,294 housing-related infrastructure projects:
    • 2,049 projects completed
    • 1,245 projects ongoing
  • 611 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $1.22 billion invested to support housing-related infrastructure projects, including:
    • 1,093 capacity development and innovation projects
    • 968 new unit construction projects resulting in 4,278 homes
    • 1,011 unit renovation and upgrade projects improving 8,569 homes
    • 222 lot servicing and lot acquisition projects resulting in 1,649 lots

School facilities

Investments in school facilities in First Nations communities create quality, safe and healthy learning environments that provide positive educational outcomes for students living on reserves.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 247 school facility projects:
    • 169 projects completed
    • 78 projects ongoing
  • 269 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $1.53 billion invested to support school facility projects ongoing and completed projects, including:
    • 74 projects resulting in the construction of 68 new schools
    • 128 projects resulting in renovations or upgrades to 127 existing schools
    • 11 supporting projects and initiatives toward capacity building
    • 34 feasibility study and design projects

Health

Safe health facilities are essential when providing effective, sustainable and culturally appropriate health programs and services.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 239 health-related infrastructure projects:
    • 204 projects completed
    • 35 projects ongoing
  • 183 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $444 million invested to support health-related infrastructure projects, including:
    • 72 health facility projects
    • 159 Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve program projects
    • 8 feasibility study and design projects

Energy systems

ISC is working in partnership with First Nations to transition communities from fossil fuel to clean, reliable and affordable energy systems. Investments include alternative energy projects such as solar, hydroelectric, and wind.

The department also supports communities in improving and optimizing existing energy systems through upgrades and energy efficiency projects.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 169 energy projects:
    • 114 projects completed
    • 55 projects ongoing
  • 177 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $289.5 million invested to support energy-related infrastructure projects, including:
    • 158 energy infrastructure projects
    • 11 feasibility study and design projects

Connectivity

The Government of Canada is committed to helping First Nations communities bridge the digital divide by working with partners to provide access to high-speed internet that meets or exceeds the universal service objective.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 41 connectivity projects:
    • 26 projects completed
    • 15 projects ongoing
  • 285 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $79.6 million invested to support connectivity-related infrastructure projects, including:
    • 40 connectivity infrastructure projects
    • 1 feasibility study and design project

Fire protection

Fire protection is an essential service that can mean the difference between life and death. The Government of Canada is committed to working with First Nations and provincial, territorial and municipal partners to address fire protection on reserves.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 216 fire protection projects:
    • 151 projects completed
    • 65 projects ongoing
  • 257 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $77.1 million invested to support infrastructure projects related to fire protection, including:
    • 208 fire protection infrastructure projects
    • 8 feasibility study and design projects

Roads and bridges

ISC is collaborating with First Nations and other stakeholders to build, repair, upgrade and maintain roads and bridges. These projects create lasting and positive outcomes that reach beyond the roads and allow communities to benefit from further infrastructure projects.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 261 roads and bridges projects:
    • 169 projects completed
    • 92 projects ongoing
  • 187 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $385.3 million invested to support infrastructure projects related to roads and bridges, including:
    • 245 roads and bridges infrastructure projects
    • 16 feasibility study and design projects

Structural mitigation

ISC is working with First Nations to increase the resilience of communities at high risk of impacts associated with climate-related hazards.

Structural mitigation projects include:

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 102 structural mitigation projects:
    • 58 projects completed
    • 44 projects ongoing
  • 106 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $121.1 million invested to support structural mitigation-related infrastructure projects, including:
    • 81 structural mitigation infrastructure projects
    • 21 feasibility study and design projects

Culture and recreation

In First Nations communities, culture and recreation infrastructure can provide an important focal point for community activities.

Cultural and recreational facilities include:

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 252 culture and recreation-related infrastructure projects:
    • 232 projects completed
    • 20 projects ongoing
  • 200 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $101.0 invested to support infrastructure projects related to culture and recreation, including:
    • 232 culture and recreation infrastructure projects
    • 12 feasibility study and design projects
    • 8 supporting projects and initiatives

Band administrative buildings

Band administrative buildings are often flagship infrastructure where governance, administration and service delivery activities are conducted. ISC is supporting First Nations in addressing long-standing needs related to band administrative buildings on reserves, including band offices, band council and administrative buildings.

The band administrative buildings category was added in late 2021 to record projects under this heading going forward. These projects were historically recorded under other infrastructure categories.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 3 band administrative building projects ongoing
  • 3 First Nation communities benefitting
  • $2.9 million invested to support related infrastructure projects

Other community initiatives

ISC is investing in First Nations community initiatives to support community development and growth. This support includes investments in comprehensive community planning and skills development projects that will enable long-term, sustainable First Nations community development.

Other community initiatives include projects such as:

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 340 projects:
    • 119 projects completed
    • 221 projects ongoing
  • 488 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $48.0 million invested to support related infrastructure projects

Solid waste management

Infrastructure to manage solid waste is critical to protecting the environment and human health, while also enhancing economic opportunities available to communities.

ISC is working to support First Nations with investments in solid waste management including:

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 1,087 solid waste management-related infrastructure projects:
    • 790 solid waste management projects completed
    • 297 projects ongoing
  • 609 First Nations communities benefitting
  • $480.3 million invested to support solid waste management projects, including:
    • 388 waste management infrastructure projects
    • 158 feasibility study and design projects
    • 541 supporting projects and initiatives

Community buildout

In October 2018, Lubicon Lake Band and the governments of Canada and Alberta signed a settlement agreement to resolve the First Nation's longstanding land claim. This agreement included the buildout of new community infrastructure for the band.

The Lubicon Lake Band land claim settlement agreement includes the development of community infrastructure assets including:

The construction of these community assets will provide opportunities to Lubicon Lake Band members for training and employment.

Results below reflect investments from Budget 2017 only. Additional projects using funding prior to Budget 2017 and not specific to the Lubicon Lake Band community buildout are displayed on the interactive map under the respective infrastructure category.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022, ongoing and completed projects include:

  • 18 community buildout infrastructure projects
    • 9 projects completed
    • 9 projects ongoing
  • 1 First Nation community benefitting
  • $70.9 million invested to support projects for the Lubicon Lake Band community buildout. More investments will continue to be made in the coming years

Transfer of service delivery

The transfer of service delivery supports Indigenous communities and organizations in independently delivering services by building capacity and readiness, thereby promoting self-determination.

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • 148 infrastructure projects related to the transfer of service delivery
    • 47 projects completed
    • 101 projects ongoing
  • 560 communities benefitting
  • $66 million invested to support related projects and initiatives, including:
    • 109 Asset Management Planning Initiative projects
    • 13 housing and infrastructure service transfer initiatives
    • 25 Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative projects
    • the National Indigenous Fire Safety Council Project

Urban infrastructure

ISC investments in urban Indigenous infrastructure are allocated to and managed by urban and rural Indigenous service delivery organizations. Funding is used to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis living in or transitioning to urban centres by helping to ensure safe and accessible facilities.

The following organizations manage urban infrastructure projects supported by ISC investments:

Investments in urban infrastructure aim to ensure safe and accessible spaces for program and service delivery by supporting capital projects that focus on:

Minor infrastructure projects funded by these investments include:

Examples of major infrastructure projects include:

Progress to date

As of March 31, 2022:

  • $14.5 million to support 107 ongoing urban minor infrastructure projects
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