Trudeau government to give 10-year grants to First Nations, with less reporting on how money is spent

First Nations with good financial track records will no longer be required to account to Ottawa for every dollar of federal money they spend on things such as health-care, education and social services under a new program being proposed by the Trudeau government.

The plan to guarantee long-term funding with a minimum of bureaucratic oversight for 100 First Nations communities by April, 2019 is the first concrete step in what Jane Philpott, the Minister of Indigenous Services, says will be a new fiscal relationship with Canada’s Indigenous people.

It is also a significant shift from the policies of former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper who raised the ire of chiefs by passing legislation that required First Nations to submit their audited consolidated financial statements and information about salaries and expenses to the government for posting on the Indigenous Affairs website. The Liberal government repealed that law shortly after taking office in 2015.

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