Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau has announced a plan today to strengthen the government’s relationship with Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.
During his campaign stop in Saskatoon, Trudeau promised he would put $2.6 billion over five years towards First Nations education if elected into office.
Previously, Trudeau has spoken out against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s relationship with Aboriginal communities across Canada.
“I apologize on behalf of our government for how you have been treated,” Trudeau said.
The plan he unveiled in Saskatchewan included:
- $515 million per year in core annual funding for First Nations K-12 education, rising to over $750 million per year by the end of their first mandate.
- An immediate new investment of $500 million over the next three years for First Nations education infrastructure.
- $50 million in additional annual support to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP), which provides financial assistance to Indigenous students who attend post-secondary education.
“Instead of dealing with First Nations on a respectful, nation-to-nation basis, he spends a hundred million dollars a year fighting them in court,” Trudeau said during the Maclean’s National Leaders Debate.
His plan also entails taking action to preserve the language and culture, as well as incorporating more learning material in classrooms on the history and contributions of aboriginal peoples.
Trudeau is the first of the party leaders to visit Saskatchewan. Harper was in North Vancouver on Wednesday and arrived in Saskatchewan today.