B.C. First Nations lose social funding

On-reserve social assistance programs — distributed through B.C.’s First Nations Social Development Society — will no longer have federal funding by the end of September, and the group still doesn’t know why.

Society president Jamie Hill said for the nearly 15 years, the group has provided support for Band Social Development Workers for all 203 First Nation bands in B.C. “as the only support service for on-reserve income assistance policy clarification, support, training and the adjudication of Person with Disability in B.C.”

“It’s significant to our society first of all because this is what the society was set up to do,” he said.

As of June 30, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, B.C. region, has stopped funding for its person with disability program, which will be transferred to an unknown agency or brought in house. By Sept. 30, all the support for income assistance on-reserve will end as well.

Hill said all the letters sent to Minister Bernard Valcourt have gone unanswered.

“Without consultation or a plan to support our communities, (the ministry’s) decision clearly demonstrates a lack of awareness, sensitivity and priority for the well-being of our communities,” he said.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs president, said the ministry’s unilateral decision demonstrates “the government’s continued lack of understanding of First Nations and the on-ground reality faced by our community members.”

“(The ministry) has not raised rate of on-reserve welfare since 1994,” he said in a statement. “A basic employable person on income assistance receives a basic living allowance of $235/month, which is $7.50 per day or $.31/hour.

“This is not acceptable and perpetuates the vicious cycle of institutionalized poverty in our First Nation communities.”

Minister Bernard Valcourt did not respond to 24 hours’ comment request by press deadline.


Posted on May 21, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Valcourt will have to stand accountable before CREATOR!!!
    I would not want to be him.

  2. What about in the cities why just on reserve. .

  3. my goodness how all the people gonna survive??/

  4. It sounds like a push by the Federal government to force First Nations into signing off on Energy contracts they have up until this point, been opposing.

  5. is this really going to happen to all reserves….

  6. Anne Fletcher

    the funding is being cut from the Society and will be administered by other agencies…this move is not supposed to have any impact on clients receiving SA or disability.

  7. Andrea Sankey

    I thought we had a democratic government. I guess not.

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