Federal Liberal and Conservative governments have ignored Aboriginal concerns. This is particularly true here in Northern Manitoba.

The Liberals ignored the health, education, housing and social needs of Aboriginal people when they were in power. They never brought in an apology for residential school survivors.

The Conservatives have ripped up the Kelowna Accord and failed to act on the need for improved health, education and housing. They have made Canada one of the few countries in the world to oppose the Universal Declaration on Indigenous rights.

Many self-government and treaty negotiations have stalled, and too many Aboriginal people face substandard housing, unsafe drinking water and ill health. Despite the hope for the future envisioned in the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples report, progress is blocked by endless processes and federal government inaction.

The NDP has pledged to work with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples on priority areas including:

  • Ensuring communities have infrastructure, housing, water and other services equal to those enjoyed by other Canadians.
  • Supporting Aboriginal initiatives to improve health through better health care, wellness strategies, and community infrastructure.
  • Ensuring we develop a legacy that deals with the intergenerational affects of residential schools following the recent apology.
  • Ensuring respect for the inherent right to self-governance and ensuring responsible resolution of land claims.
  • Developing community economies with people as the priority — through adequate infrastructure and access to capital for local economic development.
  • Creating approaches to justice that heal, including youth-focused crime prevention and systems of restorative justice that also support victims of crime.
  • Supporting the improvement of Northern transportation including expansion of the all weather road network in Northern Manitoba.
  • Emphasizing education and training, especially through programs encouraging employment in health, education, social services, sciences, commerce, engineering and trades.

We need a real commitment to Treaty and Aboriginal rights and a national commitment to improve the lives of Aboriginal people based on a government to government partnership. The NDP will always fight for social and economic justice for Aboriginal people.