In the article, “Who’s On The Hook For FN Programs” the social programs for the benefit of First Nations people that are funded by the First Nations Trust Fund were discussed. This was to assist people in better understanding what monies are used to pay for social programs on reserves.
The eligibility requirements are no different on reserve than off reserve, and no different for First Nations peoples than for non-Native persons applying to provincial social welfare programs for assistance. Of course, the first requirement for eligibility for First Nations peoples living on reserves applying for assistance is that they must live on reserve.
If that requirement is satisfied, then they must meet the requirements for either “basic or special financial assistance (as defined by the province or territory of residence, and confirmed by an assessment covering employability, family composition and age, and financial resources available to the household)” according to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). And what are those requirements?
Using Ontario Works as the model, a family on reserve applying for assistance (paid for by the First Nations Trust Fund) would:
- need money right away to help pay for food and shelter, and
- be willing to take part in activities to find a job.
The first two of four points in Section 3.2 of the AANDC National Social Programs Manual are:
- financial need (need money right away to help pay for food and shelter), and
- employability (be willing to take part in activities to find a job).
Equality in expectations for non-Natives and Natives has been established on the first two of four points.
Again, using Ontario Works as the model, a family on reserve applying for assistance (paid for by the First Nations Trust Fund) and satisfying the residence requirement as well as the first two items of financial need and employability, must then satisfy these requirements:
- family size
- assets, and
- housing costs.
The final two of four points in Section 3.2 of the AANDC National Social Programs Manual are:
- family composition and age (family size); and
- financial resources available to the client’s household (income; assets; and housing costs).
Equality in expectations for non-Natives and Natives has been established on the last two of four points.
In other words, there is no disparity between the expectations of non-Natives applying for, and receiving, assistance and First Nations peoples on reserve applying for, and receiving assistance.
The monies paying for non-Natives receiving assistance is paid for our of Government of Canada monies while monies paying for First Nations people on reserve receiving assistance is paid for by monies belonging to First Nations peoples in the First Nations Trust Fund.
It’s not a very complicated situation when you look at the facts. It’s only complicated when people muddy the waters with incorrect information they’ve been taught along the way.
COMING UP TOMORROW: Will passing Bill C-27 impact negatively on Indigenous sovereignty?