“Every year, people around the world celebrate the people who first lived on the lands we all call home. The 2021 theme for this important day is Leaving no one behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract.
“In Alberta, we are moving forward as partners with Indigenous Peoples of Alberta in many ways.
“Most recently, Alberta’s government launched new grants for community-led mental health supports for families and survivors of Canada’s residential school system as well as funds to find unmarked graves of students who did not make their way home.
“We have also boosted opportunities for greater economic participation through the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation. By backstopping natural resources development projects with loan guarantees, and by providing Indigenous-owned businesses with funds through the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund, we are helping Indigenous communities prosper today and into the future.
“Business is also about connectivity. We are expanding broadband in the north, as better connectivity means that Indigenous people will have better access to the global economy, health and education. This will help ensure that Indigenous Peoples have the same opportunities as other people in Alberta.
“Housing is crucial to the well-being of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous people living in urban centres, like the city of Edmonton, will have access to 32 new units of affordable housing. Funding through the Indigenous Housing Capital Program will help families, seniors, students, and individuals find safe housing that meets their needs and income.
“Leaving no one behind means working toward the safety of Indigenous women in Alberta. Alberta’s government is providing funds to develop new rental units that offer safe and affordable housing for Blackfoot women and their children in southern Alberta. We have also created a joint working group of members of the legislative assembly and Indigenous women, and they will release a report this year with recommendations on how to respond to the Final Report of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“Indigenous Peoples are key to our plan for a strong Alberta recovery. First Nations, Métis people and the Inuit bring new perspectives and world views that will keep our province strong and vibrant now and into the future.”