A better life for native Canadians

National Post – opinions/letter – A better life for native Canadians
Published: Thursday, April 03, 2008

I am very proud of the progress that our Conservative government has made over the last two years in working with Canada’s aboriginal peoples. We have implemented a Plan of Action for Drinking Water in First Nations Communities that saw the number of high-risk water systems drop from the 193 that we inherited from the Liberals to 85 today, and that number continues to fall.

We are embarking upon innovative partnerships with provinces and First Nations to improve services. In B.C., the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act will allow First Nations to assume control over their on-reserve education. In Alberta, we reached a tripartite partnership to improve protection of children that could serve as a model in other provinces.

This government is taking practical measures to help aboriginal youth prepare for careers in the construction and aerospace industries. We have given unprecedented support to aboriginal women, children and families, including the introduction of legislation that will ensure human rights protection of all First Nations people and a bill to finally protect matrimonial real property.

We will continue to work closely with national and regional aboriginal organizations, as well as territorial, provincial and local governments, to improve the lives of aboriginal people.

Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, Ottawa.

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