What are the problems facing First Nations today?
- Over reliance on Government dollars.
- Lack of economic opportunities.
- Mistrust of colonial powers.
- Not enough of a voice to influence decisions on resource projects.
These issues lead to high suicide rates, infant mortality, imprisonment and addiction on reserves.
- 61% of Indigenous young adults (20-24) have not completed high school compared with 13% of non-Indigenous Canadians.
- The suicide rate among self-identifying Indigenous people (14.7 deaths per 100,000 person-years at risk) was approximately twice as high as the rate among non-Indigenous people.
- Although Indigenous children accounted for 7.7% of all children aged 0 to 4, they accounted for more than one-half (51.2%) of all foster children in this age group.
- Indigenous people living on-reserve have the lowest labour force participation rate (52%).
- There is nothing more important than clean water, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet at any given time there are more than 100 drinking water advisories in First Nations across Canada. The lack of clean, safe drinking water in First Nations is one of the greatest violations of the UN-recognized human rights to water and sanitation.
- The Canada Utility Project brings additional profits and taxes that will make bands self-sustaining. Additional monies for the First Nations Reserves can be used for social change.
- Aboriginal people in Canada are either not being connected to available job opportunities or lack the support systems, education or required training to actively participate in the resource economy. When First Nations people are not working, it represents much more than a missed opportunity; it reduces self-reliance and increases social spending. NeeStaNan is putting a huge focus on training and employment support to give long term career opportunities to First Nations.