Shift some Aboriginal spending from reserves to cities, report urges – General

Shift some Aboriginal spending from reserves to cities, report urges – General – Brief Article

CALGARY — “Many Aboriginal issues are in reality urban issues,” says a report, published by the Canada West Foundation. It calls for a redirection of some of the federal government’s Aboriginal program spending from reserves to urban areas, especially major cities.

The report, Shared Responsibility: Final Report and Recommendations of the Urban Aboriginal Initiative, points out that almost half of Aboriginal people live in urban areas. The study highlights three areas to support its findings, including:

* the urban Aboriginal population numbers,

* that nearly two thirds of urban Aboriginal people live in the West, and

* the rapidly growing concentrations of Aboriginal people in major urban areas in western Canada.

For instance, the Aboriginal population in Saskatoon rose from 7.5 per cent in 1996 to 9.1 per cent in 2001.

Among the recommendations are:

* the need for federal and provincial governments to accept shared responsibility for urban Aboriginal policy,

* develop comprehensive policy and programming reviews with a focus on measuring outcomes rather than focussing on measuring outputs,

* the need for governments to take principled approaches to practices, and

* use “holistic approaches” in policy and programming.

The two-year study, involved 400 people who are active in urban Aboriginal policy and programming as well as reviewed work undertaken on the Urban Aboriginal Initiative and Aboriginal programming and used 2001 Census data.

In addition to reviewing current Aboriginal programming and policy of all levels of government and urban Aboriginal population numbers, the report offers five recommendations to improve policies and programming for Aboriginal people living in Urban centres.

For access to the full report go to website:

COPYRIGHT 2003 Community Action Publishers

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