Background Content

Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

New Fiscal Relationship

July 25, 2017

Canada – First Nations New Fiscal Relations Working Group under the MOU put forward the following for official signature by AFN and INAC:

  • The first change allows First Nations to carry over funding from year to year. Often, First Nations had to return funds not because they weren’t needed but because there was not enough time to spend them properly. The problem is compounded by the fact that First Nations often receive funds late in the fiscal year, increasing the pressure to spend. The change reduces these problems and will also increase the certainty of resources for multi-year programs and projects. This change will take effect in the new fiscal year beginning April 1, 2018.
  • The second change deals with the federal government’s Operations and Maintenance funding policy. Under the policy, the federal government funds only a portion of the estimated costs of essential government services like emergency services or potable drinking water and First Nations are expected to fund the remaining portion. Many First Nations are already under-funded and cannot cover these costs so these essential services cannot be provided. This can cause critical problems in far too many communities. The Canada-First Nations New Fiscal Relations Working Group will work on a new approach to ensure all First Nations can provide these services and provide options in a joint report to be presented in December 2017.

The 2017 report by the Canada-First Nations New Fiscal Relations Working Group “A New Approach: Co-development of a New Fiscal Relationship Between Canada and First Nations” is available at: