‘Most Jobs Are Off Reserve’

“More than two out of every five people living on a reserve in Saskatchewan receive income assistance.

“In contrast, about 2% of Saskatchewan’s total population is receiving some form of provincial assistance.

“Data obtained from ‘Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’ (AANDC) shows the average ‘First Nation’ band in Saskatchewan had an income assistance dependency rate – the number of people receiving income assistance divided by the total on-reserve population – of 44%.

“Reserves are a federal responsibility, so assistance to people there is provided by Ottawa.

“Forty-one of the 70 ‘First Nations’ reported data consecutively to the federal government for eight years, from 2009-10 to 2013-14. The data from those 41 ‘First Nations’ was used to determine an average…

“Dependency rates are determined by dividing the total number of income assistance beneficiaries by the total on-reserve population, which was calculated by the federal government by adding AANDC’s Indian Registry total on-reserve population (including on-reserve and on Crown land), to Statistics Canada’s non-registered on-reserve population from the census.

“There wasn’t consistent data from the federal government on the Whitecap Dakota ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 629 people}, so a year-to-year dependency rate is difficult to determine. In the five years where numbers are available, the lowest reported rate was 19% in 2013-14. The highest was 56% in 2010-11. Whitecap Chief Darcy Bear said those statistics seemed skewed, and questioned whether or not the federal government used correct population numbers when doing its calculations. He said meetings are being set up with the federal government to review the numbers…
Whitecap Dakota ‘First Nation’ Chief Darcy Bear (GORD WALDNER--THE STARPHOENIX)
“White Bear Dakota ‘First Nation’ had the lowest overall average, with a 27% dependency rate. Year-to-year, the ‘First Nation’ had a dependency rate hovering between 15 to 30%, though in 2010-2011, that number jumped to 51%.

“Big Island Lake Cree ‘Nation’, with an on-reserve population of 816, had the highest dependency rate at 68%. The same Band was the subject of a federal audit in 2012, after it was alleged vehicles, quads, horses and travel trailers were bought using federal money tabbed for social assistance. The federal government hired ‘Deloitte & Touche LLP’ to do a forensic audit of the ‘First Nation’.

“The decision to conduct an audit was made in response to allegations received by the department concerning the misuse of program funds”, said an AANDC spokesperson in a statement. “The audit results are being finalized and confirmed to Big Island Lake Cree ‘Nation’.”

“A summary of the audit’s finding will eventually be made available, but no timeline was provided on when that will happen.

“There were 31 ‘First Nations’ that did not have data reported for each year. Wood Mountain didn’t have data reported to AANDC for any year within the eight years.

“AANDC provided information only for the ‘First Nations’ who participate in the ‘Income Assistance’ program. Not included are the ‘self-governing’ ‘First Nations’, those where the program is managed by the province, and ‘First Nations’ for which no data was submitted.

“Big River, Pelican Lake, Witchekan Lake, Canoe Lake Cree ‘Nation’, Ministikwan Lake Cree ‘Nation’, Buffalo River Dene ‘First Nation’, English River ‘First Nation’, Waterhen ‘First Nation’, Birch Narrows ‘First Nation’, Moosomin ‘First Nation’, Red Pheasant ‘First Nation’, Saulteaux ‘First Nation’ and Sweetgrass ‘First Nation’ all deliver an income assistance program through a tribal council system…”

–‘Average income assistance dependency rate on Saskatchewan ‘First Nations’ at 44 per cent’,
D.C. Fraser, Regina Leader-Post, May 9, 2016
dfraser@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/dcfraser 

http://leaderpost.cm/news/saskatchewan/average-income-assistance-dependency-rates-on-saskatchewan-first-nations-at-44-per-cent

https://www.saskatoon.ca/sites/default/files/documents/community-services/planning-development/future-growth/urban-reserves-treaty-land-entitlement/fnp_whitecap_final.pdf fsin_logo
From March, 2015:

“The March numbers are in and Saskatchewan remains the province with the most jobs in the country…

“According to a report by ‘Statistics Canada’, seasonally adjusted numbers for March show Saskatchewan maintaining the lowest unemployment rate in the country for 18 months straight…

“According to ‘Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce’ CEO Brian Martynook, it means that employers are trying to find workers from a pool of workers that’s quickly getting depleted.

“It’s good that people are getting employed”, Martynook said. “But for businesses it’s tough trying to find employees – mainly skilled ones but also we need workers in the service industry like at the restaurants and hotels.”

“Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate for March 2015 was 4.4%, well below the 6.8 per cent recorded nationally…

“Off-reserve aboriginal employment was up 400 from a year ago…”

–‘Saskatchewan’s booming economy: More jobs, fewer workers’,
Iryn Tushabe, Moose Jaw Times Herald, April 10, 2015

http://www.mjtimes.sk.ca/News/Local/2015-04-10/article-4107505/Saskatchewan%26rsquo%3Bs-booming-economy%3A-More-jobs,-fewer-workers/1 ANTIFracking138Aboriginal reserve residents receive Social Assistance (welfare) from the federal government, unlike the rest of Canadians, as part of institutionally segregated services. This has not only necessitated creating, and financing, a duplicate federal bureaucracy but has also inevitably resulted in inequalities.

In the case below, the federal government tried – in 2011 – to equalize the welfare rates they were paying in New Brunswick with the provincial rates. Aboriginal leaders promptly took it to court. Over 4 years – and lots of lawyer’s fees– later, the federal government is finally allowed to do the right thing:

‘Supreme Court denies appeal of cut to ‘First Nations’ welfare rates’

“The Supreme Court of Canada will not allow the ‘Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs’ to appeal a decision allowing the federal government to cut social assistance rates for ‘First Nations’ people.

“We are disappointed and upset by the court’s decision”, said Chief Leroy Denny, lead chief of the social portfolio for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. “Our priority has always been our Mi’kmaq community members who are on social assistance and are surviving on very little money. We had hoped that the courts would recognize that, too.”

“Thursday’s Supreme Court decision has been four years in the making. Members of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs were told in 2011 that the federal government planned to align social assistance with rates given to ‘non-native’ recipients.

“In 2013, the province’s chiefs, along with chiefs from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, won a legal battle, ‘Chief Jesse Simon vs. Attorney General’, halting the government from implementing its proposal.
http://burchells.ca/practiceareas/documents/Simon_Respondents_memo_fact_law.pdf

“The decision was later overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal, which found Ottawa did have the right to implement proposed cuts unilaterally and without studying impacts. Changes to ‘First Nations’ social assistance rates are expected in April.

“We obviously still have major concerns moving forward”, said Denny, also the chief of Eskasoni. “We need to know exactly what this is going to look like for our people and how it’s going to affect the bottom line. We hope that we can call on the newly-elected Liberal government to work with us to ensure that our people aren’t starved {?} in order to create Canada’s definition of a better life.”

Fracking equipment set ablaze in Elsipogtog
Fracking equipment set ablaze in Elsipogtog

“‘First Nations’ communities argued they weren’t adequately consulted throughout the amendment process and that changes would result in significant cuts, including the removal of shelter and utilities subsidies and the claw back of the ‘National Child Benefit’.

“Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada provides social assistance to on-reserve residents currently at a higher rate than provincial rates in the Maritimes.

“Denny said the government’s plan involves eliminating housing and utility subsidies for on-reserve residents, while those same benefits would have remained for people on provincial social assistance.

“It is unfair to compare ‘First Nations’ social assistance rates with provincial rates, said Denny, because non-native people have easier access to other welfare programs that aren’t available on reserves, such as job training, child care, transportation and maternal health.

“As well, he said, unemployment rates are higher on reserves, especially ones off main highways or away from urban centres.

“The Harper government knew there would be serious consequences if they went ahead with this plan”, said Denny. “We conducted our studies and they weren’t interested. This is the federal government telling us what is best for our families and communities.”

{NO, it’s simply treating you equally with everyone else. Why don’t you advocate for higher rates for EVERYONE?}

“Naiomi Metallic, a lawyer with ‘Burchells LLP’ in Halifax who has represented the Mi’kmaq in the court cases, could not be reached after Thursday’s ruling. But in March, she told ‘The Chronicle Herald’ that the policy change could mean ‘First Nations’ people would see their welfare funds cut nearly in half {Absolute nonsense…}.

“In some cases, it would mean a difference of $300 or $400 (a month), which you can appreciate is significant when you’re only getting about $800”, said Metallic.

{“…where a family of four in the rest of New Brunswick receives $908 a month, a family of similar size on a reserve receives $1,262, or about $300 more.”
http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=fullcomment.nationalpost.com%2F2013%2F10%2F18%2Fchristie-blatchford-first-nation-band-behind-anti-fracking-protest-fights-for-85-welfare-status-quo }

“No one from Aboriginal Affairs could be reached for comment Thursday.”

–‘Supreme Court denies appeal of cut to ‘First Nations’ welfare rates’,
Andrew Rankin, Halifax Chronicle Journal, Oct.22, 2015

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1318170-supreme-court-denies-appeal-of-cut-to-first-nations-welfare-rates
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