Northern housing, energy security and Indigenous education, infrastructure and health were some of the areas covered in the 2017 federal budget, tabled in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

READ: 2017 Federal Budget [pdf]

The budget will be investing $300 million into Northern housing over the next 11 years.

The Northwest Territories will receive $36 million of that pot, $24 million will be provided to the Yukon and Nunavut will see the biggest investment with $240 million.

The budget also includes $3.4 billion in total over five years to address areas of “critical need” for Indigenous peoples.

Some highlights of the budget for Northerners include:


  • $28.4 million of the $108 Territorial Health Investment Fund to the NWT over four years.


  • $400 million to an Arctic Energy Fund to address energy security and the renewal and replacement of energy systems in northern communities to reduce their reliance on diesel.
  • $21.4 million to reduce community’s reliance on diesel through the Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity Program over four years starting in 2018-19.

Indigenous Employment

  • $39.2 million to reducing employment barriers for First Nations youth living on-reserve by providing case management services and provide supports for youth to access employment opportunities.
  • $50 million towards The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS), which will work to meet Canada’s “growing demand from Indigenous Peoples for skills development and job training”.

Adult and Post-Secondary Education

  • $90 million to support Indigenous post-secondary education through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program.
  • $14.7 million towards adult education through the Northern Adult Basic Education Program to deliver adult basic education services to local colleges over three years.
  • $25 million over five years to the Indigenous-led charity Indspire, that helps Indigenous students attend post-secondary school and find jobs. “In total, this will provide $40 million over five years in bursaries and scholarships for more than 12,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students.”
  • The federal government is also proposing amendments to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act to allow non-Canadian students registered under the Indian Act to access the Canada Student Loans Program.

Indigenous Tourism Industry

  • $8.6 million over four years to support the development of Canada’s Indigenous tourism industry, including the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada’s five-year Indigenous Tourism Strategy.

Environment Stewardship of Indigenous Lands

  • $25 million over five years to the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Project. “This initiative will give Indigenous Peoples greater responsibility and resources to manage their traditional lands and waterways.”


  • $2.1 billion over the next 11 years for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy across Canada, extending the program that was expected to expire in 2018-19.

Climate Change

  • $26.4 million over five years to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada “to support Indigenous collaboration on climate change.”
  • $83.8 million to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada over five years to “integrate traditional Indigenous knowledge to build a better understanding of climate change and to guide adaptation measures; enhance Indigenous community resilience through infrastructure planning and emergency management in those communities where flooding risks are increasing; and enhance resilience in northern communities by improving the design and construction of northern infrastructure.”

Indigenous Tourism Industry

  • $8.6 million to support the development of Canada’s Indigenous tourism industry over four years.

Mining Tax Credit

  • The 15 per cent tax credit Minieral Exploration Tax Credit is being extended another year. The credit is for junior exploration companies and was set to expire this month.