New Indigenous Services ministry aiming to improve health, quality of life

Federal briefing documents on the new Indigenous Services Department say Indigenous people in Canada don’t live as long, are more likely to end up in the child welfare system and are less likely to graduate high school.

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott is laying out today the structure and goals of the new department, which is supposed to improve the quality of life and help move away from the top-down approach where Ottawa dictates all that happens in the file.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in August he was splitting the Indigenous Affairs department in two with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs handling land claims and self-governance and Philpott’s new department taking over government programs on health, child welfare, education and infrastructure.

Philpott’s briefing documents show the difficult job ahead for her new department, with life expectancy for Indigenous people 15 years shorter than other Canadians, infant mortality rates two to three times higher and incidence of diseases such as diabetes four times the rate in non-Indigenous populations.

High school graduation rates on reserve are half of what they are elsewhere, and reserves also have a $30 billion infrastructure deficit for everything from dilapidated, overcrowded housing to water treatment and delivery, roads and broadband services.

Later this week, Philpott is hosting an emergency meeting on child welfare on reserves, which she says is the most pressing issue for her new department.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Study of U.S. hospital figures links pot use with increased risk of stroke

MONTREAL — New research is being presented at a conference in Montreal… Continue reading

Most Read