Fraser Institute News Release: Federal Indigenous spending up more than 90% since 2015

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Since 2015, federal spending on Indigenous programs has skyrocketed from $12.4 billion to $24 billion for fiscal year 2021/22, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

In other words, Indigenous federal spending increased by 94.3 per cent since 2015 (after adjusting for inflation).

“Over a six-year period, federal spending on Indigenous programs has increased significantly and these spending levels may grow even faster in coming years,” said Tom Flanagan, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and author of Fiscal Explosion: Federal Spending on Indigenous Programs, 2015-2022.

The study also found that settlements of legal claims have helped drive recent spending increases. For example, after a 10-year period with no settlements, the federal government since 2017 has settled five Indigenous-related class action lawsuits with more pending. In fact, for fiscal year 2021/22, Ottawa plans to spend at least $3.2 billion to resolve outstanding legal claims and settlement obligations.

“If Ottawa wants to better control spending on Indigenous programs, it should review its approach to settlements, which have increased substantially in recent years,” Flanagan said.

“All Canadians should want Ottawa to fund Indigenous programs in the most efficient and effective way, so the money goes to those most in need.”

Tom Flanagan, Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit