CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

Where’s the money for healing?

The Story

Some Native-run counseling organizations are wondering why the Aboriginal Healing Foundation is so slow to begin fulfilling its mandate. The AHF was set up by the government early last year and was given $350 million to help Aboriginal groups with healing projects for residential school survivors. But so far, they've spent as much on administration as they have on healing programs -- just $2.5 million. A CBC reporter asks, "What's the holdup?"

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: July 19, 1999
Guests: Elaine Herbert, Deanne Redhawk House, Wendy John, Robert Joseph
Reporter: Stephanie Wood
Duration: 7:19

Did You know?

• As of March 31, 2003, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation had approved 1,059 projects with various Aboriginal organizations and communities. The value of the contracts was $266 million.

• Contracts were awarded in every province and territory, with the majority in Western Canada and Ontario.

• Projects paid for by the AHF cover a wide range of healing initiatives and programs for Aboriginal people -- not just residential-school survivors. Among them are counselling for survivors and their families, summer camps for youth, parenting programs, interviewing elders on their life stories, mentorship for young people, and many more.

• In 2000, Gilbert Oskaboose, a newspaper commentator from the Serpent River First Nation in Northern Ontario, wrote an article criticizing the AHF. He compared the grant-application process to "Jesuits flinging out candy into the yard, then laughing at us kids fighting over it." But Oskaboose's main complaint was that money from the AHF was going not to residential school survivors, but to "Native people who have learned to play the juicy government funding game."


A Lost Heritage: Canada's Residential Schools more