Indigenous Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities and their families: Access to culturally relevant supports and resources


Currently supports for adults with developmental disabilities are not available within First Nations due to unresolved jurisdictional differences between the federal and provincial governments. This systemic discrimination continues to mean that adults with developmental disabilities and their families, who live on reserve, experience great hardships and vulnerabilities. First Nations individuals with developmental disabilities and their families can only access needed Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) supports and services by leaving their First Nations’ communities, homes, and families. If they choose to remain within their First Nation, they and their families sacrifice access to the supports and funding that could make an invaluable difference to their lives. If they choose or are forced to leave to obtain supports, they sacrifice culture, community, family, and friends.

Indigenous populations not living on reserves also access PDD and Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) at a disproportionally lower rate than the rest of the population. The lack of Indigenous operated or culturally knowledgeable resources in Alberta compounds the level of disadvantage faced by Indigenous people in Alberta. And while First Nations’ families with children with disabilities can access FSCD on and off reserve, it is vastly underutilized putting children and their families at risk.

Ask the candidates in your constituency if they, and their parties will commit to:

  • Negotiating with First Nations and the Federal government to ensure the availability of PDD funding on reserves and collaborate with First Nations to ensure the provision of culturally relevant supports to assist families to access both FSCD and PDD on reserve, taking into account which First Nations may want to operate under their jurisdiction PDD and FSCD on reserves.  Additionally, the government must collaborate with Indigenous Albertans to develop culturally relevant supports and services, including access to PDD and FSCD, for Indigenous people who do not live on reserves.

Indigenous Disability Fact Sheet AB Election 2023 (PDF)

View/download the full document of Inclusion Alberta’s Election 2023 platform asks here (PDF)

Return to Inclusion Alberta Election 2023 main

Background information about systemic discrimination in the provision of supports to Indigenous children and adults with developmental disabilities:

In the news:

Siksika Nation, Blackfoot Confederacy files lawsuit against Federal GovernmentStrathmore Now

“Several people in the community conversations noted there are no provincial PDD services available on First Nation reserves. As a result, some First Nation individuals living on reserve may leave their communities to access PDD services or may not be able to access the supports they need.” Report of the PDD Review Panel, 2019