Canada: C$5 billion to help its aboriginal people

The Canadian government on Friday pledged C$5 billion (US$4.3 billion) to empower Canada's native Indian and northern Inuit communities with the tools to help lift them out of poverty and disease on their neglected native lands.

Prime Minister Paul Martin and the premiers of Canada's 13 provinces and territories announced the historic package after a two-day summit with five organizations representing the nearly 1 million aboriginal peoples of the North American nation, namely Indian tribes known as First Nations and Inuits, aboriginal Canadians of the northeastern and Arctic territories.

"With this plan, we have made an important step forward in honoring our commitment to close the gap in the quality of life that now exists between aboriginal peoples and other Canadians," Martin told a news conference, reported AP. P.T.

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