OTTAWA, Nov. 2, 2016 /CNW/ - The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, issued the following statement today: "Investing in infrastructure is about investing in people and communities. Closing the unacceptable gaps in quality housing, clean drinking water and better schools is essential and a priority for our government. This fiscal, our government has allocated $829 million in targeted funding toward projects to provide clean drinking water, improved housing, new and refurbished schools, improved waste management, new cultural and recreation spaces and additional infrastructure that are the foundation of healthier, more sustainable communities. The largest portion, more than $275 million, is for 195 water and wastewater projects, including 25 that will address 34 long-term drinking water advisories in 24 communities. For housing, $269 million is being invested in 956 housing projects that will lead to 3,174 housing units being built on reserves across Canada. In addition, $46.5 million will support 159 cultural and recreation infrastructure projects on reserve across the country. Over five years, Budget 2016 is making historic investments of $4.6 billion to support infrastructure in Indigenous communities. These investments will help meet the needs of those communities, while protecting health, safety and the environment, and bringing jobs and inclusive growth. Beyond ensuring adequate investments, we need to make sure we are working in partnership with communities on innovative approaches and ideas to address their needs. Comprehensive community planning, which brings together youth, elders and all members is essential to building stronger, healthier and more sustainable communities. We are committed to get this right and work Nation-to-Nation to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast." This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca . Stay Connected Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.