Since 2006, this program also supported a total of 41 shelters across the country that have provided shelter services for over 16,500 children and 18,000 women living on reserve as well as offered over 1,800 family violence prevention and awareness activities in aboriginal communities across Canada.
I also want to take this opportunity, Mr. Chair, to state how pleased I am that we were able to finally pass the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, which will provide first nations women and children with legal protections and rights on reserve in the event of a marital breakdown or death, protections they have been without for nearly three decades.
These supplementary estimates also contribute to our efforts to reduce barriers to aboriginal people's full participation in the Canadian economy through investments in education, skills training, and the urban aboriginal strategy.
We know that aboriginal youth represent the fastest-growing segment of the population in Canada, and yet, unfortunately, they have one of the lowest graduation rates. That is exactly why our government is currently consulting on a draft legislative proposal for first nations education that would put in place a system that is accountable to students and ensure that first nations students have access, like all Canadians, to good quality education. Our government firmly believes that all first nations students across Canada deserve access to a school system that meets, if not exceeds, provincial and territorial standards, a school system where first nations culture and language takes its rightful place and respects treaty rights.
Attesting to the priority we place on education, in economic action plan 2013 our government invested $10 million, over two years, for Indspire to provide post-secondary scholarships and bursaries to first nations and Inuit students, $5 million of which is included in this year's supplementary estimates.
I strongly believe in Canada's youth, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal, and I believe it is important to equip them with the necessary tools they need to take our country's future in their hands and carry it successfully into the future.
Through economic action plan 2013, our government is also investing over $240 million to reform the income assistance program and connect first nations youth between the ages of 18 and 24 with skills training and jobs. These investments will help to provide personalized supports for first nations youth in receipt of income assistance for skills training that will help them find and keep a job. The funds included in this year's supplementary estimates, just over $20 million, will be used to initiate the first year of this program.
Finally, the supplementary estimates also include $12.7 million for the urban aboriginal strategy, which is intended to reduce barriers and create economic opportunities for urban aboriginals to get the training and skills they need to participate fully in the economy.
The majority of these supplementary estimates, however, will go toward the settlement of specific claims: $450 million of these funds will be provided to supplement the specific claims settlement fund for 2013-14. The remaining $22 million will be used for the implementation of the specific claims action plan.
As members of this committee know, in 2007 our government took unprecedented action to deal with the backlog of specific claims and reach a negotiated settlement that resolved the outstanding legal obligations of the government, provided a fair deal to taxpayers, and created economic opportunities for first nations communities and surrounding areas. I'm proud to report, Mr. Chair, that 100% of specific claims submitted since 2008 have been responded to within the three-year timeframe set out by the Justice At Last initiative. Furthermore, since 2007 the government has cleared a backlog of 541 claims at the assessment stage, doubling the number of claims in negotiation across the country. That's quite an achievement.
Finally, our government also believes that northerners are best placed to make the important decisions about how to run their economies and how to maximize the use of their resources. That is why I was pleased to be in Yellowknife this past June to sign a historic devolution agreement that will provide the Northwest Territories with greater decision-making power over a range of new responsibilities, which will lead to job growth and long-term prosperity across the territory.
The supplementary estimates support the implementation of the Northwest Territories Devolution Agreement by providing over $20 million that will allow our government to satisfy obligations in the Northwest Territories Devolution Agreement to make payments to the Government of the Northwest Territories and Northwest Territories aboriginal groups to offset their one-time costs associated with devolution. This is a critical time for the Northwest Territories and a historic juncture in their political development, and we continue to work toward a target effective date of April 1, 2014, as requested by the Premier of the Government of the Northwest Territories and agreed to by the Prime Minister.
This includes fostering economic development by improving northern regulatory systems, while protecting our environmental heritage and putting more control in the hands of northerners.
Mr. Chair, this government believes that all Canadians, regardless of where they live—north or south, on and off reserve—should be able to fully participate in our strong Canadian economy.
I'm happy to answer any questions that members of the committee may have pertaining to supplementary estimates (B) 2013-14.