Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

The federal government has announced an additional $305 million to help Indigenous Peoples combat COVID-19.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the money is meant to help Indigenous communities prepare for emergencies and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

He says communities can also use the money for a variety of other measures, including helping elders and vulnerable people, food insecurity, educational and other supports for children and mental health assistance.

The new money will flow through the Indigenous community support fund, bringing the total amount to $685 million this year.

RELATED: Island tour operator keeps Indigenous culture alive through COVID-19 with virtual journeys

RELATED: Violence against Indigenous women during COVID-19 sparks calls for MMIWG plan

Some funding will also go to First Nations living off-reserve as well as Inuit and Metis people living in urban centres, distributed based on need through an application process.

Miller says Ottawa is committed to ensuring Indigenous leaders have the tools and support they need to implement the various aspects of their pandemic plans.

“This funding will provide crucial support to key community initiatives that strive to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19 in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities,” he said.

“This approach aligns with our commitment to support Indigenous leadership’s approaches to community wellness while providing the flexibility to respond to emerging needs, for example in response to an outbreak of COVID-19.”

To date there have been 425 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, with 34 people hospitalized. Of these, 393 have recovered from the virus. There have also been 17 cases in the Nunavik region in northern Quebec. All have recovered.

The federal government has acknowledged that COVID-19 case counts among Indigenous Peoples do not reflect the true impact on Indigenous communities and individuals, as they only capture statistics from those living on reserves or in Inuit territories. The majority of Indigenous people in Canada live off reserve.

—Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

New Sooke library project awarded to Nanaimo-based company

No construction timeline announced by contractor

Victoria gets new collegiate baseball team, training facility

Golden Tide coach wants to see as many local kids play for the HarbourCats as possible

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read