Trudeau announces another $285M for Indigenous communities. $44.8M over five years to build 12 new shelters
COVID-19 has further highlighted many existing challenges already facing Indigenous peoples, particularly those who live in remote areas. Throughout the pandemic, the federal government has been working closely with the Indigenous community to ensure their immediate and long health needs are being met.
The leaders of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities best understand the specific needs of their communities and have all taking the leadership roles in identifying community lead solutions. The work they have done with the federal government has played a key role in controlling the spread of COVID-19 throughout their communities.
Today, Prime Minister Trudeau, announced new funding to provide critical support to Indigenous families and communities during this crisis, based on needs that have been identified. The funding includes:
“COVID-19 has further highlighted the unique challenges that already exist for Indigenous peoples and communities. We are listening to Indigenous peoples, and are working with them to ensure they have the support they need to get through this crisis.”The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
- $285.1 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities. The investment will fund community-led responses to the pandemic, and provide targeted increases in primary health care resources for First Nations communities. In case of outbreaks, this funding can be drawn upon to provide surge capacity and additional support for community-based services in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities.
Funding for additional health care resources in First Nations communities will support:
- increasing the number of health care providers to provide surge capacity
- delivering up to 160 temporary assessment, screening and isolation units, which includes retooling of existing facilities, ready-to-move trailers, and mobile structures
- medical supplies and equipment in health care facilities
- $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address increased demand on the program, which will help individuals and families meet their essential living expenses. It will also help hire additional staff to better serve First Nations communities and connect individuals to other government programs.
- $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence. This funding will help build 10 shelters in First Nations communities on reserve across the country, and two in the territories, to support Indigenous women and children.
- The government will also provide $40.8 million to support operational costs for these new shelters over the first five years, and $10.2 million annually ongoing. We are also announcing $1 million a year ongoing, starting this year, to support engagement with Métis leaders and service providers on shelter provision and community-led violence prevention projects for Métis women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people.
Today’s investment builds on the work already being done through the $305 million Indigenous Community Support Fund, and the additional $75 million provided for communities and organizations working with Indigenous peoples living in urban areas and off-reserve.
The Government of Canada is taking a distinctions-based approach to address the needs of Indigenous peoples and communities. Where needed, the government has also provided additional support, including in northwestern Saskatchewan, where funding has supported a collective effort between First Nations, the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, the Government of Saskatchewan, and other partners to coordinate the COVID-19 response in the region.
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