The Government of Canada has announced several supports to help Indigenous peoples during COVID-19.
The Government of Canada announced an additional $305 million in support for Indigenous Peoples during the COVID-19 pandemic, through the Indigenous Community Support Fund.
This fund can be used for a wide variety of measures, such as:
- Supporting Elders and vulnerable community members
- Addressing food insecurity, educational and other supports for children
- Mental health assistance and emergency response services
- Preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19
It will be distributed through a combination of allocations directly to First Nations, Inuit and Métis leadership, and needs-based funding, which will be application driven.
This brings the total investments to date in the Indigenous Community Support Fund to $685 million.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced $75 million in new funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve.
This additional funding will support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations during this crisis, including food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment. It could also help with other needs, such as support for Elders, transportation, and educational materials for Indigenous children and youth. Funding for projects will start rolling out in the coming weeks.
- As part of the $305 million distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund announced on March 18, the Government of Canada provided:
- $215 million for First Nations, allocated to each First Nation based on population, remoteness and community well-being
- $45 million for Inuit, which flowed to each of the four land claims organizations through an allocation determined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and regional Inuit land claims organizations
- $30 million for Métis Nation communities, which flowed through each of the Governing Members
- $15 million for Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve.
- The new $75 million will provide additional funding for the many organizations meeting the critical needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in urban centres and off reserve.
In his April 18th address, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced up to $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses.
The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses. These measures will help 6,000 Indigenous-owned businesses get through these difficult times.
Funding will be distributed through The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), at which point they’ll flow to Aboriginal Financial Institutions.
This program will assist in providing relief for Canadian Indigenous tourism businesses impacted by travel restrictions and loss of revenue due to COVID-19. Eligibility is restricted to Canadian Indigenous tourism businesses who are at least 51% owned by Indigenous entrepreneurs, communities or economic development organizations. Deadline for applications is 5:00pm PDT, April 30, 2020.
These new funds will provide Indigenous leadership with the flexibility needed to design and implement community-based solutions to prepare for and react to the spread of COVID-19 within their communities. These funds could be used for measures including, but not limited to:
- support for Elders and vulnerable community members
- measures to address food insecurity
- educational and other support for children
- mental health assistance and emergency response services
- preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19
This $100 million in spending will support support a range of federal health measures, including support for preparedness in First Nation and Inuit communities. These funds will:
- respond to identified needs to update and activate pandemic plans
- support an effective allocation of public health and primary health care capacity to respond to the COIVD-19 outbreak
- align response efforts with scientific evidence as determined by a medical officer of health
- address immediate needs in the short term
This dedicated finance program for Indigenous entrepreneurs offers loans of up to $350,000 to start or grow a business.