(Ottawa, ON) –National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) welcomes the support of the federal government which announced today that it will invest an additional $305 million to assist First Nations in addressing the current impacts of COVID-19. The funds will help with mitigation as well as preparing for an expected ‘second wave’ in the coming months. These funds, made available through the continuing Indigenous Community Support Fund, follows initial investments of $380 million and will help ensure First Nations have the public health resources we need to keep our people secure and safe.
“While early action by the federal government and local chiefs have helped First Nations avoid the dire situations we’ve seen in Indigenous communities in many other countries, far too many remain under states of emergencies,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “This additional funding will assist First Nations to better prepare for additional public health measures required from COVID-19. However, still more is needed and I will continue to advocate for sustainable funding to address the critical needs during this crisis. Canada must remain committed to addressing these unique needs so long as COVID-19 remains with us.”
Speaking at a press conference, Indigenous Services Canada Minister Marc Miller said: “Health and safety remains our priority and we will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous communities and organizations to support a strong and comprehensive pandemic response. This funding offers further concrete support for on-the-ground community solutions that respond to the unique needs and circumstances of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis wherever they reside.”
First Nations, tribal councils, and urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations are eligible to receive additional funding under an expanded list of activities to address COVID-19. This week Canada also allocated $24.6M in funding to support urban Indigenous Peoples through the National Association of Friendship Centres, the 2Spirits in Motion Foundation and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
For further information:
Assembly of First Nations