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Government of Canada announces the Indigenous organizations in British Columbia who received funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic

September 18, 2020 — Vancouver, Traditional Territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh, British Columbia — Indigenous Services Canada

Since the beginning of the pandemic, action has been taken at all levels to protect the most vulnerable and support those who need it most. Collective measures have been taken by women’s groups, homeless shelters, and mental health organizations, and assistance with food delivery has been organized by community-based organizations across this country. This work and their leadership has been making a fundamental difference.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, announced that 62 Indigenous organizations in British Columbia have received $6.4 million in funding through the Indigenous Community Support Fund’s off-reserve and urban stream to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Canada is providing funding to Indigenous organizations in British Columbia to address the critical needs of urban Indigenous Peoples during this crisis. The funding will aid with food security, mental health support services, homelessness and emergency supplies required to ensure the health and safety of Indigenous Peoples.

The First Nations Summit Society received $75,000 in funding to support the efforts of the First Nations Public Service Secretariat (FNPSS) and its mission to strengthen and enhance capacity in First Nations communities and organizations across British Columbia, on an individual, organizational, and Nation level. FNPSS will work with Indigenous specialists to provide training within a virtual environment that will assist First Nations communities and organizations across the province in their response and recovery from COVID-19 pandemic. This will include modules on communications, community engagement, emergency planning, and other pressing areas of need.

The Hulitan Family and Community Services, received $237,095 in funding to support families and Elders navigate and apply for government support programs; access mental health supports; provide housing supports, such as moving expenses or maintenance; access healthy food deliveries; transport individuals to essential appointments or shopping needs; activity and story books, and curriculum for children ages 2-5.

As part of the Indigenous Community Support Fund, the Government of Canada is distributing a total of $90 million to Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to First Nations people off-reserve, and Indigenous Peoples living in urban areas. This funding supports essential services to the most vulnerable and help organizations and communities prevent and respond to potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

On August 12, the Government of Canada announced an additional $305 million for the Indigenous Community Support Fund. This most recent announcement brings the Indigenous Community Support Fund to $685 million in total funding. It will be distributed through a combination of allocations directly to First Nations, Inuit and Métis leadership and on a needs-based funding, which will be application driven and extend to Indigenous communities and organizations serving First Nations living off-reserve, as well as Indigenous Peoples living in urban centres. More details will follow soon.

The organizations above are amongst approximately 260 Indigenous organizations supported to date by the urban and off-reserve stream of the Indigenous Community Support Fund, to help address the critical needs of Indigenous Peoples across the country in the face of this pandemic.

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