Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that his government is providing a total of $650 million dollars in additional support for Indigenous communities.
The funding includes over $285 million for public health for First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities, an additional $85 million dollars for new shelters for Indigenous women which will be built in the north, and a boost to the on-reserve income assistance program which will support people living on-reserve who need help paying for the basics.
Trudeau has also announced that his government is “looking at ways” to allow close family members – parents, children and spouses – of Canadian citizens or permanent residents separated by the U.S.-Canada border closure to reunite under strict conditions.
Trudeau said despite these exceptions, the U.S. border will remain closed for non-essential travel until the end of June.
The prime minister also called on Canadians to reject racism as protests erupt in the U.S. over the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed during a police arrest. Trudeau said anti-Black racism is a reality in Canada as well.
Trudeau also said his government is working with provincial governments to build a COVID-19 data-sharing platform to better trace and isolate the virus moving forward.