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.
“Today’s announcement is another step forward in ensuring the health and safety of Indigenous Peoples. The 62 Indigenous organizations in British Columbia who received much needed financial support will provide the necessary services and programs and address the critical needs of some of the most vulnerable during the pandemic. Their hard work and dedication is saving lives and preventing the spread of COVID-19”
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen incredible action taken by leadership at all levels to protect the most vulnerable and to take collective action to support those who need it most. Community-based organizations here in British Columbia and across the country have organized on-the-ground responses that have made a real difference. From providing food supports, to Elder and youth programs, or critical training and information sharing in a virtual environment — they’ve been there. We are humbled by all their work and thankful for all that they do.”
Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country
“The First Nations Public Service Secretariat has been able to leverage its networks and strong relationships to facilitate immediate and effective communication with First Nations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their virtual and web-based training, tools, and information have been meeting the needs of First Nations individuals and administrations. They continue to actively listen to what First Nations need, and are working diligently to address these needs.”
Robert Phillips, First Nations Summit Political Executive
First Nations Summit
“Our communities don’t end at our reserve boundaries. FNPSS is grateful for the support of its partners and for being able to help coordinate the sharing of important information to First Nations in new and timely ways during these unprecedented times. Even seemingly small things, like making it simpler for First Nation individuals to find the information they need, or to learn best practices on communicating with our most vulnerable, including Elders, and youth, can make a huge impact on the health of our entire communities — both on and off reserve.”
Jehan Casey, Director
First Nations Public Service Secretariat
“We are so very grateful for the funding provided by Indigenous Services Canada, because of their contributions Hulitan has been able to respond during a very trying and difficult time with generosity and timely support. So far, we have provided 1500 individuals a month with access to healthy food/gift cards, curriculum packages for 25 preschool aged children, traditional food and emotional support to 35 Elders, and regular transportation to 20 individuals. Hulitan will continue to provide these services until March 31, 2021. We raise our hands to all involved in ensuring these funds were made available to the community we serve. All my relations.”
Kendra Gage, Executive Director
Hulitan Family and Community Services Society
- This support is part of over $2.2 billion that has been committed in specific support to Indigenous and northern communities and organizations in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic.
- Project funding for the Indigenous Community Support Fund — urban and off-reserve stream was selected through a national Call for Proposals process.
- First Nations, Inuit and Métis also have access to other support measures available to Canadian individuals, businesses and industries, through the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
Indigenous Services Canada