OTTAWA and TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN PEOPLES, ON, Sept. 28, 2020 /CNW/ - 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, the Honourable Jim Carr, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre announced the 32 Indigenous organizations in the province of Alberta who received approximately $11.8 million in funding through the Indigenous Community Support Fund's off-reserve and urban stream to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will aid with food security, mental health support services, homelessness, and required emergency supplies to ensure the health and safety of Indigenous Peoples.
The Ben Calf Robe Society, based in Treaty 6, received $150,000 in funding to support Indigenous children and youth in meeting their ongoing educational needs through a holistic approach including supportive social and cultural services and programs. They are committed to helping individuals who are struggling to meet their basic needs during the pandemic by providing food, clothing, personal protective equipment, resources for shelters and means of transportation to help people arrive home safely.
The Native Counselling Services of Alberta received $221,200 in funding to assist Indigenous Peoples in accessing critical physical, mental and emotional supports, as well as food security through the delivery of food hampers and personal protective equipment. The organization also provides transportation to access services safely and effectively.
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 Indigenous Peoples living in urban areas, to support essential services to the most vulnerable and to 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 needs-based funding, which will be application driven and extend to Indigenous communities and organizations serving First Nations living off-reserve and Indigenous Peoples living in urban centres.
The organizations within Alberta are among approximately 260 Indigenous organizations supported to date by the Indigenous Community Support Fund to help address the critical needs of Indigenous Peoples living in urban centers across the country impacted by the pandemic.
"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen incredible action taken by organizations supporting First Nations People living off reserve and Indigenous Peoples in urban areas. This announcement will allow Ben Calf Robe Society, Native Counselling Services of Alberta, and the other 30 organizations in Alberta receiving funding, to continue to provide the essential services required to ensure the health and safety of their community members during this difficult time. I am humbled by your work and thankful for all that you do."
The Honourable Jim Carr
Prime Minister's special representative for the Prairies and
Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre
"Community-based organizations here in Alberta 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."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and
Member of Parliament for Oakville North—Burlington
"The support the Ben Calf Robe Society has received has allowed our organization to assist our Indigenous community. We have heard from many people how grateful they are to receive additional supports during this pandemic. We will continue to support our children, youth and families to the best of our ability during these challenging times."
Claudette DeWitt, Executive Director
Ben Calf Robe Society
"Because of uncertainty and fluidity we appreciate the flexibility the funding from Indigenous Services Canada has provided allowing us to meet the changing and evolving needs of the urban Indigenous communities in Grande Prairie, St Paul, Calgary, Lethbridge and Edmonton. This ranges from food security to information technology, transportation to social activity kits and connections to cultural materials and supports. We will also look to provide support around the new behaviours that are expected in a time of COVID – anxiety and COVID fatigue to name a few."
Dr. Allen Benson, Chief Executive Officer
Native Counselling Services of Alberta
- 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.
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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada