Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $75 million in new funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous people in urban areas and off reserve.
“As COVID-19 continues to affect Canadians across the country, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis are also facing health, social, and economic challenges,” reads a statement from the prime minister’s office.
“The Government of Canada recognizes that Indigenous peoples have unique needs, especially those who are separated from their families and communities.”
In March, the federal government announced $305 million for a new, distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in Indigenous communities.
The funds included $15 million in support for Indigenous organizations that provide services to Indigenous peoples living in urban centres and off reserve.
Thursday’s announcement adds new funding that will support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations, including food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment.
“COVID-19 is having unique impacts on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis across our country. For Indigenous peoples living off reserve, in urban centres, or separated from their communities, it can be even more challenging to access the help they need,” said Trudeau in a statement. “We are listening to Indigenous peoples and organizations, and providing them with support to respond to this crisis.”
According to the government, funding for projects will start rolling out in the coming weeks.