To: First Nation Governments
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada announced the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. This plan includes $305 million for a new, distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. This funding will also provide support to regional, urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations.
A new Indigenous Community Support Fund
The Indigenous Community Support Fund will provide $305 million to help Indigenous communities prevent, prepare and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This funding will help Indigenous communities to address their unique priorities and needs such as support for Elders, food insecurity, educational and other support for children, mental health assistance and emergency response services.
Through this fund, $290 million has been allocated to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
The remaining $15 million will be available for regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members living away from their communities, and to regional organizations such as Friendship Centres and the Métis Settlements General Council of Alberta.
This fund is designed to support:
- First Nations communities (including self-governing and modern Treaty nations)
- Inuit communities in Inuit Nunangat
- Métis governing members in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario
- Regional, urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations including Friendship Centres, Métis Settlements General Council of Alberta and Métis in the Northwest territories
Communities identified jointly by Indigenous Services Canada, the National Indigenous Organizations and other Indigenous leaders, based on emergency needs, do not need to apply:
- on-reserve and self-governing First Nations communities will receive funding directly from ISC
- Inuit Nunangat Regions will receive funding directly from ISC
- Métis will receive funding through existing mechanisms to facilitate the speed at which funding can be received
There is no deadline for communities. The funding will flow as quickly as possible through existing agreements. A call for proposals will be launched shortly for the regional and urban Indigenous organizations fund.
The funding has been allocated by province (see breakdown at attached Schedule “A”). As shown in the map, the Indigenous Community Support Fund will be distributed as follows:
- $215 million for First Nations: allocated to each First Nation based on population, remoteness and community well-being
- $45 million for Inuit, which will flow to each of the four land claims organizations through an allocation determined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and regional Inuit land claims organizations
- $30 million for Métis Nation communities, which will flow through each of the Governing Members
- $15 million for regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members living away from their communities, and to regional organizations such as Friendship Centres, Métis Settlements General Council of Alberta and Métis in the Northwest Territories
JFK is committed to assisting Indigenous communities and organizations throughout this difficult time. We recommend that communities keep watch on this funding to make sure they receive their allocation. Please feel free to follow up with us if it appears that the funding has been distributed but your community has not received anything or has not received an appropriate amount. Please contact Robin Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org) or another of our lawyers if you are an Indigenous organization that would like assistance applying for funding.
 For more information, visit: https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1585189335380/1585189357198