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Government of Canada is providing assistance to urban Indigenous organizations in the London Area to address the COVID-19 pandem

Government of Canada is providing assistance to urban Indigenous organizations in the London Area to address the COVID-19 pandemic

Canada NewsWire

LONDON, ON and TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE ANISHINAABEG, HAUDENOSAUNEE, ATTAWANDARON, AND WENDAT PEOPLES, Sept. 15, 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, Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West, and Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, highlighted close to $609,000 in funding to support Atlohsa Family Healing Services, Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, Four Feathers Housing Cooperative, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Mnaasged Child and Family Services, Caldwell First Nation, Southern First Nation Secretariat, and First Farms & Forests Centre for Indigenous Food.

The Government of Canada is providing funding so that these Indigenous organizations in London, Ontario, can address the critical needs of urban Indigenous Peoples and First Nations living off-reserve during this crisis. The funding will aid with food security, mental health support services, homelessness, and required emergency supplies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples.

First Farms & Forests Centre for Indigenous Food Sovereignty (formerly known as True Colours Farm) received $204,450 in critical funding to improve access to culturally sensitive whole foods for low income and vulnerable urban Indigenous youth, Elders and families at risk in the Norfolk, Hamilton and Niagara regions. Funding will support the health, social and economic needs of vulnerable Indigenous community members through a "Mother Earth first, Food is Sacred agro-ecology and agro-entrepreneurship" approach.

Atlohsa Family Healing Services received $170,800 in funding to further support Indigenous community members by offering a nutritious and Indigenous-based hot meal program to children and youth on a daily basis during the pandemic. The program, dubbed Mino Meals, delivers 1,482 Indigenous inspired meals throughout the city to 219 families on a weekly basis. In addition to the meal program, funding will support access to technology to connect Indigenous families to their service providers and ensure communications and planning are prioritized during the pandemic.

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, 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 second round of 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 as well as Indigenous Peoples living in urban centres. More details will follow soon.

The organizations above are among the 260 Indigenous organizations supported to date by the Indigenous Community Support Fund, to help address the critical needs of First Nations living off-reserve, and Indigenous peoples in urban centres across the country in the face of this pandemic.

Quotes

"Today's announcement is another step forward in ensuring the health and safety of Indigenous Peoples. This much needed funding will support Indigenous organizations in the London area to address their critical needs 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

"During this difficult time, nothing is more important than living in a safe and healthy environment. That is exactly what Four Feathers Housing Co-op will be able to continue to provide to their senior residents through the Indigenous Community Support Fund – and we're so happy to support them."

Kate Young

Member of Parliament for London West

"Today's announcement is important for our community. I'm especially excited about the support that is being given to Atlohsa Family Healing Services and the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre. These organizations are an essential source of assistance for members of the Indigenous community in London who find themselves in need during COVID-19. Their work will prove vital in helping generate lasting social impact in response to the pandemic."

Peter Fragiskatos

Member of Parliament for London North Centre

"With the contribution of Indigenous Services Canada, we are able to advance our biological soil restoration practices to share with communities across Canada, support community involvement in growing and preparing food that meets our Four Directions Food Test, and enhance existing services to vulnerable Elders, youth and community members through collaboration with Indigenous organizations and regional partners."

First Farms & Forests Centre for Indigenous Food

"We are pleased to have support from Indigenous Services Canada, to ensure our children and youth are receiving great nutritious meals, but they are also getting exposure to healthy indigenous based diets and hopefully inspiring families to think about creative Indigenous based meal planning in the future."

Raymond Deleary, Executive Director

Atlohsa Family Healing Services

Quick facts

  • This support is part of over $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.

Associated links

Indigenous Community Support Fund: Urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations and communities 

Indigenous Community Support Fund 

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Stay connected

Join the conversation about Indigenous Peoples in Canada:

Twitter: @GCIndigenous

Facebook: @GCIndigenous

Instagram: @gcindigenous

Facebook: @GCIndigenousHealth

Twitter: @Min_IndServ

You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.isc.gc.ca/RSS.

SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada



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