AFN Says $75 Million Essential for Off-Reserve First Nations

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Trudeau has announced $75 million in funding to support off-reserve Indigenous people. This funding will go to Indigenous organizations rather than directly to people.

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says this funding is essential to ensure the safety and security of all First Nations living in urban and rural regions across Canada.

“This additional funding for Indigenous organizations is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of all First Nations living in urban centers and off-reserve,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “We know our First Nation brothers and sisters living off-reserve are equally as vulnerable during this pandemic. Sustainable funding is imperative in addressing critical needs during this crisis. We must continually ensure Indigenous organizations have the appropriate resources to provide the services needed to maintain the health and safety of urban First Nations peoples. First Nations have unique health needs that require unique culturally appropriate responses.”

This is in addition to the $15 million announced on March 18, 2020. This additional funding of $75 million will support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations during this crisis, including food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment. Funding for Indigenous organizations to implement projects will begin in the coming weeks.