EDMONTON – Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations, and Grand Chief Billy Morin of the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations spoke about a coordinated effort to ensure all Indigenous people in Alberta have access to supplies and quality care through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister Wilson has been connecting Indigenous leaders with much-needed information about federal and provincial supports that have been made available to this point.
“I have been communicating regularly with First Nations and Métis leadership about the needs and unique challenges facing them during the COVID-19 crisis. As well, I have been relaying our conversations to the federal government to advocate for and press the concerns that have been raised,” says Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations.
Alberta has previously announced $30 million in funding for homeless shelters and women’s emergency shelters to address social distancing, sanitation, and other Alberta Health guidelines. This funding includes the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association, with 21 locations throughout the province.
Indigenous Relations is co-ordinating with Indigenous Services Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch – Alberta, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Emergency Management Agency, provincial ministries, and Indigenous communities and organizations.
Most Indigenous people live in urban communities and, as residents, are part of those centers’ emergency plans and responses.
Metis Settlements are unique to Alberta. Although they will receive federal support, most of their funding comes from the province.