AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Says Additional Funding for Urban Indigenous Organizations for COVID-19 Support is Critical

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday of $75 million in additional funding to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis for urban Indigenous organizations 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.

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.