London, Ontario Mar 28th, 2020 – Amid the COVID-19 pandemic Canada has allocated nearly $100 billion in its economic response plan to assist the country. For the Indigenous population they have set aside $305 million for Community Support, however, that amount is not going to be nearly enough for the Indigenous peoples to protect themselves from the eminent danger.
The amount of $305 million to be distributed among so many First Nations alone is not going to be nearly enough to accommodate their needs. Grand Chief Joel Abram stated in an interview with the media that “Many Indigenous communities already live with a lack of appropriate health services, isolation, poor living conditions, and limited internet access.” Deputy Grand Chief Gordon Peters says “Of the $305 million only 125 million will be accessible to First Nations and 15 million to Indigenous peoples in urban areas. Those in urban areas of Turtle Island will desperately need support to better deal with the coming pandemic, especially those that have to deal with marginalized homeless populations and those at risk of homeless.” The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians is expecting to speak with Minister Miller soon regarding the $305 million and increased amounts going forward. The situation remains fluid, and although First Nations communities are doing their best to mitigate a pandemic, they are at an elevated risk and appropriate resources need to be made available.