COVID-19 Update – Indigenous Community Support Fund and Additional Supports

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada announced the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which includes $305 million for a distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund. This fund will provide support to First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities as well as regional, urban, and off-reserve Indigenous organizations.

These funds can be used for measures including, but not limited to:

  • Support for Elders and vulnerable community members
  • Measures to address food insecurity
  • Education and other support for children
  • Mental health assistance and emergency response services
  • Preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The Indigenous Community Support Fund will be distributed as follows:

  • $215 million for First Nations: allocated to each First Nation based on population, remoteness, and community well-being (Ontario region will be receiving $37.5 million)
  • $45 million for Inuit
  • $30 million for Metis Nation communities
  • $15 million for regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members living away from communities, and to regional organizations such as Friendship Centres, and Metis Settlements General Council of Alberta

First Nations do not need to apply for the Indigenous Community Support Fund (please note that applications will be required for other pots of funding). The funding will flow as quickly as possible through existing funding agreements.  Regional, urban, and off-reserve Indigenous organizations will have to apply for funding but a deadline has not yet been announced. AIAI will continue to provide information as the situation evolves.  

Additional public health-related emergency supports are available for First Nations communities through the First Nation and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) but will need to be applied for. Examples of public health-related emergency expenditures that can be submitted include:

  • Prevention and control supplies (soap, sanitizer, disinfectants, community training, etc.)
  • Medical Transportation under the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program
  • Emergency Transportation and additional escorts under the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program
  • Health human resources surge capacity
  • Mental health services
  • Adaptation of community space
  • Storage
  • On-the-land initiatives

Supports are also available through the Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP) should a community be under imminent threat (i.e. an outbreak of COVID-19). These supports include:

  • Incremental wage costs, including temporary hires and overtime
  • Rental of special equipment
  • Set-up costs for one-time preventative measures
  • Insurance and fuel costs of response vehicles
  • Care, feeding and accommodation of human resources separate from healthcare professionals
  • Communications
  • Water and household supplies

For more information on additional supports, please see the COVID-19 First Nations Community Guide on Accessing Additional Supports.


Indigenous Community Support Fund

Canada’s Economic Response Plan:

COVID-19 First Nation Community Guide on Accessing Additional Supports Click on the bottom link to download your own copy