August 6, 2020
Government of Canada is providing assistance to urban Indigenous organizations in the Greater Toronto Area to address the COVID-19 pandemic
TORONTO, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Toronto—St. Paul's, and Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Oakville North—Burlington, Ontario, announce $13.5 million in funding to support the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC), Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, Indigenous Primary Health Care Council, and Anduhyaun Inc. The funding provided will help address the urgent needs of Indigenous Peoples during the current COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, community-based organizations and community leadership have been on the front-lines to ensure the safety and well-being of Indigenous Peoples living in urban communities. Their work is paramount in protecting the health of this vulnerable population. They have been advocating and providing supports and services for shelters, distribution of medication and traditional medicines, food delivery and financial assistance to address the immediate COVID-19 coordination of programming. The Government of Canada is providing funding through the Indigenous Community Support Fund's urban and off-reserve stream to deliver these essential services and programs to First Nations living off-reserve and Indigenous Peoples living in urban areas to address the critical needs during this crisis and ensure no one is left behind.
The Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC) received approximately $7 million in funding to develop a TASSC COVID-19 Emergency Community Relief Support to ensure Indigenous Peoples living in the Greater Toronto Area have access to the required resources to limit the spread of the coronavirus. This critical funding will allow TASSC and its 18 member agencies to purchase protective equipment, provide food services, emergency hotel sheltering costs, educational and learning supports for children and youth, and access to basic communication tools like mobile minutes or access to Internet services.
A total of $90 million has been provided, through the Indigenous Community Support Fund, to support Indigenous organizations providing services to First Nations people living off-reserve, and Indigenous Peoples in urban areas. Approximately 260 Indigenous organizations across the country have been supported to date by the urban and off-reserve stream under the Indigenous Community Support Fund.
"Today's announcement will allow Indigenous organizations, who provide Indigenous Peoples living in the Greater Toronto Area, with essential services required to ensure the safety of all during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an honour to stand with you and work in collaboration to ensure First Nations, Inuit and Métis people have access to much needed supports we can sometimes take for granted, such as food security, health services and protective supplies to prevent further COVID-19 outbreaks."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament
"We are so grateful to the Indigenous organizations who have taken on an incredible amount of work since the beginning of the pandemic to protect First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples living in the Greater Toronto Area. They have been making sure that families do not go without food, have put measures in place to ensure the homeless have a safe and secure environment to sleep at night, and providing the necessary protective equipment to prevent the spread of the virus. Their work has been exemplary in helping to save lives and limit the spread of COVID-19. We are proud to be their partners in protecting the health and safety of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples living in the GTA."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
"As an Indigenous-led organiz