Trudeau promises $75M more for off-reserve Indigenous services

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 22, 2020

Community organizations representing almost a million off-reserve Indigenous people will receive an additional $75 million in COVID-19 funding from the federal government.

The Liberal government announced Thursday $75-million in new funding for organizations that help address the needs of Indigenous people living in urban centres and off-reserve.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Indigenous people who live off-reserve or in a city deserve services that are culturally appropriate, adding that his government is working to make sure those individuals do not fall through the cracks.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples filed an application in the Federal Court of Canada last week, challenging the funding allocation of $250,000 it received as part of a COVID-19 fund earmarked for off-reserve Indigenous peoples.

The announcement comes amid criticism that the Trudeau government has largely ignored the plight of Indigenous people living off-reserve and in urban centres during the pandemic.

Mr. Bertrand said the legal filing was the "only option left".

Service organizations have said that demand for the help they provide is up and it's hard to provide it with anti-pandemic safety measures in place.

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