Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) has secured an additional $1,875,000 in funding from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to help the Nation and its citizens address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This third wave of funding is part of the latest contribution the Government of Canada has made to the Indigenous Community Support Fund as part of its ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.
To date, MNBC has used Wave 1 and 2 of ISC funding to provide a wide range of COVID-19 emergency programs and services, including:
- $1,759,554 in direct funding to Chartered Communities across BC;
- $571,000 in education technology support grants to Métis families with school-aged children to purchase items like laptops and desktops;
- $175,00 in housing supports, such as COVID-19 rent supplements, utility supplements and emergency shelter support funding;
- $900,000 in post-secondary education grants to support Métis enrolled in post-secondary programs offered by MNBC’s Ministry of Employment and Training;
- $565,000 in a Business Support Fund to support Métis Entrepreneurs administered by the Métis Financial Corporation;
- and a range of funding and supports to other high-priority areas
MNBC’s COVID-19 Response Committee is currently assessing the Nation’s priorities and programs and an announcement on the allocation of the Wave 3 funding is expected before the end of February. Among the Nation’s objectives will be to support citizens directly and make it as easy as possible for them to apply for emergency funding.
“We’ve seen incredible action taken by organizations such as the Métis Nation of BC to provide support to their members, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indigenous Community Support Fund provides funding directly to the Métis Nation to support community-based solutions and the ongoing delivery of services to the most at-risk. Our government will continue this important work with partners to support their incredible efforts during this time.” – Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada
“We recognize that our Métis citizens, businesses and Chartered Communities are experiencing a wide range of funding and other challenges right now,” says Lissa Smith, Acting President, MNBC. “Our goals are to help them access the assistance they need through this funding and allocate it in a way that maximizes its impact using new and ongoing programs.”
In a recent survey, Métis citizens identified education, mental health and employment and skills training as the top priorities requested for new COVID funding. Nearly 4,000 Métis citizens were surveyed between the end of December and beginning of February.
“COVID funding from MNBC is reaching our most vulnerable citizens in a time of immense need,” says Peter Lang, President of the Chilliwack Métis Association. “It is helping keep food in their fridges and assisting with other necessities while we all navigate this pandemic.”
The application process for some Wave 2 grants and programs is still open, with details and eligibility criteria available at https://www.mnbc.ca/portal/dashboard/