Surrey, BC (December 1, 2021) – Métis Nation British Columbia’s (MNBC) Cabinet has approved $2,750,000 in additional COVID funding to continue supporting Métis Chartered Communities and Citizens. This wave of funding is part of the latest contribution the Government of Canada has made to the Indigenous Community Support Fund.
Most COVID-19 programs that will receive funding in this wave are programs that have been setup through previous funding waves and have proven themselves effective in supporting Métis people through the pandemic.
$740,000 in funding will go directly to support Métis citizens with mental health needs. $700,000 will be used to address the lengthy waitlist for the Métis Counselling Connection program. A further $40,000 will be directed for emergency health travel support for Métis citizens and their families that require to travel away from their community for appointments, or for non-funded appointments like psychiatric assessments and FASD assessments.
$500,000 in funding is being directed to MNBC Chartered Communities to help with important issues like organizational capacity and emergency supports. $400,000 will be directed to Chartered Communities to continue providing emergency supports for Citizens, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season to aid in delivering items like Christmas hampers. $100,000 will be directed to cell phones with the aim of supporting emergency preparedness and response efforts. Recent natural disasters have shown a gap in community capacity to respond in emergency situations. Details of the funding breakdown will be shared by Community Services directly with Chartered Communities.
A further $410,000 will be utilized to continue supporting The Metis Commission for Children and Families and its five services providers. This builds on over $1,600,000 in funding that MNBC has directed to service providers since the beginning of the pandemic.
In addition, MNBC’s Cabinet has approved funding for the following programs, services, and MNBC Ministries:
- $200,000 to Skills Training, Employment, and Post-Secondary (STEPS) to continue funding learning tools for Citizens currently enrolled in STEPS programming;
- $200,000 to the Ministry of Housing and Homelessness to support Métis Citizens with housing needs;
- $150,000 in funding for the Ministry of Education to meet the critical needs of K-12 students;
- $100,000 to help address the waitlist for the Elders Temporary Financial Assistance Program;
- $100,000 in funding to help Métis-owned businesses adapt to the changing market due to COVID;
- $25,000 to address the waitlist for the Harvester Support Grant;
- $20,000 to address the waitlist for the Return to Sport Grant; and
- $20,000 to the 2SLGBTQQAI+ Advisory Committee.
“Helping our Citizens through the pandemic remains a critical goal of MNBC’s Cabinet,” says Louis De Jaeger, MNBC Acting Vice-President. “With the added pressure of the recent crises that our communities have felt, like the floods in Fraser Valley and landslides impacting travel in the Coquihalla, it remains critically important that we support our communities and Citizens in this time of need.”
To date, MNBC has provided the following supports to MNBC Citizens, Chartered Communities, and service providers during the various waves of COVID-19:
- $2,000,000 to support Métis post-secondary students;
- Over $1,500,000 in direct funding to Chartered Communities;
- $1,600,000 in funding to the five Métis service providers and other children and family programs;
- Over $500,000 in funding to the Métis Financial Corporation of BC;
- $450,000 in funding to support Métis Counselling Connections allowing over 700 Métis individuals access counselling services;
- $130,000 funding to support Métis elders;
- Nearly 2,000 Métis Citizens supported through housing and utility supplements;
- Nearly 1,000 Métis students received education technology support grants;
- Over 60 Métis veterans received a $500 grant;
- Over 300 Métis individuals accessed a $250 Harvester Support Fund;
- $160,000 in funding to support Métis artists with grants, Métis artist talks, and culture sharing workshops.