Métis Nation British Columbia’s (MNBC) Cabinet has approved $2,500,000 in COVID Wave 4 funding to continue supporting Chartered Communities and Métis Citizens through COVID recovery. This fourth 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.
MNBC’s COVID-19 Response Committee has continued to assess the needs and priorities of our communities, with the goal of providing as much support where it is needed most. The goal of the recommendations is to continue to support Chartered Communities and their current efforts in COVID-19 response and recovery, and to provide additional funding to build capacity to support them in these efforts. Most COVID-19 programs that will receive funding in this wave are programs that have already been setup through previous waves and have proven themselves effective in helping Métis people.
$1,000,000 in funding is being directed to MNBC Chartered Communities, to help with important issues like organizational capacity, emergency supports, and community activities. Communities will not be required to fill out new applications and/or proposals which will reduce some of the barriers communities are facing when accessing the funds by reducing the paperwork and reporting time. In addition, MNBC is providing an additional $500,000 in funding to Métis service providers, to help support our Children and Families initiatives.
In the previous wave of COVID funding, MNBC launched Métis Counselling Connection, which supports Métis citizens mental health by paying for counselling or therapy sessions, up to a maximum of 10 sessions. The program was oversubscribed early, with a waitlist set up, so another $250,000 in funding to help augment the waitlist and ensure Citizens have access to this program.
In addition, the COVID-19 Response Committee has directed funding to the following Ministries:
- Ministry of Culture, Heritage & Language for continued supports through the Métis artist grant and organizing workshops;
- Ministry of Education to hire education coordinators within Chartered Communities to liaise with school districts and ensure the province’s COVID-19 recovery plans have Métis children in mind and provide mental health supports for K-12 children;
- Ministry of Housing & Homelessness to transition the housing subsidy to the emergency shelter fund for the remainder of Wave 3 funds and Wave 4 funds. This will be to mitigate dependency to rental subsidy program and continue helping those in urgent need. A portion of the emergency shelter fund will be earmarked for women and youth in need;
- Ministry of Sport to provide a $150 grant for Métis youth wanting to rejoin sports.
“As the COVID-19 restrictions have begun to ease, our communities are entering the recovery phase of the pandemic,” says Lissa Dawn Smith, MNBC Acting President. “We know that our Métis Citizens and Chartered Communities still need supports, and our Cabinet is committed to directing funding to areas of needs. Our goal is to continue supporting our Métis people across the province in the most efficient ways possible.”
Details on the programs and services, and how to apply, will be released in the coming weeks.