Northern Indigenous groups receive millions in COVID-19 funding

Indigenous groups across the North are receiving millions of dollars in emergency funding from the federal government to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

The funding comes from the federal COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, announced last Wednesday, which allocated $305 million for First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups across the country.

"Canada recognizes that First Nation, Inuit and Métis are among the most vulnerable, and that during this crisis, in particular, those in remote and fly-in only parts of the country are uniquely vulnerable," reads a government news release on the funding announcement.

The news release said the funding could be used to support vulnerable elders, address food insecurity, provide education for children or increase mental health supports, in addition to building pandemic preparedness.

More than $53 million is earmarked for northern Indigenous groups.

About $45 million is designated for Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which represents Inuit across the North. That includes $5.85 million for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, $22.5 million for Nunavut Tunngavik Corporation, $5.36 million for the Nunatsiavut Government, and $11.25 million for Makivik Corporation, which represents Inuit in Nunavik (northern Quebec).

In the Northwest Territories, First Nation groups will receive just over $6 million in emergency funding. Yukon First Nations will receive just under $2.4 million.