WINNIPEG -- The Government of Canada is giving 17 Manitoba organizations a total of $8.4 million to help Indigenous people living off-reserve and in urban areas during the pandemic.

The funding was announced at a news conference on Tuesday by Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal, MP for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital, on behalf of Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller.

Vandal said this money will “provide services such as care packages for vulnerable communities, increasing mental health supports, offering education supports for children and ensuring food security during this pandemic.”

Some of the organizations that will receive the funding include:

  • The Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg
  • The Aboriginal Senior Resource Centre
  • Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Secretariat
  • Ikwe
  • Interlake Reserves Tribal Council
  • Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
  • Manitoba Inuit Association
  • The MKO
  • Ndinawe
  • The North Point Douglas Women’s Association
  • Portage Aboriginal Housing Inc.
  • Portage la Prairie Community Revitalization Corp.
  • Sioux Valley Dakota Nation
  • Southern Chiefs’ Organization
  • The Pas Family Resource Centre Inc.

“The federal government will be there to support Indigenous communities in doing what bests suits their needs in providing leadership at the local level,” Vandal said.

Vandal also spoke of the $252,000 in federal funding going to the Bear Clan Patrol.

“Through this important response program, Bear Clan Patrol will be able to provide the delivery of weekly food supply to vulnerable people here in Winnipeg’s inner city,” Vandal said.

“As you know, Winnipeg has one of the largest urban Indigenous populations in all of Canada.”

Vandal noted that amid the pandemic, Bear Clan has started weekly food deliveries instead of having people coming down to their office to get food. He noted this funding is in addition to the $228,000 provided earlier in the year to the Bear Clan by the government.

The money for these organizations is coming from the federal government’s Indigenous Community Support Fund, which has allocated money to organizations and communities providing services to Indigenous people living off-reserve and in urban areas during the pandemic.