Ottawa announces $2.3 million for COVID-19 in north-west Sask
- | May 17, 2020
The Government of Canada will provide $2.3 million to help combat COVID-19 in north-western Saskatchewan, where an outbreak had confirmed 218 cases as of May 15.
The funding, announced May 13 is meant to address issues of food security, testing and health services provided by the North West Saskatchewan Pandemic Response Plan, a collective effort between First Nation, Métis, municipal, provincial, and federal partners.
Indigenous leaders joined Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett at the announcement.
The funds will be jointly administered and will complement the ongoing community-based efforts to conquer COVID-19 in the region, including supporting security checkpoints in impacted communities, measures to address food security, provision of homecare supplies, and enhancement of regional and community capacity, including youth engagement.
“Meadow Lake Tribal Council will continue to work with the Northwest communities to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated MLTC Chief Ben. “The leaders have responsibilities within their own communities and continue to do a good job with the limited resources and capacity available to them. Collectively the First Nations, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and the Northwest municipalities recognize the need to support and work together as we want to strengthen the North.”
Glenn McCallum, President of Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN-S) welcomed the federal support.
“Since the beginning of this crisis in the northwest of our province, the Métis and First Nation leaders have been working together to protect the health and well-being of our citizens and communities,” McCallum said.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde called the announcement a positive step for people in the north. He urged continued collaboration among governments and Indigenous peoples.
“This announcement is welcome, and if more resources are needed, they should be available immediately,” Bellegarde said.