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COVID-19: Uncertainty in 2nd Wave Funding

COVID-19: Uncertainty in 2nd Wave Funding

Treaty 2 Territory – Government Funding expected to be inadequate for second wave of COVID-19. Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart who is co-chair of the Assembly of First Nations’ COVID-19 national task force sent multiple letters to ministers in April only to receive an email reply that didn’t come from a minister stating there was

Treaty 2 Territory – Government Funding expected to be inadequate for second wave of COVID-19. Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart who is co-chair of the Assembly of First Nations’ COVID-19 national task force sent multiple letters to ministers in April only to receive an email reply that didn’t come from a minister stating there was nothing to be done for First Nations. The three letters sent on April 23, April 14, and April 10, were requesting “urgent” delivery of shelter hospitals, personal protective equipment, and COVID-19 test kits for First Nations.

 

See the following link: https://windspeaker.com/news/windspeaker-news/nations-deplete-own-resources-covid-19-first-wave-and-doubt-federal-funding

 

Chief Kevin Hart told Shari Narine of Windspeaker.com:

“The federal government is doing a reactive approach to this pandemic.  For us as First Nations, we’re always on the back burner or even the third choice down the line.  There’s even systematic racism within those policies that the federal government has when it comes to its response.  The promised federal dollars for First Nations in the first round of COVID-19 supports in March-$215million- and an additional $285.1 million announced on May 29 for “as needed” health measures is inadequate.  None of this bodes well for First Nations as a second wave of COVID-19 is expected as provinces open their economics.”

 

Courtney Skye of Six Nations of the Grand River is a research fellow with the Indigenous think-tank Yellowhead Institute, told Shari Narine of Windspeaker.com:

“Our leadership has said they don’t know if they’re getting more money or how much money.  They have actually pulled back a lot of supports they were extending to the community.  Our community wants to do what it can to protect the very vulnerable people in our community and it’s just very frustrating that we can’t maintain what will make our community safe without this kind of pro-activeness from the federal government to meet the needs of our community.”

Sky notes that the federal government’s “general reactiveness” has had a negative impact on communities.

 

The article notes that Six Nations’ emergency director was provided funds the community already had prior to the pandemic to pre-order supplies that were delayed for weeks.  They also set up manned barricades to restrict entrance to the community to band members only.  They can no longer afford to do that has supplies and manning barricades 24/7 is costly.

 

The article also indicates that these concerning issues persistently continue with both Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Service Canada, and Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam have acknowledged Indigenous people are among the most vulnerable.

 

First Nations in Treaty 2 Government are experiencing the issues and concerns Chief Kevin Hart and Courtney Skye raise in the article Nations deplete own resources on COVID-19 first wave and doubt federal funding will be adequate for second by Shari Narine from Windspeaker.com.

 

Local Nations of Treaty 2 Government have requested additional funds to keep manned barricades up to monitor traffic and people coming and going.  Indigenous Services Canada had responded stating that Local Nations have already received COVID-19 funding in April and are expected to work within those funds provided.

 

Local Nations will not have resources to for manned barricades and personal protective equipment if the expected second wave is to hit like the first wave.  Based on historical facts, a second wave of a pandemic can be worst than the first.  If this turns out to be true, the federal governments “reactive approach” in providing funding and for “as needed” health measures could soon be another Canadian Government blow to Indigenous people as done during the smallpox pandemic.

 

Ryan Sutherland

Corporations Keeper

Government, First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory (FNiT2T)

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