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Feds add $204M for anti-pandemic measures in Indigenous communities and institutions

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will spend an additional $204 million targeted at child care, education and infrastructure to help Indigenous communities fight the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Trudeau says the government is spending $120 million to support early learning and child-care facilities in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities during the pandemic. 

He says the government is providing $25 million to help Indigenous post-secondary institutions with increased costs related to the pandemic, and $59 million to improve infrastructure in First Nations to meet COVID-19 health and safety standards. 

The new money is on top of more than $2.2 billion the federal government has already allocated to help Indigenous and northern communities get through the health crisis.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says today’s announcement brings the government funding for Indigenous communities and organizations during COVID-19 to almost $2.5 billion.

Among other things, the government has committed $685 million for the Indigenous Communities Support Fund, which includes funding to address food insecurity, education and other support for children.

It is spending another $650 million to help Indigenous communities respond to the pandemic and for income support.

And it has devoted $122 million to help ensure a safe return to schools on reserves.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2020.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

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