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Trudeau promises $75M more for off-reserve Indigenous services in pandemic

Last Updated May 21, 2020 at 10:48 am PDT

FILE - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily press conference on COVID-19 in front of his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Sunday, April 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Summary

Trudeau has announced $75 million for organizations to help Indigenous people living in urban areas and off reserves

Feds had previously promised $15 million for services such as counselling, health care, food and supportive housing

More than a million Indigenous people live in cities or off reserves, prime minister says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is sending $75 million to organizations that help Indigenous people living in urban areas and off reserves through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government had previously promised $15 million in funding for services such as counselling, health care, food and supportive housing.

More than a million Indigenous people live in cities or off reserves, Trudeau says, and they deserve good services that are culturally appropriate.

The Liberals have promised $290 million for organizations representing First Nations, Metis and Inuit people, primarily on reserves and in Indigenous communities.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, which represents Indigenous people living off reserves, has said that imbalance is discriminatory, denying adequate help to some people depending on where they live.

Service organizations have said that demand for the help they provide is up and it’s difficult to provide it with anti-pandemic safety measures in place.