April 16, 2020

NDP calls on the government to do more for off-reserve Indigenous peoples

Deadline for emergency benefit application will leave many First Nations behind

TREATY 1 TERRITORY, WINNIPEG - Today, NDP MPs Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre) and Niki Ashton (Churchill--Keewatinook Aski) called on the federal government to do more to keep First Nations people living in urban centres safe amid COVID-19. Existing funding is not enough given the need - and the imposition of an arbitrary application deadline puts lives at risk.

“Indigenous peoples comprise 3% of the Canadian population,” said Gazan. “Yet they receive less than 1% of the funding allocated for COVID-19. This is unacceptable, especially because the federal government has identified Indigenous peoples at greater risk due to long-standing underfunding for essential services.”
“In this time of crisis, the government must ensure that everyone is getting the help they need, including off-reserve Indigenous peoples,” said Ashton. “ Imposing a deadline puts lives at stake. We call on the Minister to increase the funding and waive the deadline.”

A letter was sent to Minister Miller sharing their concerns which can be viewed here.