[Ottawa, 22 September 2020] – The Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund (IPRF) has awarded $836,896.50 in financial support to 35 Indigenous-led organizations across Canada. The Fund, led by Indigenous philanthropic leaders and supported by a range of public and private funders, was established in June 2020 to address the impacts of COVID-19 in Indigenous communities. This is the first funding allocation of what funding partners and the IPRF team hope will be many more intakes.
Data shows that COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities and continues to have a profound impact on communities with heightened vulnerability. For Indigenous communities and Indigenous-led organizations, working to respond to COVID-19 in the context of pre-existing economic and health disparities and against the backdrop of centuries of colonial history, the impacts have been even more pronounced.
To date, the new fund has received upwards of 250 applications. The oversight and approval of all funding decisions were made by the all-Indigenous IPRF Advisory Council. Community Foundations of Canada is serving as the host partner for the Fund.
Deborah Saucier, Métis Nation of Alberta, President & Vice-Chancellor, Vancouver Island University and member of the IPRF Advisory Council notes:
“The projects we’re funding are helping communities respond to base level needs: food security, social justice, access to technology, breaking isolation and helping youth and elders connect. We’re not talking about huge grants…but the meaningful change these gifts bring is huge for the community and we’re able to get the funding out fast. These are communities that can’t wait six months. What’s unique is that we’re also doing it on our own terms as an Indigenous-led group supporting Indigenous-led organizations. We’re accepting oral submissions from applicants, for example, which is respecting the oral traditions of our ancestors and Indigenous ways of knowing.”Deborah Saucier, Métis Nation of Alberta, President & Vice-Chancellor, Vancouver Island University
The following organizations have been approved for support in the four application intakes thus far. They have been awarded between $5,000 and a maximum of $30,000 to address key needs including:
Food Sovereignty and Food Security
- Baker Lake Prenatal Nutrition Program,
- Miinwashin Lodge,
- Curve Lake First Nation Food Bank,
- Onion Lake Health Centre, Community Health Program,
- Qay’Linagaay Heritage Centre Society,
- Métis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan
- Sweetgrass Youth Alliance,
- Gift Lake Métis Settlement,
- Ilitaqsiniq Nunavut Literacy Council,
- Gitga’at First Nation,
- Skwah First Nations
- Morning Sky Health & Wellness Society,
- Piikani Nation,
- Little Red Health
- Red Pheasant Health Centre
- Muskeg Lake Cree Nation
- Indian Island First Nation
- Metlakatla First Nation
- T’akhu Á Tlén Conservancy
- Welamiukotuk First Nation
Mental Health/ Cultural Support
- Municipality of Pond Inlet,
- Sweetgrass Youth Alliance,
- Niiwin Wendaanimak (Four Winds) Indigenous Wellness Program
- Yun Yah Indigenous Society
- Sucker Creek Womens Emergency Center
- UNAAG Cultural Society
- Frog Lake First Nation
- Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.
Connectivity, Access, Education
- Northwest Métis Council
- Western Cree Tribal Council
- Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities, ,
- Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre
- Day Star First Nation
- Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society,
- Secretariat of the Haida Nation*
In Manitoba, the Northwest Métis Council is using IPRF support to ensure local youth have necessary access to technology and school supplies to pursue their education.
“Through our project, we were able to deliver 50 laptops to youth in high priority youth in our region. We think COVID will hit hard in the fall again. We want the children to know education is a priority, that we’re there to help them. We’re particularly proud that families are working together, elders and youth, so that they know we’ve got their back. They’re not there alone.”– Frances Chartrand, Vice President, Northwest Métis Council, MB
In Sucker Creek, Alberta, a community of 300 that’s part of Treaty 8 territory, elders are using IPRF support to break social isolation, connect as a community and build skills through weekly workshops offered by the local women’s shelter.
“Each week, we focus on sharing different life skills, such as canning, preserving jams and fruit, how to use a sewing machine, making moccasins and other such activities. While sharing these skills, women in the program are also interacting, providing support and guidance to each other through storytelling. These workshops show them what they can do.Through their own life circumstances they never had this opportunity. Through the storied interactions, the women will recall memories, memories of time with their own grandmothers and family, while there are many emotions, laughter is one that is always there. There’s always lots of laughter.”– Constance Willier, elder and program lead for the project
More information about the IPRF
- The IPRF is made possible thanks to the contributions of many foundations and funders. Original Seed Funders include the All One Fund, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, Laidlaw Foundation, The Lawson Foundation, and the McConnell Foundation. Additional funders include the Toronto Foundation, VanCity Community Investment Bank, Vancity Credit Union, the Trottier Family Foundation and Suncor Energy Foundation as well as several anonymous donors.
- Additional funders have joined in since the IPRF was launched and will help the Advisory Committee to open another round of applications starting in autumn 2020. The next application intake dates are as follows:
- Friday, September 22 closing Sunday, October 4, 2020
- Monday, October 5 closing Friday, October 23, 2020
- Saturday, October 24 closing Friday, November 20, 2020.
- More details on how to apply are available on the IRPF webpage. While the Fund was established in response to the COVID-19, leaders expect it to continue on beyond the pandemic.
For more information please contact:
Director of Communications, Community Foundations of Canada
613 266 6917