On May 29, 2020, the Prime Minister announced that there is $285 million to further support First Nations with their pandemic plans.

Community-based COVID proposals:
Funding has been made available to help reimburse costs to communities related to COVID. It is important that communities submit their proposals to the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) by email at [email protected] to confirm what can be reimbursed and help to flow funding to communities for those expenses by early fall. This relates to the funding recently announced by Prime Minister Trudeau. This will help calculate actual estimates for how much funding will be required.

Over half of the First Nations communities have submitted their plans to date for feedback and funding requests. To date, funding for Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) in Manitoba has been directed exclusively towards preparations. The proposal process is an ongoing process. If circumstances change (i.e. new cases, or surge capacity needs), communities can resubmit for additional resources.

What happens when your First Nation submits a proposal:
Once your community submits your proposal to the FNIHB Emergency Operations Centre (email: [email protected]), the Duty Officer tracks it and routes the proposal to staff who review the proposal. Reviewers involve the relevant program areas, assess the proposal against the guidelines and other similar proposals, and make final recommendations within the week. Management reviews the recommendations and sends them onto the Health Funding Agreements Unit to be added to the community agreements for signatures.

While most proposals have not received the full amount requested, all proposals have received some level of funding. The types of requests most often seen include storage units, PPE and other isolation supplies, security, set-up costs for the isolation sites, support staff costs for the isolation facilities (cooks, custodians), among others.