Government of Canada, the Meadow Lake Tribal Council and Métis Nation–Saskatchewan announce emergency support for COVID-19 response in northwestern Saskatchewan

News release

May 13, 2020 — Ottawa, Traditional Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada

Today, Meadow Lake Tribal Chief, Richard Ben, Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN-S) President, Glen McCallum, Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller, and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett announced $2.3 million in support of the ongoing effort to combat COVID-19 in northwestern Saskatchewan.

This funding supports the North West Saskatchewan Pandemic Response Plan, a collective effort between First Nation, Métis, municipal, provincial, and federal partners to coordinate the response to the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in northwestern Saskatchewan. Meadow Lake Tribal Council and Métis Nation–Saskatchewan have undertaken exemplary collaboration in leading the response to this significant outbreak.

The funds will be jointly administered and will complement the ongoing community-based efforts to conquer COVID-19 in the region, including supporting security checkpoints in impacted communities, measures to address food security, provision of homecare supplies, and enhancement of regional and community capacity, including youth engagement. The safety and security of all is the number one priority and these funds will support measures to protect the vulnerable and help those who need it the most.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) will continue to work with the North West Communities Incident Command Centre, including provincial health authorities, First Nations, and Métis communities in the area to support their efforts through increased access to testing, enhanced surveillance, strong contact tracing and infection prevention and control measures. This funding builds on ISC's ongoing commitment to communities in the northwest which includes financial support and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Quotes

"Meadow Lake Tribal Council will continue to work with the Northwest communities to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate the support from Indigenous Services Canada and acknowledge the work of Minister Marc Miller and Minister Carolyn Bennett and their staff in the regional office. The leaders have responsibilities within their own communities and continue to do a good job with the limited resources and capacity available to them. Collectively the First Nations, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and the Northwest municipalities recognize the need to support and work together as we want to strengthen the North."

Chief Richard Ben
Chief, Meadow Lake Tribal Council

"Since the beginning of this crisis in the northwest of our province, the Métis and First Nation leaders have been working together to protect the health and well-being of our citizens and communities. We welcome the federal support for this critical partnership during this challenging time. We are stronger together and we are committed to doing what we need to make sure our people can act together to combat this virus that knows no boundaries and respects no jurisdiction."

Glen McCallum
President, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan

"Indigenous Services Canada continues to work with Indigenous leaders and communities, as well as, all levels of government, to address issues of food security, testing and health services with real and tangible actions during this difficult time. The North West Saskatchewan Pandemic Response Plan is an excellent example of this commitment and a positive step as we move towards providing the supports and assistance these communities require."

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

"Indigenous leaders in Northern Saskatchewan came together to develop a pandemic response plan to address the immediate and essential needs In their communities. This plan focuses on saving lives and protecting communities. Working in partnership, we will ensure that no community is left behind."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • The North West Communities Incident Command Centre (NWCICC) is made up of representatives from the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, First Nations, and municipal governments.

  • The NWCICC is responsible for coordinating the COVID-19 response between communities and working together to seek solutions to common issues, concerns, and challenges.

  • The communities in northwestern Saskatchewan included in this plan are Beauval, Buffalo Narrows, Eagle's Lake, Northern Hamlet of Patuanak, La Plonge, Ile-a-la Crosse, Jans Bay, Cole Bay, La Loche, Black Point, St. George's Hill, Lac La Plonge Resort Village, Little Amyotte Resort Village, Bear Creek, Pinehouse, Michel Village, Green Lake, Garson Lake, Dore Lake, Sled Lake, Northern Hamlet of Turnor Lake, and the Meadow Lake Tribal Council communities.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Vanessa Adams
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
343-543-7645

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

Emily Williams
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca

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