Government of Canada is providing support to urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations in Manitoba through the Indigenous Community Support Fund

News release

July 21st, 2020 — Winnipeg, Treaty 1 Territory, Manitoba — Indigenous Services Canada 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, people and organizations at all levels have taken action to protect and provide supports to some of the most vulnerable and those in need. Community-based organizations are on the front-lines and have led the charge in advocating for, and delivering support. Women's groups, homeless shelters, mental health providers, and food delivery organizations have worked hard during this difficult time. Their work is essential, and their leadership saved lives.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface – Saint Vital, along with the Bear Clan Patrol, announced $251,850 in funding to support delivery of critical food supplies. 

With this funding, the Bear Clan Patrol will be able to continue to deliver a weekly food supply to the most vulnerable Indigenous individuals in Winnipeg's North End, which is home to one of the largest urban population of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This funding is in addition to $228,000 provided earlier this year, totalling nearly $480,000 in support to Winnipeg's Bear Clan Patrol.

As part of the Indigenous Community Support Fund, the Government of Canada is distributing a total of $90 million to Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to First Nations people living off-reserve, and Indigenous Peoples in urban areas, to support essential services to the most vulnerable and to prevent and respond to potential COVID-19 outbreaks. This support is part of $1.7 billion that has been committed in specific support to Indigenous and northern communities and organizations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bear Clan Patrol is among the 17 Indigenous organizations supported by the Indigenous Community Support Fund's urban and off-reserve stream in Manitoba. A total of $8.4 million has been allocated to these organizations for local initiatives across the province such as: providing care packages for vulnerable community members; increasing mental health supports; offering educational supports for children; and ensuring food security during the pandemic.

Approximately 260 Indigenous organizations across the country have been supported to date by the Indigenous Community Support Fund, to help address the critical needs of First Nations people living off-reserve, and Indigenous Peoples in urban centers during this pandemic.


"This pandemic has highlighted the strength, resilience and leadership of Indigenous organizations and communities. The actions taken at all levels are providing needed support and protecting the most vulnerable. Through the distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund, Indigenous organizations throughout Manitoba, such as Bear Clan Patrol, are working hard to meet the needs and ensure the wellbeing of our communities during these challenging times. Today's announcement is providing critical support to allow the necessary resources for organizations to address the COVID-19 public health emergency."

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

"As an Indigenous lead organization our goal is to continue supporting and assisting people living in this community. We are thankful for this funding as it will allow Bear Clan's volunteers to keep delivering food supplies to the citizens who really need our help, especially during the current pandemic."

Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais
Chairperson, Board of Directors-Bear Clan Patrol Inc.

"Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimanakak (MKO Inc.) is pleased to be the recipient of funds to assist MKO citizens who live off reserve. We have always believed these funds should go directly to the First Nations to assist their off-reserve members directly, so MKO will simply be flowing the funds to our First Nations. We hope off-reserve citizens will continue to receive support as the pandemic progresses and we are pleased to hear that more organizations throughout Manitoba will receive critical funding needed to provide ongoing support to First Nations people."

Grand Chief Garrison Settee
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimanakak

"The Bear Clan is an excellent example of Indigenous people working together with their neighbours to resolve societies' problems. I am pleased to see Minister Vandal recognize and value the Bear Clan, the work they are doing and the philosophy behind them. The Bear Clan is growing, not only within Winnipeg, but now in locations across the country. First Nation people have solutions and ideas about how to resolve the challenges they face today. It is time for Canada and the government to listen to First Nations people when it comes to things like law and justice. This is a good indication that this government is willing to step in the right direction."

Kevin Hart
Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief

"The Southern Chiefs' Organization and our 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota First Nations are pleased to be receiving funding from the Government of Canada to provide assistance to our urban and off-reserve members. Our Chiefs have done an incredible job to address this crisis, but the economic environment is challenging, and since the COVID-19 pandemic began SCO-member Chiefs have received multiple requests for support, primarily around food and rent security, so this funding will allow us to respond to this critical need."

Grand Chief Jerry Daniels
Southern Chiefs' Organization

Quick facts

  • Project funding for the Indigenous Community Support Fund – urban and off-reserve stream is being allocated through a national Call for Proposals process.

  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis also have access to other support measures available to Canadian individuals, businesses and industries, through the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Allison St.Jean
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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