Indigenous Services Canada's wave 2 health preparedness and response to COVID-19

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Total funding announced as of October 6, 2020 includes over $2.2 billion in COVID-19 support to Indigenous and northern communities and organizations.

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Indigenous community support

$685 million through the new Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate and continued needs in First Nations, Inuit Nunangat and Métis Nation communities, as well as to support urban and off-reserve Indigenous peoples:

Ongoing public health response

$285.1 million to support ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities, funding community-led responses to the pandemic and providing targeted increases in primary health care resources for First Nations communities. In case of outbreaks, funding can be drawn upon to provide surge capacity and additional support for community-based services in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

Schools safe restart

Testing and contact tracing


  • Maintaining access to swabs distributed from the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) for First Nations communities and health authorities
  • Ensuring all department-operated primary care facilities (nursing stations) and health centres have the capacity to collect swabs, which are processed by provincial laboratories
  • Collecting data from regions (by community) using a tool created by the department, including availability of testing, swab supply, and the number of swabs collected
  • Indigenous Services Canada is working with the NML at the Public Health Agency of Canada to increase access to authorized rapid point-of-care tests, in particular for remote and isolated Indigenous communities

Contact tracing

  • Working closely with public health authorities at all levels when a test-positive case of COVID-19 is reported, with next steps guided by the community's emergency pandemic plan and local public health protocols
  • Working in collaboration with the First Nations Health Managers Association to provide training for community health workers as surge capacity during second wave

Planning for vaccine distribution

Health infrastructure and health human resources

Mental health and substance use

$82.5 million invested to support surge capacity and the adaptation of existing mental wellness services to address COVID-19 mental wellness needs in Indigenous communities, including:

Preparation for flu season

Modelling and data governance

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