Financial support for Indigenous peoples
If your community requires urgent support
Community safety is our top priority. Should your community require immediate assistance with an outbreak, or supports such as temporary infrastructure, rapid testing or PPE, the department encourages you to reach out to your regional medical officers of health or Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) regional office contact.
On this page
- Support for individuals: direct support through Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
If your CERB benefits have ended and you have not yet transitioned to the EI programs, please contact your band administrator about other possible support including the On-reserve Income Assistance program.
Indigenous organizations and communities
Funding is available to support organizations and communities during this difficult time.
To address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities, a fund was created including a needs-based request process, for a fund total of over $1.8 billion:
To partially offset declines in own-source revenues so that First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities can continue to provide important community programs and services to their members a $332.8 million fund was created:
First Nations and Inuit communities can access additional needs based public health support to respond to COVID-19:
To help protect Elders and people in long-term care facilities, funding of $186.8 million to support needs and gaps in those facilities and to provide additional home care in Indigenous communities.
To help early learning and child care facilities operate safely during the pandemic, funding of $120.7 million:
To help First Nations adapt their on-reserve community infrastructure and implement public health and safety measures, including hiring staff, funding of:
- $59 million through the Infrastructure Adaptation Fund.
- $631.6 million as part of the Fall Economic Statement.
To help Indigenous post-secondary institutions address increased costs and financial uncertainty resulting from the pandemic, funding of $25.9 million:
To help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians, including Indigenous bodies and organizations, funding of $1 billion:
- Rapid Housing Initiative (closed)
To create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options and apply digital solutions:
Other COVID-19 related funding:
- Immediate assistance to Indigenous communities and organizations in Alberta and Saskatchewan
- Immediate assistance to First Nations in Manitoba
- Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority managing COVID-19
Safe return to school
ISC provided $224 million since 2020 to support First Nations-led community measures for a safe return to school on reserves.
First Nations recipients are funded through existing mechanisms and under the Elementary and Secondary Education Program.
For self-governing First Nations and modern treaty partners nations, ISC is working with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to determine which partners are eligible for this funding.
This funding provides First Nations communities with the flexibility needed to design and implement community-based approaches to prevent, prepare and respond to the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. First Nations make decisions about their own schools reopening based on what they feel is safest for students and their families.
Funding can be used to implement measures such as:
- available cleaning supplies for frequent cleaning and disinfection of common touch surfaces
- sanitizing stations
- available and appropriate personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves
- technology to expand online course offerings
- providing student services electronically
- providing students access to culturally safe counseling and culturally-supporting learning environments
To find out more:
- Archived: COVID-19 guidance for schools Kindergarten to Grade 12
- COVID-19 preparedness and response in the territories, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut
- COVID-19 resources for Canada's natural resources sectors
- COVID-19 guidance for long term care homes facilities and nursing homes in Indigenous communities
- Emergency response process during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Consult also the government guidelines webpage
Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses can:
- order COVID-19 rapid tests for the workplace:
- consult additional support for businesses:
- apply to the stimulus fund to assist Indigenous tourism operators
- apply for wage and rent support:
- apply for funding that helps businesses keep employees on the payroll and more. Eligibility extended to include Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business.
- answer a few questions to get a personalized list of support:
- consult the complete list of available support:
- apply for Indigenous community funding:
- apply for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions:
- Indigenous business initiative (closed)
Special measures to repay a student loan:
Support provided to post-secondary students and recent post-secondary and high school graduates unable to find work during COVID-19:
- Canada Emergency Student Benefit (closed)
Support through Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:
- Support for students (closed)
An additional $75.2 million to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education:
- Post-secondary education (closed)