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

Indigenous individuals

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:

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:

To create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options and apply digital solutions:

Other COVID-19 related funding:

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:


Indigenous businesses

Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses can:

Indigenous students

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:

Support through Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:

An additional $75.2 million to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education:

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