COVID-19: NAFC Update
April 3, 2020
Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations (PTA) across the country have been on the front lines, doing the best we can, with limited resources to support urban Indigenous communities. With the health, safety and wellbeing of our community members and Movement top of mind we think it’s important to be clear about the recent federal government supports announced.
As many of you know, the federal government announced a $305 million Indigenous Community Support Fund (ICF), $15 million of which would be made available to urban organizations through an upcoming call for proposals. There is no guarantee of funding, and no amount has been set aside specifically for Friendship Centres.
Friendship Centres do not yet have COVID-19 response funds. A proposal is currently being developed by the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) for member Friendship Centres and PTAs.
If funds are secured, the NAFC will distribute directly (we are uncertain exactly when funds will flow out) to Friendship Centres to provide COVID-19 response and community supports as needed and identified by the local urban Indigenous community levels. While some Friendship Centres may opt to provide gift cards to community members, it is not expected that these funds will be distributed directly to individuals.
March 16, 2020
Since the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) has been doing our best to navigate the response and support our network of over 107 member Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations across the country. We are paying close attention to the daily updates provided from public health and are abiding by all of their recommendations.
With the safety of our community members and Movement in mind; our priority is to support Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations in whatever they need and in whatever decisions they make and we are in constant conversation with them during this time.
In recent days we have provided Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) with a heads up about the challenges Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations may have in meeting deliverables due to the virus response. We have requested that any information they send out to Indigenous organizations, also be provided to us so we can keep the Friendship Centre Movement informed. We have also requested that the federal government ensure Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations have access to the $1-billion fund announced to combat the coronavirus.
We will be following up with different federal departments in the coming days to ensure we are kept top of mind when it comes to providing information and resources so that we are able to assist local Friendship Centres in keeping the urban Indigenous communities informed, safe, and help curb the spread of the virus as much as possible.
At the national office, we have offered work from home options, canceled all upcoming travel, and have taken extra measures to ensure disinfecting. We know that these are not always possible with frontline work, but we want the Friendship Centre Movement to know that even if we may not all be at the office, we are still available.
If you wish to get in contact with us, please reach out via e-mail. You can find our staff directory here.