(Google Doc. updated regularly) 

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General Resources for Friendship Centres

General Resources for Friendship Centres

During this time, we advise Friendship Centres to:

  1. Contact their funders to confirm flexibility on use of funds, reporting, and completing deliverables.
  2. Track your expenses that are a response to the pandemic.
  3. Follow their provincial and local public health authorities for the most updated and relevant information for your community.

Public Health Canada has dedicated a webpage towards Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada. This provides a more in-depth explanation on COVID-19 and includes conversation on social distancing at a community-level, community-based measures and COVID-19, and how we should move forward with this outbreak.

Here are a few resources that can assist with how to proceed amidst the COVID-19 outbreak at a local Friendship Centre level.

Federal Supports and Funding

Federal Supports and Funding


  • Separate Temporary Wage Subsidy (10%) and Emergency Wage Subsidy (75%) programs
  • Commercial rent relief announcement, emergency business account update

Indigenous Community Support Fund

Will flow directly to communities (First Nation, Inuit, and Metis, as well as regional, urban, and off-reserve Indigenous organizations) $15 million is set aside for “regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members living away from their communities, and to regional organizations such as Friendship Centres and the Metis Settlements General Council of Alberta”.

These funds could be used for measures including, but not limited to:

o   support for Elders and vulnerable community members

o   measures to address food insecurity

o   educational and other support for children

o   mental health assistance and emergency response services

o   preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19


More information can be found here.



The fund is not accepting new applications at this time. NAFC received $35,894,000 million dollars from the fund to disperse to local friendship centres.

Shelters + Homelessness

Shelters are not mentioned in Bill C-13, however, the following measures have been announced:

o   Up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities

o   The Government is “continuing to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing $157.5 million to the Reaching Home initiative” – this is existing funding, not new funding

Government of Canada announces agreement with the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Women’s Shelters Canada to provide funding for gender-based violence supports. (December 17, 2020)

 More information about Reaching Home can be found here.

 Guidance for providers of services for people experiencing homelessness (in the context of COVID-19)

Support for Employers, Small Businesses, Non-Profits

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program will cover  up to 75% of employee wages and is open to big and small businesses, non-profits, and charities. Additional info:

o   The subsidy will cover annual earnings up to $58,700; the maximum subsidy for each employee would be $847 a week.

o   The program is retroactive to March 15, 2020.

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Non-profits and registered charities are eligible for this.

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

o   To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.

o   Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.

Extending the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 75 weeks. This program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Temporary wage top-up for low-income essential workers: This is being provided by the provinces/territories and supplemented by the Federal Government. No additional information is available at this time.

Calculation details for claim periods 11 to 13 now available.

More information and applications for the CEWS can be found here.



 For more information about the temporary wage subsidy, click here.


More information about the emergency business account can be found here.




 More information about the work-sharing program can be found here and here

Food Security


Canada will be investing an additional $100 million into organizations that address food security. $30 million is set aside for “local-level organizations who serve people experiencing food insecurity”

Funding will be delivered through the Government of Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund.

On October 9, 2020, the Government of Canada announced an additional $100 million to further support food security. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) was provided with $30 million from this funding to bolster its Indigenous Community Support Fund. With the remaining funding, the Government will continue to work with the same six organizations to ensure food reaches those in need.

No applications open yet; more information available here.

Emergency Food Security Fund

Local Food Infrastructure Fund


Not mentioned in the Act, no specific supports announced to date



Elder Care

Elder care is listed as a possible expense in the Indigenous Community Support Fund (see above)

Otherwise, “senior support” is limited to reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25% for 2020


 No additional information available at this time

Youth, including youth in care

Educational and other support for children is listed as a possible expense for the Indigenous Community Support Fund (see above)

The government is funding Kids Help Phone for an additional $7.5 million

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

See also “Non-Governmental Supports” below

Otherwise, the only other measure specifically related to “youth” is a six-month moratorium on student loan payments, effective March 30 (no application is required, the deferral is automatic)

Learn more about the moratorium here


Learn more about CRCB here

Employment Insurance (EI)

Canada will no longer require a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

After CERB: Transitioning to new benefits

The Government of Canada announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new recovery benefits that will better support Canadians.

If you need financial assistance after your CERB ends:

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI benefits. These changes will be in effect for 1 year.

Apply for EI sickness benefits online here


Employment Insurance – COVID-19 

After CERB: Transitioning to new benefits.

Other Federal Payments / Initiatives

A one-time additional payment under the GST/HST tax credit, which is automatic if you are already receiving the benefit;

Temporary additional amounts under the Canada Child Benefit, which are automatic if you are already receiving the benefit;

The federal government has also moved the filing date for income tax to June 2019


 Apply for the Canada Child Benefit here

Non-Governmental Supports

The Children’s Aid Foundation announced a COVID-19 youth support fund for “youth aging out of the temporary or permanent care of a Canadian child welfare agency”, and have been overwhelmed with applications. As of April 6, applications are on hold, but you can sign up for notifications for when they open again.

More information is available here


Additional Resources / Information:

Indigenous Community Support Fund -

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Benefits and services:

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:

Support for Businesses:

What you need to know about the new COVID-19 benefits program:

Bill C-13 (An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19):

Canada's Response to COVID19

Canada's Response to COVID-19

A list of resources that outlines the immediate actions that the Government is taking to help and support Canadians facing hardship as a result of this outbreak: 

Structural Profile of Public Health in Canada

COVID19 Assessment Centres

COVID-19 Assessment Centres

COVID-19 Assessment Centres  

  • The NAFC has compiled a google document with information on COVID-19 testing sites based on provinces. There is information regarding the locations of these testing sites, how appointments are being made, and when you can collect your test result.


COVID-19 Disability-Related Resources for Families

  • The IncludeMe Canada Social Movement has created a disability-related resource page that can better aid folks with different abilities.

World Blind Union

  • The World Blind Union has created a resource page that consists of external resources that can better assist folks that may be visually impaired.
  • The webpage has audio on handwashing advice.

COVID-19: Useful Resources for Persons with Disabilities

  • The Rick Hansen Foundation has compiled a list of in-house resources and external resources relating to COVID-19. Their resources vary from sharing the best times to go shopping, lessons on accessibility and inclusion, and financial assistance.

#COVIDdisability: Disability-related resources for families

  • The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) has compiled a list of disability-related resources that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and Persons with Disabilities

  • The Disability Rights Fund has created a webpage dedicated to disability-inclusive responses to COVID-19 at an international scale.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource List

Use of Masks / Clean and Disinfect

Use of Masks / Clean and Disinfect

Use of Masks

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: When and how to use masks

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has created an informative webpage regarding the use of masks. This webpage also includes a number of useful infographics that can easily be downloaded and shared.

About Non-Medical Masks and Face Covering

  • Public Health Canada has released information on the use of non-medical masks and face coverings.
  • This webpage included information on how to put the non-medical masks on, what is deemed as appropriate masks, who should be wearing masks, and also how to make your own mask at home.

Can A Mask Protect Me? Putting Homemade Masks in the Hierarchy of Controls

  • The John Hopkins Education and Research Centre for Occupational Safety and Health has provided an in-depth take on the use of masks and answers FAQ on the use of masks.

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

  • The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared information on the use of cloth face coverings and methods on creating home-made cloth coverings (sew and no sew)
  • The CDC has also provided printer friendly versions of the webpage: Use of Cloth Face Covering to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

How to Wash Homemade Cloth Face Masks?

  • The Huffington Post has published an entry on how to wash homemade cloth face masks. This entry includes advice from Health Canada and the CDC and attempts to answer FAQs on the maintenance of cloth masks.

Clean & Disinfect

CDC: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

First Nations Health Authority: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources for First Nations Community Health Care Providers

Health Resources

Health Resources

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

 Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Indigenous Communities

  • Indigenous Services Canada has provided a number of information and resources pertaining to COVID-19 and Indigenous communities, this also consists of a video from Indigenous Services Canada and their updates on this outbreak.
  • Public service announcements regarding COVID-19 have also been provided in various Indigenous languages.

 First Nations Health Authority - Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Flowchart

  • Here is a flowchart to assist when attempting to get further guidance on getting checked over the phone, in person, and what to do if you are showing symptoms.

Daily Scan of Selected Public Health Organizations

  • This is an active document that consists of international updates and resources on COVID-19 that was compiled by Public Health Ontario.

COVID-19 Information for People Living with HIV

  • The Urban Indian Health Institute has a downloaded resource with people living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and Diabetes

  • Diabetes Voice has provided information to better assist individuals that are diabetic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

COVID-19 Safer Drug Use Harm Reduction Tips

  • Provides information on ensuring a safe and clean environment for drug use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online Meeting Directory

  • The Online Intergroup Alcoholics Anonymous group offers a directory of AA Canada meetings in various mediums such as Zoom Meeting, one tap mobile, and one can dial by their location.
  • There are resources available for folks’ part of the LBGTQ+ community, folks that are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, loners/internationalists, and atheist/agonistic.
Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Find Help Across Canada

  • Ending Violence Association of Canada has provided a directory of resources based on provinces for individuals that are experiencing domestic violence.

Battered Women's Support Services

  • The Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) will continue providing emotional support to women experiencing gender-based domestic violence.

Shelter Safe

  • Shelter Safe will still be providing support to women and children that are fleeing from violence. Their crisis lines will also still be open to provide information on creating safety planning.
Youth Supports

Youth Supports

Crisis Services Canada

  • Crisis Services Canada (CSC) has provided a list of local resources and support for individuals that may have suicidal thoughts, and has COVID-19 Resources.

Referral Database

  • LGBT Youth Line has provided an online directory of support and resources that can respond to the needs of individuals within the LGBTQ+ community.


  • Good2Talk provides support for post-secondary students in Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Service Continuation During COVID-19

  • Hands The Family Help Network has a list of resources and tools that can help youth during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Kids Help Now

  • Kids Help Now will continue providing support and assistance to youth. (They have also provided additional resources based on one’s location.)

Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Child Trends has compiled a list of resources and recommendations on how to better support a child’s emotional well-being. 
Myth Busters

Myth Busters

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has shared a list of myth busters in relation to COVID-19. 

Coronavirus FAQs: Can people without symptoms spread COVID-19? How long does it live on surfaces? What cleaning products kill the virus?

  • The Conversation has shared a piece on the most frequently asked questions on COVID-19.

The dangerous legacy of COVID-19: A rise in antimicrobial resistance

  • With the increased spread of misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global and Mail has released an opinion piece on the dangers of misinformation.

No, you can't make an N-95 respirator out of a bra

  • CBC News has released an article debunking myths and remedies surrounding COVID-19.
Indigenous Specific Resources

Indigenous Specific Resources

Although there hasn’t been any information regarding the use of traditional medicine and COVID-19, we believe it is important to include Indigenous resources in this resources list and may be of value to you!

Indigenous Services Canada

COVID Resources for Indigenous Peoples

  • Indigenous Climate Action has provided a number of amazing resources that are Indigenous focused to help stay informed and provide guidance during this outbreak.
  • These resources touch on:
    • Social Distancing
    • Mental Health Support
    • Traditional Medicines and Holistic Practices
    • Entertainment for Teens and Adults
    • Learning
    • Maintaining Community Connection
    • Making a Clean Space
    • Community Care

Decolonizing Community Care in Response to COVID-19

  • The NDN Collective has shared information on traditional practices that can help manage stress and reinforce community care during COVID-19.

Resources to Assist First Nations in Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • The Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. (OKT) has created a blog with general assistance to First Nations regarding pandemic planning, funding and potential legal issues.

Highlights from A COVID-19 Fireside Chart with Indigenous Health Professionals

  • The Yellowhead Institute complied a document to summarize the conversations surrounding Indigenous communities and COVID-19.

Indigenous Health During COVID-19

 TVO has shared a video identifying the challenges that are specific to Indigenous communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

First Peoples Wellness Circle

Maad’ookiing Mshkiki — Sharing Medicine

Maad’ookiing Mshkiki — Sharing Medicine

The Maad’ookiing Mshkiki – Sharing Medicine is a virtual hub that provides culturally relevant and trauma-informed information about COVID-19 vaccinations for First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The community-centered resources aim to empower informed consent for Indigenous peoples and have been developed by the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health (CWP-IH) at Women’s College Hospital in partnership with the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council (IPHCC), Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT), The Indigenous Health Program at University Health Network (UHN) and Shkaabe Makwa (CAMH).

The National Association of Friendship Centres is proud to partner with this project as a Circle of Community Engagement & Review member.

COVID-19 vaccines (ingredients, allergies, side effects)

Intersections between Biomedicine and Traditional Knowledges & Medicines
Traditional Wellness Practices for Supporting Immune Function
  • Protecting our Immunity [PDF - 2,332 KB] : Feel confident that you are protecting your immune functions with Scout the Porcupine! Walk with us through a combination of traditional and western methods to feel at your best.
  • Cedar Tea Recipe [PDF - 1.95 MB]: We can all learn a thing or two from Porcupine, especially on protection. Embrace the wisdom of Porcupine by taking a preventative approach to protecting our immunity.

Family as the Central Fire and the COVID-19 Vaccination
List of Resources and Information based on Province and Territories