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Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) COVID-19 Support Plan

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation has received $5,850,000 from the Government of Canada in direct, distinctions-based funding to address the needs of Inuvialuit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is IRC’s allocation negotiated from the Indigenous Community Support Fund and we are now giving announcement of priority as to how funds will be spent in addressing the needs of Inuvialuit beneficiaries.

The Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) needs to continue to operate with essential functions like community supply and re-supply of necessities including health care resources for the duration of COVID-19.  IRC will focus efforts on sustainable food security within the Region.  We know that our land and food that it provides can contribute. IRC also knows that Inuvialuit rely on healthcare services and community infrastructure and look to have the same essential services and access as all Canadians. Those areas in need of improvement for beneficiaries in the ISR include adequate housing, access to healthcare services, proper infrastructure and education - Canada has again recognized that those needs are only being heightened by the current emergency situation. 

IRC is aware that children are out of school while parents work from home, post-secondary students may return with few job prospects, many of the households live in poverty and some Elders struggle to stock up with basic necessities.  The coordination of long-term strategies to help during this restrictive and uncertain time has been a priority in IRC’s planning.

Inuvialuit households with limited incomes can expect support from IRC throughout this time, assured that they will have the basics with food vouchers for bulk purchase of groceries and will not have to worry whether they can afford expensive cleaning supplies or high costs of food.  Elders will receive food vouchers at the grocery store to buy supplies and be provided with wood and/or ice (for drinking water) delivered to their homes.

IRC will make certain that communities and individuals have what they need so they can contribute to their homes. We know that if material is available, Inuvialuit can sew for themselves and those out harvesting and for children in increasing self-sufficiency.  We know more parents are working from home and that not only schools, but sports, planned summer activities, and childcares facilities have had to close, IRC will also provide activity kits to help guide and contribute to our children’s time.

Urban Inuit Organizations (UIO) are best placed to administer emergency support for Inuvialuit now living in cities and Urban Inuit Organizations will be given the direct immediate financial means to extend support programs for those in need and to offer emergency relief to beneficiaries who require the assistance. All Inuvialuit Elders over the age of 60 can expect more support from IRC. 

The most proactive way to endure and even counter the restrictions faced on livelihoods and the unknown timelines due to threat of sickness from COVID-19, is to turn to the land which can contribute needed and nourishing foods for the health of Inuvialuit, notably the Elders and children, needy families and those most vulnerable. IRC hopes that all who can, will continue in our tradition in helping each other by assisting their communities in the work of harvesting, distributing and preserving country foods for the immediate and ongoing basis. 

We commend the Government of Canada for respecting the rights of Inuvialuit in acknowledging our ability to use land in sustainable ways to secure food healthiest and nearest.  In its act of reconciliation, Canada is now supporting our traditional ability to aid and allow for processes of sharing resources amongst our households and communities. IRC appreciates immediate financial means given to the cultural support systems Inuvialuit already have in-place while also allowing IRC to assure guarantee of proper basic essential items to beneficiaries most vulnerable so they can live with less stress during this trying time. 

Knowing IRC can give more financial support directly to our Community Corporations and Urban Organizations for their additional priorities and preparations, is an extension of the same self-determined, positive approach with Canada that will be of use to us as we get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of the seriousness of COVID-19 to the lives of all Inuvialuit and especially as we push for utmost prevention to protect the Elders, IRC is continuing to call for better equipped, properly supported health care services in our Region.  In addition, IRC will provide some immediate allocation of funds for the basic medical equipment and proper protective gear recommended by leading public health bodies. IRC will distribute first aid kits to households in order to prepare as we can in our households.

Quyannaini, Koana, Quyanaqpak for your own precautionary efforts to prevent any spread of this coronavirus.

 

List of new, funded provisions with COVID-19 Support Plan under Indigenous Community Support Fund:

  • Direct Support to Community Corporations – increase in program funding to each Community Corporations to help in their response to community COVID-19 preparedness
  • Direct Funds to Urban Inuit Organizations (UIO) – program funding directed to Urban Inuit organizations to assist Inuvialuit in the cities
  • Funding to all elders – every Inuvialuit Elder over 60 years will receive increased funds from IRC to help them meet their household expenses during this pandemic
  • Wood and/or ice for elders homes – IRC will assist those elders whose homes are fueled with wood and provide ice for drinking water.
  • Vouchers for households in need for their bulk food purchases and cleaning supplies
  • Funding for Community Harvests (to the CCs for organizing these community harvests)
  • Fishnets – distributed by each community
  • Educational kits for children – distributed by each community
  • First Aid Kits for households – distributed by each community
  • Sewing packages
  • Country Food – country food will be distributed to communities

 

Beneficiaries may contact by Email: covid@inuvialuit.com