The Necessity of COVID Relief on Reserves
By Arshiya A., Milton Youth Action Team, HYI Communications Crew
September 17, 2020
Photo of the Hupacasath First Nation reserve in B.C., 2009 Postmedia News Files, Post Media News 01.06.2013 http://www.vancouversun.com/Reserves/7781658/story.html
With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lives of Canadian residents
have been at risk and the demand for medical attention has undeniably skyrocketed. Amidst
this, it is crucial to acknowledge the immense risk posed to Indigenous peoples across Canada, particularly those living on reservations who are statistically more likely to face negative health and housing situations compared to non-Indigenous folks living in cities – meaning the spread and treatment of things like COVID-19 faces intense challenges. Thus, it is essential for the federal, provincial and/or municipal government to take action on this matter as it is the most effective method to help the Indigenous peoples in these difficult times and ensure their safety.
According to CTV News, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has added $75M for COVID-19
aid on reserves to the $305M Indigenous Community Support Fund. Although it may be a
sufficient start to troubleshooting this crisis on reserves, it is nowhere near enough to help with all the reserves situated in Canada. Additionally, although the federal government is providing housing and income assistance to Indigenous reserves as well, it is still not enough funding to provide for all reserves in Canada. This ultimately requires for more political figures to take action other than the federal government, while working intentionally and positively with Indigenous leaders.
In order to take the most efficient steps to reach as many reserves in Canada as
possible, the Canadian provincial governments are crucial to direct the focus of their funds and aid with their specific region. This allows for a wider outreach of financial support for COVID-19 aid. Conclusively, in these difficult and unprecedented times, it is highly crucial to recognize those at a greater risk than ourselves and put in our best effort in order to give them the support they need.