Métis Nation of Alberta announces second phase of COVID-19 support

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Edmonton (May 11, 2020) – The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is announcing a second phase of funding to support Métis citizens in Alberta who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Phase two support includes a $1.8-million funding top up to the Citizens, Families, and Seniors Direct Support Program, which translates to an additional $300,000 for each of the MNA’s six regions. The program also includes the hiring of a support liaison within each region, on a six-month contract term, to help field inquiries, applications and identify local needs. These contract positions and the funding top up are the result of federal funding being received by the MNA.

Affiliate Métis Crossing will see $500,000 to ensure job security for their staff, overhead costs are met and progress continues on the grand opening strategic plan.

In addition to these new financial supports, the MNA has procured 150,000 masks and gloves for the protection of Métis citizens and MNA staff across the province.

Phase one MNA funding has already benefited Métis citizens within Alberta. The Citizens, Families, and Seniors Direct Support Program has supported more than 2,000 Métis Albertans through various financial supports, including grocery gift cards and utility payments. The Child Wellness Benefit has seen more than 3,400 applications, and over $2.8 million in payments approved to date. This benefit is projected to provide more than $5.6 million to Métis families. The Emergency Rent Supplement Program has so far approved $867,000 in payments. MNA affiliate, Rupertsland Institute (RLI) has also provided several community supports, including 2,176 Chromebooks to Métis students with limited access to online learning tools and $450,000 to the MNA regions to hire temporary workers and increase support to Métis citizens. Steps have been taken to protect Métis-owned businesses with the MNA and RLI providing their affiliated lending institution Apeetogosan $500,000 and $750,000 respectively. Apeetogosan will match this funding for a total injection of $2.5 million allowing hundreds of Métis business owners to keep their doors open.

“Métis citizens within Alberta have been severely impacted by the pandemic, as have people all over Canada and around the world,” said Audrey Poitras, President of the MNA. “The MNA will continue to support Métis citizens in Alberta while we all do our part to battle this pandemic. We offer thanks to the heroic frontline workers who have spent their days and nights keeping everyone safe, and we will continue to support our citizens with their varied and unique needs during these uncertain times.”

“Through this pandemic, our goal has been clear, to ensure no Métis Nation citizen or family is left behind,” said MNA Vice-President Dan Cardinal. “With this second wave of supports, we’re continuing to ensure the security and wellness of all Métis in Alberta. If Métis citizens have any concerns, MNA leadership  is here to help and I am only a phone call away. The well-being of our community is of great importance to me and together we will meet those needs and build a healthy Métis nation.”

Métis people within Alberta, whether they are citizens of the MNA or not, can apply for support by visiting www.albertametis.com or calling 780 455 2200.

About the MNA

Since its inception in 1928, the MNA promotes and facilitates the advancement of Métis people in Alberta through self-reliance, self-determination and self-management. The MNA is governed by a Provincial Council, comprised of a Provincial President and Vice President and six regional Presidents and Vice Presidents, all democratically elected. In June 2019, the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Government of Canada signed the MNA-Canada Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement.

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