The Province of Manitoba has provided the Manitoba Inuit Association with $50,000 for helping provide Covid-19 supports to Manitoba Inuit, the province’s first investment in the group in recognition of its growing role in Manitoba.

This was a part of a greater $3 million investment going toward various Indigenous groups in the province, said Manitoba Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Alan Lagimodiere on June 10.

The “Manitoba Inuit Association is pleased to have a renewed and engaged relationship with the Province of Manitoba and we thank the honorable Minister Lagimodiere for his leadership in this regard,” said Marti Ford, president of the Manitoba Inuit Association.

“We have grown exponentially since 2012, when we first operationalized our organization, and we have done some exceptional Inuit-led work in our community during the pandemic. An increase to our provincial core funding – is welcomed and needed. Our growing mandate and requirement of increased capacity to meet so many unmet needs of Inuit living in Manitoba and those who have to come down on medical travel.”

During the Covid-19 related public health emergency in the province, the Manitoba Inuit Association assisted in the response effort by holding four vaccine pop-up clinics throughout the pandemic, in addition to also providing Inuit-specific services in Winnipeg. Winnipeg serves as a regional hub for Kivalliq Inuit with many residents going there for medical travel and to access other services Nunavut doesn’t have.

The Manitoba Inuit Association also sits on the First Nations, Inuit and Red River Metis Council on residential schools, which was formed to help provide guidance and advice on how to support Indigenous people in the midst of ongoing searches of residential schools and residential school grounds.

Lagimodiere added he hopes additional core funding will help out these various Indigenous organizations in carrying out their work and it goes toward a stronger relationship.

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