The federal government is providing $2.6 million to N.W.T. First Nations in order to help get their residents out on the land during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding, announced Monday morning, will be distributed by Indigenous Services Canada through the government of the Northwest Territories through its current partnerships with Indigenous governments, a news release from the federal government reads.
“The funds will support many other families who would not otherwise be able to be on the land because of the financial burden of acquiring necessary provisions, such as wood and fuel, food, First Aid equipment, transportation and other items suitable to their situation and culture,” the release reads.
According to the release, the funding will be allocated to the Akaitcho Territory Government, Dehcho First Nations, Gwich’in Tribal Council, NWT Métis Nation, Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated, Tłı̨chǫ Government, K’atl’odeeche First Nation, Acho Dene Koe First Nation, Salt River First Nation, and the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government.
“Elders and knowledge keepers have always told us ‘a day will come, when we will need to go to the land’ and now is that time,” said Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya, in the news release.
“With the closing of the schools, this is also an opportunity for families and their children to learn more about our culture and traditions and what has sustained us as Dene people for thousands of years.”
Details on how individuals could access the funds were not included in the release.