Thank you, Chair.
As I am in Ottawa, I do want to acknowledge my presence today on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people.
Kwe, good afternoon, bonjour.
Before I begin, I would like to say a few words on the current social climate. Right now, we are in a moment when Canadians are recognizing that there's unfairness built into our systems and that these systems have always been unfair towards indigenous peoples.
I look to my colleagues on this committee among others and across government to reflect and question ourselves on why injustice towards indigenous peoples still happens and how we can move forward in the short, medium and long term.
This is obvious. We need to ensure that there is accountability and that policing services are committed to ensuring that they are always worthy of the trust we put in them. Indigenous peoples and their communities are entitled to the best, and the best there is of the RCMP.
We need to constantly question and reflect on the issues of systemic racism in institutions, particularly those that hold exceptional powers, ones, at times, of life and death. The exceptional powers exercised by police services across Canada come with correspondingly exceptional responsibilities. We must keep fighting to remove systemic racism from these institutions, institutions that are meant to serve everyone living in this country equally and fairly.
With that, I welcome the opportunity to provide you with an update on our continuing effort to confront the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and to answer your questions on supplementary estimates (A).
As of June 15, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 247 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in first nations communities on reserves. Of these, 208 individuals are considered to have recovered. In terms of Inuit in Nunavik, all of the 16 cases reported have recovered.
Our commitment to supporting communities in their response to COVID-19 has never wavered. That is why our 2020-21 supplementary estimates (A) reflect a net increase of $1.7 billion. This was essential to address the needs of indigenous peoples during this global crisis. These supplementary estimates include $950.5 million of statutory funding, mostly related to the COVID-19 response measures, in addition to new funding support for key programs such as Jordan's principle and child and family services.
To date, the Government of Canada has made roughly $1.5 billion in distinctions-based funding available to indigenous peoples and northern communities to support their efforts to successfully battle COVID-19. Specifically, these estimates contain more than $280 million to support Indigenous Services Canada's health response in first nations and Inuit communities. This is essential funding that will help to provide first nations and Inuit communities with additional health care providers; personal protective equipment; health infrastructure, specifically retooling existing community spaces or purchasing mobile structures to support isolation, screening and/or accommodations; and community-level infection prevention and control measures that are essential.
In addition to this, these estimates also reflect $305 million for the distinctions-based indigenous community support fund. Of this amount, $215 million was dedicated to first nations, $45 million to Inuit, and $30 million to Métis nation communities, plus $15 million in proposals-based funding for first nations off reserve and urban indigenous organizations and communities.
An additional $75 million was also sought for organizations supporting first nations individuals off reserve and Inuit and Métis living in urban areas, as well as $10 million in funding for emergency family violence prevention shelters on reserve and in Yukon.
As part of our COVID-19 response, we are also providing $260 million to respond to financial pressures on income assistance.
Outside of funding to support our COVID-19 response, these supplementary estimates also include $232 million to support the ongoing implementation of Jordan's principle, and $468.2 million to support the ongoing delivery of the first nations child and family services program. These investments demonstrate the government's ongoing commitment to fully implementing the orders of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
This investment more than doubles the program's budget, bringing it to nearly $1.7 billion. Funding will be used to ensure that first nations children and families are getting the services they need.
You'll note that we have also made a few other announcements recently. These items will be reflected in future supplementary estimates. These include $75.2 million in new investments to support first nations, Inuit and Métis nations post-secondary recent graduates impacted by the pandemic, and $440 million in funding in support of indigenous businesses and the indigenous tourism industry in response to the hardships created by COVID-19.
I will close by saying that we are committed to responding to the needs of first nations, Inuit and Métis and to stopping the spread of COVID-19. We're committed to getting more nurses, paramedics, nursing stations and health centres to help those who need it most.
I want to take a moment, as I close, to thank all health care professionals working in indigenous communities for their continued dedication and determination to ensure that quality and culturally appropriate care, testing and treatment are provided during this pandemic.
I want to thank members for this opportunity to meet with you today, albeit virtually.
Again, I am happy to answer any and all questions.
Meegwetch. Nakurmiik. Merci.