$252K in new funding to help Bear Clan's food hamper program during pandemic

Winnipeg’s Bear Clan Patrol is among more than a dozen organizations serving urban and off-reserve Indigenous people in Manitoba receiving millions of dollars in funding from the federal government.

More than a dozen Manitoba organizations receive $8.4M in funding through federal COVID-19 program

Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais of the Bear Clan Patrol said new funding announced Tuesday will enable the organization to keep providing weekly food supplies to approximately 350 households. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Winnipeg's Bear Clan Patrol will receive $251,850 to support its food delivery program, the community organization and the federal government announced Tuesday.

"There's more than 350 homes that are getting these hampers that are feeding their children, and don't have to worry and stress out every week on how to get what they're going to feed their kids," Bear Clan member Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais said at a news conference Tuesday.

The program feeds approximately 1,500 people per week.

"Indigenous people collectively, we don't forget about anybody. And that's apparent here with this announcement," Kevin Hart, regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, said at the news conference.

The funding will enable the Bear Clan to continue delivering a weekly food supply to individuals and families in need, the federal government said in a news release

It's part of a total of $8.4 million committed to more than a dozen organizations in Manitoba serving urban and off-reserve Indigenous people in Manitoba.

The funding comes through the federal government's Indigenous Community Support Program, which provides support for Indigenous organizations and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is distributing $90 million across Canada to Indigenous organizations providing services to First Nations people living off-reserve, and Indigenous Peoples in urban areas, the federal government said.

The Southern Chiefs' Organization, which represents 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota First Nations across southern Manitoba, received $775,165 through the fund. 

Chiefs have received numerous requests for help from members living off-reserve since the beginning of the pandemic, Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said in a news release, largely for food and rent-security support.

"This funding will allow us to respond to this critical need," said Daniels.