Kitikmeot Inuit Association President Stanley Anablak signs $500 cheques for elders in western Nunavut, as part of the KIA’s help package from the Indigenous Community Support Fund during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of the KIA/Facebook)

Kitikmeot Inuit Association announces support for elders, on-the-land activities during pandemic

New programs supported with $3.5 million in federal funding

By Jane George

The Kitikmeot Inuit Association will use its share of federal funding for COVID-19 measures to help ensure its elders are eating healthy foods and its members are getting out on the land.

These new programs, paid for with the association’s $3.5-million share of the Indigenous Community Support Fund, will be available for three months, from April 1 to June 30, the KIA said in a news release on Wednesday, April 1.

The Elders Supplement Program will provide elders who are Kitikmeot beneficiaries and at least 60 years old with a cash payment of $500 per month, so they can buy more healthy foods.

To identify who qualifies for the supplement, the KIA will use the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. enrolment database.

This benefit will provide an extra $811,500 to 541 registered elders of the region, the KIA said.

The KIA will also provide registered Kitikmeot beneficiary families with a total of $750,000 in financial assistance so they can get out of their communities and live at their cabins or camps.

Kitikmeot Community Futures Inc., Job Opportunity – Executive Director

Each of the five communities in the region will also receive $50,000 per month for the next three months.

“This short-term financial assistance program will allow those with transportation to be able to social distance their families,” the KIA said.

The KIA said its board plans to introduce more new programs “in the near future as we strive to assist beneficiaries during this COVID 19 pandemic.”

The money flows from the Indigenous Community Support Fund announced by the federal government on March 25.

Of that, Inuit received $45 million, which the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami board decided to divide among the four Inuit regions: Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and the Inuvialuit settlement region.

Of that, Nunavut’s allocation is 52 per cent or $22.5 million, divided as follows:

Invitation for Applications – Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut
  • Urban Inuit: $2,505,000
  • NTI: $6,012,000
  • Qikiqtani Inuit Association: $6,132,544
  • Kivalliq Inuit Association: $4,341,223
  • Kitikmeot Inuit Association: $3,554,233

NTI plans to spend $1.25 million of its allocation on Nunavut water and sewer services, while elders, families and harvesters are the focus of the QIA’s pandemic response plan.

The Kivalliq Inuit Association has not yet announced how it will put its money to use.

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