At 9:30 this morning, ISC Ontario Region hosted a conference call to discuss the COVID-19 Emergency Response Funding Process for Ontario Region.
Attached to this memo you will find the Community Guide that details the process for accessing funds as well as the Funding Request form. This was also sent to you directly by ISC.
Call participants were given a brief opportunity to ask questions to the regional representatives. These questions and answers have been documented and will be posted on the NAN website at www.nancovid19.ca once available. Please take the time to read these once they are posted; leadership on the call raised many important questions and I believe you will find the answers to be very useful.
A few things worth noting from the call:
Dr. Maurica Maher, Regional Public Health Physician, reiterated the importance of informing community members that if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they should assume they have it and take immediate steps to self isolate. If symptoms worsen, they should notify the nursing station right away.
Ontario Regional Chief (ORC) Rosanne Archibald recommends that communities begin the process of identifying and repurposing buildings that could be used for triage or isolation. These would need to be cleaned and disinfected. ORC stated that the Emergency Funds could be used for these purposes, and further reiterated that a declaration of emergency is not necessary to access the funds.
Other items of note, in brief:
- Emergency Funding will be based on need, not population
- Submissions will be acknowledged within 48 hours, possibly sooner
- First Nations can submit for reimbursements for funds already spent on emergency preparedness
- Regular program funding will still flow and can be used to support emergency efforts (as many of the program activities will no longer be offered due to the current situation), as long as the spending is related to similar efforts of the program. For example, education dollars can be used to bring students home, or to do land-based education
- Effective immediately, all funds will be released that have been outstanding due to unsubmitted reports and/or audits, and these unsubmitted reports and/or audits will not prevent First Nations from accessing Emergency Funds for the foreseeable future