COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Helps Indigenous People

The call to protect elders and sustain Native culture is a familiar sight throughout Indian Country.

This article was published on the First Nations Development Institute site on 6/1/21.

Through the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, First Nations is supporting Native nations and Native-led organizations as they respond to and recover from COVID-19. This includes support for frontline or other essential services, along with long-term strategies to weather the pandemic.

The following areas are identified as critical issues to be addressed by the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund:

  • Pandemic Response and Recovery. This is the ability to access and distribute supplies needed for healthcare testing, vaccines, and educational resources to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
  • Critical Services and Infrastructure. These are services and solutions for economic security, cultural and physical/mental wellbeing, public health and safety, and education of Native youth.
  • Communications and Technology. This is for equipment (e.g., laptops, headsets, internet, communications, technology) that allows members of Native communities to work, learn, and access services remotely.
  • Financial Bridge. This is support to help tribes, Native non-profits and community organizations stay resilient throughout the economic crisis and remain operational.

Support is being targeted to areas hardest hit by COVID-19 and emerging COVID-19 hotspots, as well as anchor institutions in Native communities and long-term and trusted partners of First Nations.

Impact of the Fund

So far, generous individuals and organizations have given more than $5,400,000 to this important fund. Thanks to these donations and funding from First Nations’ partner organizations, to date, $3,819,608.28 in 298 grants have been awarded to Native nations and Native-led organizations (including in Alaska and Hawaii) to support human services, response and relief efforts. 

First Nations has also coordinated the donation of 28,800 gallons of water, 17,749 pounds of food, and $335,670 in PPE directly to Indian communities. 

The First Nations’ COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is made possible thanks to the generous support of donors and funders. 

You can donate as little as $1 today to support the continued health and resilience of Native communities! First Nations will continue to make grants directly to Native-led organizations as more funds are committed.

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