Millions in rent, family programs to help Métis through pandemic

EDMONTON — The Métis Nation of Alberta is implementing a million-dollar response to the pandemic.

A total of $1.2 million will be split between the six regions for local councils to provide immediate financial support to families and seniors in need.

Families will be eligible for $500 per child 12 years old or younger, up to a total of $2,500 per household, who are impacted by school and daycare closures due to COVID-19. The program will run for three months until the end of June, and is designed as one-time emergency funding.

Partnering with the Métis Capital Housing Corporation, the MNA is also offering rental relief payments of $1,000 per month for three months. The cash will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis until it runs out.

As well, the existing Benevolent Fund payment is being increased to $500 for members who have lost someone to COVID-19.

“The MNA is taking action to ease some of the stresses Métis Nation citizens and families are experiencing so that we can all wait out this pandemic in safety and security,” MNA President Audrey Poitras said in a statement.

The programs are being funded by the MNA and its affiliates, with $7.5 million coming from Ottawa through the COVID-19 Indigenous Community Support Fund.

The MNA added it will be asking Alberta to contribute, too.

Additionally, the Rupertsland Institute created an emergency support program that will see each Métis region receive $75,000 and laptops so students can join the province’s virtual school programs.

Information about eligibility and applications is available online.