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Ottawa reveals new details on support for northern harvesters


The federal government has revealed more details about Nutrition North money being received by various northern organizations to help the territory’s harvesters.

The Harvesters Support Grant – which was announced well before the pandemic and isn’t directly related – aims to increase Indigenous communities’ access to traditional foods by reducing costs associated with hunting and harvesting.

Money from the fund can be used to pay for things like transportation, maintenance of equipment, training and education, and upkeep at harvesting sites.

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“The grant supports the complete range of harvesting activities and traditions, from community decision-making to ceremony and celebration of the harvest,” a federal news release stated. 

“It respects the inherent hunting and harvesting rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada.”

The grant will provide $40 million over five years and $8 million per year thereafter to eligible Indigenous communities and governments.

While the federal government first announced that it was investing in the grant In December 2018, until now, details had not been released about how much funding individual organizations and governments would receive. 

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In the Northwest Territories, several governments and organizations have already registered for the Harvesters Support Grant.

According to a spokesperson for Nutrition North, those groups received their first payment in March 2020 and will receive additional funds on June 15 and October 15 for each year they are eligible. 

The Tłı̨chǫ Government will get $503,995 over five years, the Sahtu Secretariat will get $772,485 over five years, and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation will get $3,435,000 over five years.

The Sambaa K’e First Nation and Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation will each get $126,197 over three years. 

The federal government says funding has been set aside for all eligible communities. It recognizes some proposals for the fund may be pending, while others may be modified.

An update about the fund was released on the same day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new funding to support health responses to Covid-19 and airlines in all three territories.

Trudeau also said Ottawa would provide Nutrition North with an extra $25 million to increase food subsidies.

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