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Federal government to open applications for Indigenous-led shelters across Canada

Last Updated Jul 23, 2021 at 1:19 pm MDT

Indigenous Services minister Marc Miller speaks to media at the Frobisher Inn in Iqaluit, Nunavut on Friday July 23, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Emma Tranter

IQALUIT, Nunavut — The federal government says it will soon open applications to build emergency shelters and transitional housing for Indigenous people facing gender-based violence across Canada.

Speaking in Iqaluit, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller today highlighted money already announced in the Liberals’ 2021 budget — including $420 million over five years for the construction of Indigenous-led shelters.

Ahmed Hussen, who is the families, children and social development minister, says a call for shelter proposals will go out this September.

Hussen says the money will pay for the construction of at least 38 emergency shelters and 50 transitional homes across the country.

Aluki Kotierk, president of the land claims organization Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., says the funding is a good step forward but says it’s too little, too late for Inuit who continue to struggle during the territory’s housing crisis.

Kotierk says the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the urgent need for housing in Nunavut, with the virus having rapidly spread through the territory’s overcrowded homes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2021

The Canadian Press