Mr. Chair, the Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre in my riding serves 12,000 urban indigenous people. The centre runs on a meagre $139,000 in core funding for the programs it runs. The centre is still running programs during this crisis, including a health centre, a youth safe house, youth and elder housing, a home for single moms, a food hamper for 150 families, and family violence counselling and addiction counselling. During normal times, they also run employment programs, adult basic education, day care, youth programs, family programs and meal programs, all with just $139,000 in core funding.
The centre is an integral part of our local indigenous community and is struggling seriously through this crisis. It is now one of the front-line organizations dealing with the COVID-19 crisis in my community.
The government has allocated to friendship centres $15 million of the $305 million in relief funding allocated to first nations, Métis, Inuit and indigenous organizations. This is out of a total $180 billion relief fund; that is, out of $180 billion dollars, $305 million is for indigenous organizations.
Will the government increase the relief funding and the core funding for the aboriginal friendship centres serving the urban indigenous populations across this country?