Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the presenters here. There have been some very tough questions indeed.
I want to start by thanking Gina Wilson for using the word meegwetch. We hear a lot of French and we hear a lot of English, but it's not very often we hear indigenous words. Thank you for that.
I want to also say that I think we're in a very difficult situation with a lot of unknowns. The pandemic has caused a lot of issues to come forward. I heard a lot from the students in my riding initially, so I was very happy to see some very important measures come forward: the moratorium on Canada student loan repayments, the doubling of the student loans program, the increased student loan program funding and the work placement program. I think they were all well received across the country. Our young people are certainly facing their share of challenges.
We've also seen a lot of other programs that are helping young people, especially in my riding. I think a lot of indigenous communities would say the same, with the indigenous community support and the on-the-land program. Everybody wants to get involved; they want to play a role.
I was quite happy that these placements were coming forward. It's really unfortunate that it looks like these placements are going to be on hold for a bit now. I'm hoping that our government's objective remains the same, to continue to try to connect the skills and abilities of young people who are looking to improve their skills with service opportunities to help in our communities, especially when it comes to healing.
I understand there was a lot of uptake of the program. I think the minister mentioned there were 35,000 applications.
As we move forward, as the government moves forward with administering the Canada student service grant, what steps are being taken to ensure that indigenous youth in rural and remote northern communities are able to access this program? That's my first question.