Winnipeg, MB – Today, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) announced a new program that will – coupled with other programs offered by the MMF and other governments – provide up to $5,000 in financial support to eligible Métis families to help cover the costs of funerals or memorial services. The MMF will assist the families of Métis Citizens who have recently passed on to access other programs currently offered by various levels of government, such as the federal government’s Death Benefit, then will top up the costs of funerals and memorial services so that all families may access up to $5,000.
The MMF unveiled this new COVID response stating that the economic effects of COVID has affected everyone. The MMF stated that the burden caused by losing a loved one should not provide additional financial challenges and mental health problems during a time that already weighs on everyone’s mind.
“Traditionally, Métis families rely on fundraising and support from the Community to help pay for the costs of memorial services, but with the limited ability to interact with your neighbours and the financial crisis we are currently in, many families cannot turn to others to help cover the costs of these important services,” stated MMF President David Chartrand. “Your Métis Government wants to assist those suffering from the mental anguish associated with the loss of a loved one to lessen the burdens they are facing.”
The MMF has an existing Bereavement Fund, provided through the Metis Community Liaison Department (MCLD), to support Métis families with $200 to help support the costs of food and hall rentals.
“Those who donate to the Bereavement Fund would expect that the funds continue to go out and support Métis families going through the loss of a loved one,” commented MMF Minister of the MCLD, Andrew Carrier. “This fund will continue to be accessible by Métis families during this trying time.”
This temporary COVID response is yet another program to add to the growing array of programs that the MMF is currently offering its Citizens to combat the struggles associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Emergency Student Assistance Program (ESAP), the Metis Community Business Fund (MCBF), and hamper program for vulnerable Métis Citizens.
“The MMF has provided support to students, entrepreneurs, and families, and now we are proud that we can offer a helping hand to those struggling with the loss of a loved one,” added Minister of Health & Wellness and co-chair of the MMF’s Central COVID-19 Response Team, Frances Chartrand. “The MMF has had a proactive, robust response to COVID and this program is yet another support that we feel is critical to helping our People exit COVID stronger and more united than we entered.”
This support will be open to all those who lost a Métis family member, regardless of if the cause of death is related to COVID or not.
“Though we cannot have funerals in the traditional sense where we gather and can mourn and celebrate together, your Métis Government understands the pressures and pain of family who cannot be with their loved ones who are in hospitals and care homes and leave this world alone,” commented President Chartrand.
“We are in the midst of a mental health and economic crisis that we have never experienced on this scale,” continued President Chartrand. “With this in mind, the MMF wants to guarantee that all Métis individuals that pass on are paid their respects and, to the best of our ability, ensure that we lessen the hardships passed on to their loved ones. The MMF has got your back.”
All families who have recently lost a Métis family member are encouraged to call the MMF at 204-586-8474 and request to speak to the MCLD department to see if they are eligible to receive this new funeral support.
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the democratic self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis Community is Canada’s Partner in Confederation and the Founder of the Province of Manitoba.