Latest COVID-19 Update from NCC
The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) continues to implement the second phase of a series of programs and initiatives that directly addresses the urgent needs of NunatuKavut members and communities as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues. To date, NCC has budgeted a total of nearly $2.3 million for COVID-19 with help from the federal government and other partners. The latest details on our programs and initiatives are outlined below.
FOOD AND HEAT SECURITY VOUCHERS
NCC launched the Food and Heat Security Voucher Program again in September. It assists NunatuKavut members who are experiencing food and heat security challenges and have these urgent needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The food voucher amounts vary based on family composition. The heat voucher is again available as a flat rate of $300 that can only be accessed once for the remainder of this phase. Members who received a heat voucher on or before November 9 will automatically receive an additional heat voucher of $200. You will not need to re-apply.
The maximum household gross monthly incomes for eligibility are:
- Single: $2,000 or less
- Families with no dependents: $3,000 or less
- Families with up to two dependents: $4,000 or less
- Families with greater than two dependents: $4,500 or less
NCC members will be able to access the food vouchers monthly until the program ends, which is dependent upon funding availability.
Area 4 (Sandwich Bay/Island of Ponds), Area 6 (Western Labrador) and Area 1 (Straits):
Shawn Holwell, 709-938-7882
Area 5 (Central Labrador):
Frank Holley, 709-896-0406
Area 3 (Bolsters Rock to Spear Point) and Area 2 (Battle Harbour):
Shandy Smith, 709-921-6604
Members outside of Labrador:
Deborah Newman, 709-896-0526
Firewood Heat Security Program
The Firewood Heat Security Program provides one cord of firewood per household for NunatuKavut seniors aged 65 and over and vulnerable people.
Eligible applicants include NunatuKavut members who:
- Are age 65 or older;
- Have a disability; or
- Receive Income Support (Social Assistance).
There are limited cords of firewood still available and it will be distributed on a first come-first serve basis. Separate arrangements are being made for wood in Black Tickle.
Senior Subsidy Mailout
In September, a second round of $100 cheques were mailed to all NunatuKavut seniors over 65 in Labrador and across Canada to help with extra expenses like groceries, cleaning supplies or other bills. This initiative has been well received by members all across Canada.
COMMUNITY FREEZER ENHANCEMENT
NCC has coordinated and delivered a second round of approximately 700 food baskets to seniors and vulnerable persons in NunatuKavut. This included essential food items like meats, baking supplies and canned goods and sanitization supplies.
Country Food Harvester Support Grant Program
Hunters can now re-apply for the Country Food Harvester Support Grant Program. It provides a grant of $100 to hunters to cover costs associated with the harvesting of country foods, i.e. ammunition and fuel. This initiative is NCC members living in Labrador who hold a valid Possession and Acquisition License.
SOCIAL AND WELLNESS FUND FOR SENIORS AND VULNERABLE PERSONS
In this second phase, NCC invited community councils or Local Service Districts in NunatuKavut to submit a proposal to access funds for the organization of social and wellness programs or initiatives to benefit seniors and vulnerable persons. This has meant a variety of activities being carried out in different communities, from providing meals to the delivery of frozen food baskets.
CULTURAL MENTAL WELLNESS FUND
The cultural mental wellness fund was set-aside for programs or initiatives that celebrate Inuit culture while improving mental well-being. NCC hired coordinators to work with communities to determine what kinds of activities they would like to see offered. This has resulted in a number of ongoing and upcoming workshops ranging from sealskin mitt-making to on-the-land activities like boil-ups.
GARDENING GRANT PROGRAM
The gardening grant program was offered in the summer to support communities and individuals to improve their infrastructure and purchase supplies that will help grow healthy, nutritious and local foods within their community. More than 90 grants were processed. A collection of photos and reports from those who accessed the program is currently being compiled for sharing on our website and social media sites.
Physical Wellness Services
Virtual physical wellness services are available to NunatuKavut members at NO COST during this pandemic. NCC partnered with Garreth Kippenhuck at Inclusive Health and Fitness to deliver private or semi-private fitness training; group fitness training; and nutritional coaching.
T: (709) 693 6048
Mental Health Counselling Services
Private and confidential mental health counselling services are available at NO COST for NunatuKavut members (ages 8+) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is being done in partnership with Cortez Hancock at Priority Health Counselling.
T: (709) 699-3692
NCC is coordinating activities under the EngAGE Across Generations program, an intergenerational initiative with a focus on seniors, youth and children. We are working with a local NunatuKavut artist on the development of a NunatuKavut Inuit colouring book, which will be launched in the coming months. We are also looking at providing Inuttitut language sessions.
NCC is continuing to provide crucial supports for Black Tickle to meet their unique and specific needs. Three part-time staff were hired to assist with NCC’s on-the-ground efforts in the community, which includes water, food and heat security initiatives. NCC is also working on assessing connectivity and technology needs in NunatuKavut communities.