The emergence of the pandemic posed significant challenges for Indigenous peoples, especially those in remote settings where inequitable access to basic supports compounded by COVID-19 was a cause for immediate dedicated philanthropic action. A fund that is built upon the resiliency of and guided by Indigenous Peoples to support communities through the current public health crisis.
In June of 2015, the Philanthropic Community in Canada presented “The Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action” to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In part, it reads, "We are committed to supporting the fulfillment of the vision of Aboriginal peoples, to building a fairer and more just country, and to the recommendations that will be outlined by the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We will work, each in our own way, and together, towards achieving the goal of reconciliation and, in the end, a much stronger, more inclusive Canada."
It was this work that laid the foundation for the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund. What made this fund different was that the leadership was committed to support Indigenous Led frontline, on the ground, not for profits without charitable status organizations in communities. The leadership understood for our partners it was important to support charitable activities that would satisfy the CRA requirements but also recognized that the existing approaches to funding would not reach these many remote, rural, and grassroots non-profits and charities, especially in current climate. What the leadership of IPRF understood was that if we wanted to make a difference in communities it was necessary to be able to support these organizations. With great legal advice, and the right processes, IPRF was able to accomplish what it set out to do.