An aircraft from Canada carrying Covid-19 relief materials after arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi last week. (ANI)
An aircraft from Canada carrying Covid-19 relief materials after arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi last week. (ANI)

Indigenous community in Canadian province donates for India’s Covid fight

Manitoba Metis Federation, which is the government of the indigenous people, has announced a donation of over 30 lakhs to help India
By Anirudh Bhattacharyya I Edited by Amit Chanda
UPDATED ON MAY 19, 2021 12:24 PM IST

More assistance related to the coronavirus crisis in India is flowing from Canada, including a donation from an indigenous community in the western province of Manitoba.

The Manitoba Metis Federation, which is the government of the indigenous people there, has announced a donation of 50,000 Canadian dollars ( 3,025,544 approx) to help India during the crisis.

Federation president David Chartrand said, “People are dying from lack of oxygen in India. Our hearts go out to all the families who have lost loved ones. The Indo-Canadian community in our province has a well-deserved reputation for generosity towards their neighbours. Now, that their families and friends in India need our help, it’s our chance to return the favour.”

Chartrand pointed to the scale of the devastation in India as he said, “Over 270,000 people have died from Covid-19 in India. That is enough to wipe out the entire Métis population in Manitoba twice over.”

Chartrand made the pledge during an online ‘Oxygen for India’ fundraiser organised by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce or ICCC on Sunday.

Chartrand said that while the Metis were not a rich people, it was in their “DNA as Métis people that if we see our neighbours struggle, we need to help”.

“Like the Métis, people in India highly value and respect their elders and seniors, who we know are extremely vulnerable to Covid-19. We need to help protect their families and communities. If you can, I encourage all Métis citizens, and indeed all Canadians, to donate to Oxygen for India,” he added.

Meanwhile, the province of Ontario which has already despatched 3,000 ventilators to India, will send another 2,000. Premier Dough Ford said he had “directed our folks to ship another 2,000 (ventilators)” and expected that a “whole planeload” with supplies will arrive in India soon. Ford also made the announcement at the ICCC fundraiser.

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