To help remote and isolated communities in northwestern and Northern Ontario through the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial and federal governments have invested in three projects in area First Nation communities.

Pikangikum First Nation will see $354,375 from Ottawa, $86,609 from Ontario and will provide $31,516 themselves to build a new 16-person transitional housing project to support Indigenous and vulnerable individuals.

The community says the project will provide improved access to quality social and community services from qualified mental health workers, family councillors, Elders, legal workers and traditional healers.

The new housing projects will include a community kitchen, public washrooms, office space and healing rooms, a common gathering area and conference rooms. Exterior work includes a deck with a ramp and canopy.

Ottawa will be providing $421,771 and Ontario will provide $103,081, with $37,510 coming from the Windigo First Nation Council to the Bearskin Lake community beach and pavilion.

The funds will clean up the community’s two beach areas, add two pavilions and install picnic tables. The upgrades may also include washroom facilities and will result in an improved recreational facility for residents and visitors.

Kingfisher Lake First Nation will see $2,591,109 from the federal government, $633,267 from the province and will provide $230,436 for a renovation of their arena.

The project will renovate and install a new ice plant at the arena and will rehabilitate the mezzanine to allow for sports and training. The governments say the project will improve the community’s health and wellness, as well as access to recreational activities.

Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott, Minister of Children and Women’s Issues Jill Dunlop and Executive Director of the Native Horizons Treatment Centre Wanda Smith announced the $7.1 million in funding through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan.