News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

April 25, 2023

Manitoba Government Providing more than $2.1 Million to Support Indigenous-Led Mental Health and Addictions Programming through Indigenous Reconciliation Initiatives Fund

The Manitoba government is providing more than $2.1 million to support Indigenous-led mental health and wellness programming through the Indigenous Reconciliation Initiatives Fund, Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke announced today.

“This funding supplements existing emergency response efforts and will assist communities in providing Indigenous-led supports,” said Clarke. “I would like to commend Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Southern Chiefs’ Organization for their collaborative work in addressing the needs of communities across the province to promote the well-being for those in communities who need it most, especially in the north.”

Through one-time capacity grants, the Manitoba government has partnered on the following projects:

  • Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak: $1.069 million to support its all-Indigenous mobile crisis response team to provide mental health crisis response for First Nations across Manitoba. The response team includes members of the Indigenous community who blend experiential, academic and traditional knowledge to provide culturally sensitive crisis support for those who need it most.
  • Southern Chiefs’ Organization: $1.069 million for its mobile crisis response team to increase capacity to deliver emergency responses across southern First Nations. The team will consist of 11 members with a diverse knowledge and skills who are trauma-informed and culturally sensitive to provide a holistic response for southern Manitoba First Nations experiencing crisis incidents.

The funding advances progress under the four foundational principles of respect, engagement, understanding and action outlined in the Manitoba government’s Path to Reconciliation Act.

“The mental health and well-being of Manitobans are important priorities for our government and I am pleased that the Department of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations is providing this support to strengthen provincewide mental health and emergency responses,” said Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister Janice Morley-Lecomte.

“We acknowledge the contribution from the Manitoba government and their support of the important work our mobile crisis response team does for our communities,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak. “Kinanaskomotin, thank you.”

“The MKO Mobile Crisis Response Team works diligently in supporting the 63 Manitoba First Nations with their mental health,” said Greg Fontaine, manager, MKO Mobile Crisis Response Team. “Recently we have experienced a surge in mental-health crises across the province and explored providing care with our partners to meet the needs of First Nations. In the past two years we have witnessed and experienced an increase of up to 50 percent in the number of services we provide.”

“Supporting southern First Nation citizens, families, and communities during times of crisis is of utmost importance to me and my fellow leaders,” said Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, Southern Chiefs’ Organization. “All First Nation citizens have a right to proper health and health services. By increasing our reach with our mobile crisis response team, we can provide heightened trauma-informed and culturally appropriate mental health and wellness services thus increasing the opportunities for healing, and ultimately more positive outcomes and success stories for our Anishinaabe and Dakota peoples.”

The minister also noted that both initiatives align with A Pathway to Mental Health and Community Wellness: A Roadmap for Manitoba, the Manitoba government's five-year plan for improving wellness, mental health, substance use and addictions services and programs.

For more information on the plan, visit

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