Dear Chief and Council,
I hope this letter finds your community in good health and spirits. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a serious risk to Indigenous communities, the health and safety of all Canadians remains a paramount priority for the Government of Canada. In parallel to federal efforts, many First Nations like your own have taken steps to protect their communities, including limiting outside visitors, self-isolation measures, and other precautionary actions.
While the situation in Ontario is slowly improving, continued vigilance with public safety precautions must be exercised by all Canadians. As you know, due to these unprecedented circumstances, plans for in-person treaty payment events this year have been affected. We are continuing to monitor the situation very closely and are in regular contact with public health authorities for guidance and direction on travel and public events.
The Government of Canada recognizes the significance of treaty payment events to First Nation communities in Ontario, and we are looking for your ideas on alternatives to the traditional format of in-person treaty payment events.
Individuals are still able to collect their treaty payment at any time by completing the Treaty Annuity Payment Request form linked below. We are expanding our processing capacities to ensure annuitants receive their treaty payments in a timely fashion. Treaty monies will continue to accumulate on a yearly basis if they are not collected.
ISC staff and other federal colleagues proudly participate in honouring these solemn treaty promises in Indigenous communities across the country. I would appreciate hearing your views on in-person treaty payment events for this year and possible alternatives.
Please contact me directly or Diane Bain, Director, Governance, Individual Affairs, and Government Relations at [email protected] or by telephone at (416) 712-5321.
Regional Director General
655 Bay Street, 7th Floor Toronto ON, M5G 2K4