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COVID-19 – May 5th

May 5, 2020

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Student Updates

  • Mental Health Student Support Program
    • During the COVID emergency, many GDI students are under pressure and struggling with daily stresses as they continue to work toward their academic goals.
    • Gabriel Dumont Institute is in the process of putting in place fully confidential mental health and counselling supports for GDI students that will include immediate access to counsellors 24/7 at no cost to the student.
    • Services will be available through a variety of modalities including toll-free telephone, video counselling, on-line chat, in-person counselling, and mobile app.
    • More information and official announcement will be shared with GDI students in the coming days.


  • UPDATED GDI Virtual Concerts
    • The virtual concerts hosted by the Gabriel Dumont Institute have been very popular and well accessed. Available concerts are as follows:
    • Watch John Arcand, Master of the Métis Fiddle, on Facebook or YouTube.
    • Enjoy the music of Jess Lee in concert on Facebook or watch it on YouTube
    • Enjoy the music of Donny Parenteau on YouTube or on Facebook.
    • Upcoming concert:
    • Tristen Durocher available Monday May 11, 2020
    • Like GDI on Facebook


  • NEW GDI Approves Emergency Bursaries to Students
    • 344 Métis students have been approved for emergency bursaries, administered through the Gabriel Dumont Scholarship Foundation.


  • COVID-19 Emergency Bursary for Métis Students
    • Applications are open
    • Emergency Bursary is for Saskatchewan Métis students experiencing hardships and loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Students may be experiencing difficulty completing their studies due to rapid and unforeseen changes in living situations. Those transitioning to online learning platforms face unforeseen costs such as needed educational equipment, access to technology, and IT supports (ie, reliable internet, computers, printers, software, IT support, etc.) to complete their studies. Many Métis students have lost income and are experiencing difficulties meeting basic living expenses.
    • Métis post-secondary and Adult Basic Education students can request assistance for immediate expenses and associated living costs including but not limited to; rent, groceries, utilities, childcare, medications, cleaning services, and needed educational equipment and technology access. Childcare support is eligible for children ages 0 – 13 and older dependants with disabilities requiring care.
    • Applicants must be Métis residents of Saskatchewan and have a valid Saskatchewan Health Card. Métis Nation–Saskatchewan registry cards are not required.
    • Complete information and online application forms are available at the following link:  https://gdins.org/covid-19/covid-19-bursary/


  • ABE Adult 10-12 Update
  • During the COVID pandemic, the provincial government together with post-secondary institutions, support Adult learners to continue their education towards completion.
  • The Adult Basic Education Adult 10-12 Instructional Framework provides policy direction to post-secondary institutions that is consistent with the direction provided to Grades 10-12 in the K-12 system.
  • Adult learners in credit programs will be provided similar opportunities as K-12 for supplemental learning, assessment and evaluation, grading, and transition.
  • A minimum final mark of 50 percent or greater will be applied to the outcomes evaluated to-date in the subject areas as of March 13, 2020. Adult learners will be afforded the opportunity to improve their marks through supplemental learning.
  • Adult learners will not be penalized for committing to supplemental learning. If a learner’s grade goes down by the end of supplemental learning, their final grade will be the mark recorded as of March 13, 2020 (50 per cent or greater).
  • Adult learners will be encouraged to continue learning; however, if they are not able to, they will be assigned their grade as of March 13, 2020.
  • Provincial examinations are waived from March 13, 2020 through to the end of June 2020 for Adult learners engaged blended programs (now 100% instructor marks) or programs taught by non-accredited instructors.
  • No differentiation will be made on transcripts administered from the K-12 system to denote students who engaged in supplemental learning versus students who chose not to and were assigned the grade they had as of March 13, 2020.


  • Provincial Training Allowance (PTA)
    • For students funded by PTA, funding will continue to the program end date. After this time, students must transfer to another means of financial support.


  • Gabriel Dumont Institute Training & Employment Funded Clients:
    • GDITE funded clients whose programs are interrupted or altered will not have their income support, dependent care, and other non-travel-related allowances penalized, reduced, or cancelled.
    • Additional supports for tutoring are also being offered to funded clients.
    • GDITE funded clients whose programs are cancelled due to COVID-19 will be allowed a one-time amendment to program start and/or end dates.
    • GDITE clients who are still in training and applying for EI/CERB should let their employment counsellor know ASAP.


  • GDI Graduation Ceremonies
    • All graduation ceremonies and events for all GDI/DTI/GDC programs to June 30, 2020 are postponed. Rescheduling to celebrate/mark graduations will be assessed in the future.



Public Updates

  • GDI facilities and service offices are closed to public access. Students and clients may be served by appointment and/or remotely. Call GDI toll-free at 1-877-488-6888.



  • GDI Golf Tournament
    • The GDI Golf Tournament, scheduled for May 29, 2020, is postponed. A tentative future date is August 21, 2020. Contact scholarships@gdins.org for more info.



COVID-19 Information


The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency’s (SPSA) toll free line, 1-855-559-5502, is now being offered 24 hours, 7 days a week.  The SPSA toll free line was established in order to answer non-health specific questions about the COVID-19 pandemic.


For everyone’s health and safety it is imperative to work together to limit exposure and spread of illness.

  • Practice effective handwashing techniques. Wash hands regularly with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home if you are sick (to prevent spreading illness to other people).
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough or sneeze into your arm. Turn away from other people. Dispose of tissues immediately.
  • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or using a tissue.
  • Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, or mouth).
  • Keep a distance of at least two meters (six feet) between people.



COVID-19 Emergency Benefit Programs (summary)

Updated April 28, 2020




Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months.


The CERB is now available if you earned $1,000 (before taxes) or less during an eligibility period. If this applies to your situation, you may be eligible to apply for a previous period, starting March 15, 2020. Click here for more information.



The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily.

When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim.

When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.


The CERB is being jointly delivered by Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency.


To begin the application process, you will be asked to answer a few simple questions. The answers you provide will help direct you to the service option that best fits your situation. See the website for more information.


The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is accessible through CRA My Account or over the phone with an automated phone service. 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. For more information click here.



Employment Insurance (EI)

For those currently receiving EI benefits and who expect them to continue, you should not apply for CERB. If your EI benefits cease before October 3, 2020, then you can apply for CERB when those benefits run out, if you are unable to work because of COVID-19.


All Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, would be able to receive the CERB


Those who have applied for EI and their applications have not been processed do not have to reapply.


Those who are eligible for regular EI and sickness benefits can still access those benefits if they’re still unemployed after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.


Employment Insurance and Pension applications can be made online at: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/portfolio/service-canada.html



Support for Students and Recent Graduates

The federal government has put a number of programs and supports in place to help students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. These include enhanced student financial assistance for fall 2020, the Canada Student Service Grant, and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, Find out more here.





Saskatchewan residents who have been ordered to self-isolate and are not eligible for the federal supports can apply for the province’s self-isolation support program, which provides recipients with $900 over two weeks. The program will mainly benefit self-employed workers.



Métis Nation


Métis-specific emergency response

*Full program details and instructions available on the MN-S website

On March 31, 2020 the Métis Nation Saskatchewan announced $2.88 million for immediate emergency COVID-19 relief measures for childcare, housing, and PPE. Below is a summary.


MN–S Emergency Housing Support Program

  • The MN-S recognizes that many people are being stretched financially and emotionally by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The MN-S Housing Support Program has been put in place to help those struggling to make ends meet.
  • MNS has provided emergency funds to each region to assist households in meeting household expenses during COVID-19 pandemic crisis. These funds are meant to supplement, not to replace income.
  • Please note: the Regions are responsible for determining the eligibility and dollar amounts based on need for each request as funding is limited.
  • Download the application for emergency relief funds here and submit the completed application to your regional office.
  • Contact your Regional rep to register for emergency funds / 1-833-343-8391


MN–S Childcare Support

  • One-time $500 per child to a maximum of $2,500
  • Children must be under 10; registered MN–S citizens; resident of SK for the past 6 months
  • An MN–S daycare for first responders and emergency workers will also be available
  • Full criteria and online applications are available on the MN–S website.
  • You can access the application here. Submit the completed application to childcare@mns.work.
  • Contact Lisa Fleming at lfleming@mns.work or 1-833-343-8391


MN–S Personal Protective Equipment Program

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may include hand sanitizer, masks, disinfectant cleaning supplies, gloves, clinical thermometers
  • Available to registered and self-identifying Métis
  • MN–S will access and distribute supplies and Regions will identify at-risk Métis
  • Identify need to your Regional representative / 1-833-343-8391



For further information phone the MN–S toll-free number at 1-833-343-8391.



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