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Various menstrual products are seen, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in Kennesaw, Ga.Mike Stewart/The Associated Press

The federal government plans to provide free menstrual products for students who attend on-reserve schools.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu announced the plan in a Twitter post on Friday.

She says period poverty shouldn’t be a barrier to attending school and that menstrual products will available in on-reserve schools “very soon.”

The news comes after criticism that First Nations schools were excluded from an Ontario government partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart to provide menstrual products to school boards.

NDP member Sol Mamakwa, who represents a riding covering northern Ontario First Nations, raised the issue in the provincial legislature last month, pointing out that products like tampons are more expensive in the north.

A spokeswoman for Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce at the time said questions about support for on-reserve schools should go to the federal government because it funds and regulates them.

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