Post-Secondary Partnerships Program

This program funds band councils of recognized First Nations bands, organizations designated by Band Councils and First Nations established post-secondary education institutions.

COVID-19 increased funding

On October 30, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $25.9 million to support Indigenous post-secondary education institutions with increased costs from the COVID-19 pandemic. This new needs-based funding will help these institutions put in place supports to retain staff, automate services to process student applications and registrations, adapt courses for online learning and implement public health and safety measures for in-person services. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) will make the funds available through existing funding agreements to First Nations band communities or tribal councils, as well as self-governing First Nations.

First Nations control of First Nations education

Respecting the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education, ISC provides funding to the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program to support First Nations established post-secondary education institutions and First Nations-directed community-based programming. This program supports First Nations in defining their own partnerships with educational institutions to increase the availability of post-secondary education programs tailored to First Nations’ cultural and educational needs.

A call for proposals will take place in fiscal year 2020 to 2021. Please contact your ISC regional office for the opening dates of the call for proposals and for more details.

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About the program

This program aims to increase the number of First Nations students pursuing post-secondary education and contribute to closing the education attainment gap between First Nations and non-Indigenous students in Canada.

The program is First Nations-directed and regionally delivered, and supports First Nations-established post-secondary education institutions and First Nation community-based programming.

Funding allocations are determined by a 2-step process:

  1. regional allocations are made based on First Nations population distribution
  2. First Nations-designated and directed organizations in each region will work with ISC in the allocation of funds according to program guidelines

Eligible expenditures include the direct costs for First Nations and First Nations established post-secondary education institutions to develop and deliver post-secondary education programming for First Nations students.

Capital and maintenance expenses are not eligible.

Who can apply?


For the deadline for submitting a proposal in fiscal year 2020 to 2021, please contact your ISC regional office.

How to apply

To know how to apply, please contact your ISC regional office.

For more information, consult the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program: National Program Guidelines 2020 to 2021.

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