Grants and Contributions to Increase Indigenous Youth Participation in Education and Labour Market Opportunities

Table of contents

1. Introduction

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) provides a number of special incentives to address the significantly lower rate of educational attainment within the Indigenous population and First Nation and Inuit under-representation in the Canadian workforce. These incentives serve to integrate culturally appropriate content within K-12 education, facilitate student transitions from secondary to post-secondary education and/or from school to the workplace and, ultimately, increase the number of skilled Indigenous youth in the workforce.

These terms and conditions are intended for Indigenous people.

The purpose of these terms and conditions is to lay out the provisions for which ISC may make grant and contribution payments to support such special incentives. Specifically, the following four initiatives are included under this term and condition:

  1. Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program
    • This program provides grants to Inuit individuals as well as community-based Inuit cultural/education centres to support Inuit cultural heritage.
  2. First Nations and Inuit Cultural Education Centres Program (FNICECP)
    • This program supports First Nation and Inuit communities in expressing, preserving, developing and promoting their cultural heritage and languages through the development of culturally relevant curricula for First Nations and Inuit students.
  3. First Nation and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES)
    • This program supports initiatives to provide First Nations and Inuit youth with work experience, employability skills and information about career options to enable them to succeed in the labour market. There are two components funded under this program: the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) and Skills Link Program (SLP).

Transfer Payments approaches for transfer payments for programs under this authority are summarized as follows:

Program Grant payments Contribution payments
Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program Yes  
First Nations and Inuit Cultural Education Centres Program (FNICECP)   Yes
First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES)   Yes

2. Legal and policy authority

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, R.S.C., 1985

3. Purpose, program objectives and expected results

Each program has a specific purpose/objective and expected results as outlined:

Program Objectives Expected results
Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program To support Inuit individuals and Inuit communities in expressing, preserving, developing and promoting their cultural heritage as well as sharing their heritage with other Canadians, thereby promoting awareness of Canada's cultural diversity. An enhanced understanding of Inuit culture and a richer Canadian cultural fabric.
First Nations and Inuit Cultural Education Centres Program (FNICECP) To support First Nations and Inuit communities in expressing, preserving, developing, and promoting their cultural heritage, through the development of culturally relevant curricula for First Nations and Inuit students and the establishment and operation of cultural education centres.

To contribute to an enhanced cultural environment and understanding within communities leading to increased educational outcomes for First Nation and Inuit students.
The development of curricula for First Nation and Inuit schools, which is culturally relevant to the student population.

Reduced gap in educational outcomes between First Nation and Inuit students and other Canadian students.

Better awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal language and culture.
First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES) Skills Link Program (SLP):
  • To help First Nation and Inuit youth overcome barriers to employment.
  • To support the development and enhancement of essential employability skills among First Nations and Inuit youth.
  • To expose First Nation and Inuit youth to a variety of career options.
  • To promote the benefits of education as being key to labour market participation.
  • To support the provision of mentored school-based work and study opportunities (for example co-op and internships).
  • To help First Nation and Inuit youth acquire skills by providing wage subsidies for mentored work experience.
  • To promote science, technology and other fields in high demand as an education and/or career choice.
Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP):
  • To help students acquire employability skills, to support them in financing and furthering their education and to provide students with career and labour market information and assistance in finding summer or short-term employment.
  • To support skills acquisition through the provision of wage subsidies for summer work experience.
  • To assist First Nations and Inuit secondary and post-secondary students prepare for future entry into the labour market by facilitating access to summer employment.
Overarching expected results for FNIYES programming are:
  • Enhanced employability skills of First Nation and Inuit youth.
  • Increased ability of First Nation and Inuit youth to participate in the labour market.
  • Reduced barriers to employment for First Nation and Inuit youth.
  • Increased awareness of the benefits of education.
Skills Link Program (SLP):
  • Enhanced employability skills for First Nations and Inuit youth.
  • Return to school of First Nation and Inuit youth.
  • Increased appreciation and awareness of labour market fields in high demand such as science and technology.
Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP):
  • To enable First Nations and Inuit youth to earn wages to help finance their post-secondary education.
  • Opportunities for First Nations and Inuit youth to gain relevant career-related summer work experience that, upon graduation, ease their transition from school to the labour market.
In the Program Alignment Architecture, these programs are listed under The People/Education.

4. Eligibility

4.1 Eligible recipients

A. Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program

Eligible recipients are:
  1. Inuit individuals> ordinarily resident in Nunatsiavut (Labrador), Nunavik (Quebec), Nunavut or the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Northwest Territories. For an Inuk residing outside of their land claim settlement area, a copy of a birth certificate and a letter of recognition from one of the Inuit land claim organizations or regional governments may be required (for example Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Makivik Corporation, Nunatsiavut Government).
  2. Community-based Inuit Cultural/Education Centers

B. First Nations and Inuit Cultural Education Centres Program (FNICECP)

ISC directly funds First Nations and Inuit cultural education centres and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. ISC also funds, the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, who manage and administer CECP funds for a majority of First Nations Cultural Education Centres.

C. First Nation and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES)

Funding may be provided to First Nations and Inuit communities, governments and organizations, and to not-for-profit associations and private sector employers.

4.2 Eligible participants FNIYES

Employer participants: Eligible recipients, as identified in Section 4.1(C), may subsequently enter into agreements with private sector and non-profit employers to provide employment opportunities for youth participants. Private organizations may be eligible for funding provided that the nature and intent of the activity is non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports FNIYES program priorities and objectives.

Youth participants: To participate in Skills Link and Summer Work Experience programming under FNIYES, youth participants must meet the following criteria:

Criteria Skills link Summer work experience
Be a First Nation or Inuit youth between the ages of 15–30 inclusive Yes* Yes
Be ordinarily resident on reserve or in a recognized community (meaning an approved settlement on Crown lands), and Inuit who are residents in Canada, but who reside outside their territory, and are no longer eligible to be funded by their territory (proof of refusal is required). Yes Yes
Be legally entitled to work in Canada. Yes Yes
Be a full-time secondary or post-secondary student in a recognized educational institution AND be returning to full-time studies in the next academic session Yes
* Note: For career promotion, cooperative placement and science and technology activities under Skills Link (as detailed in Section 5.3A v and vi), youth may be younger than 15 years of age as activities under cooperative placements students in grade 7 to grade 12 (Secondary 1 to 5) are eligible.

5. Type and nature of eligible expenditures

For all programs:

Administration costs must not exceed 15% of total costs.

Capital cost for the construction of a building (other than small repairs or renovations to support FNIYES participation of persons with disabilities) or the purchase of land or buildings are not eligible costs.

5.1 Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program

A. Eligible initiatives and projects

Initiatives and projects under this program must support expressing, preserving, developing and promoting Inuit cultural heritage, as well as in sharing Inuit cultural heritage with other Canadians, thereby promoting awareness of Canada's cultural diversity.

B. Eligible expenditures

Payments are limited to covering the direct costs of one-time projects related to Inuit culture, which can include materials and supplies, printing, communications and travel. Ongoing activities or operations, or periodic events such as annual meetings or festivals, are not eligible for funding.

5.2 First Nations and Inuit Cultural Education Centres Program (FNICECP)

A. Eligible initiatives and projects

Funding is provided to cultural education centres undertaking work that will lead to:

  • culturally relevant curricula for First Nation and Inuit schools.
  • an enhanced cultural environment and understanding within communities.

The funded activities:

  • focus on school-age children.
  • include resources for classroom instruction and after-school programs.
  • operational funds for Cultural Education Centres.
  • may include classes for adults and events for community members, including cultural information sessions and tours targeted toward the general public.

B. Eligible expenditures

The following types of expenditures are eligible for funding under FNICECP:

  • culturally relevant curricula for First Nation and Inuit schools
  • costs of operating eligible First Nations and Inuit cultural/education centres on reserves or Inuit settlement regions
  • costs of specific initiatives related to First Nations and Inuit culture

Eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • salaries
  • publishing and printing costs
  • materials and supplies
  • Elders/guest speakers
  • professional services/consulting fees (including curriculum development, communications consulting and business services)
  • facility rental (including equipment rentals, conference and meeting rooms)
  • travel within Canada not exceeding rates outlined in Treasury Board directives and guidelines
  • administration costs not exceeding 15%:
    • telephone/fax/internet connection
    • postage/courier
    • photocopying
    • costs associated with ensuring that personal information is appropriately managed and safeguarded during its collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal
    • bookkeeping
    • audit, if required, (not to exceed $5,000)
  • other (detailed explanation required)

An audit is required for centres/programs receiving more than $75,000 in FNICECP funding.

5.3 First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES)

A. Eligible initiatives and projects

Initiatives and projects are those within the scope of the following activities:

Skills link program Summer work experience program
  1. Wage subsidies for mentored work placements for youth who are not in school to enable them to develop employability skills and support their educational and career development. This includes work placements specifically in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT);
  2. Activities designed to enable First Nations and Inuit youth gain employment experience through school-based co-op or internship opportunities;
  3. Activities designed to support First Nations and Inuit youth entrepreneurs gain self-employment;
  4. Training experiences that support First Nations and Inuit youth in acquiring skills needed for work placements;
  5. Career planning activities and resources targeted to First Nations and Inuit youth, including but not limited to information tools that promote the value of education and the importance of informed career decisions, career counseling, career fairs and leadership projects; and
  6. Activities that promote science and technology as an educational option and/or career choice, including science camps, computer clubs, and activities that connect science and technology to traditional Indigenous knowledge.
  1. Providing career-related employment opportunities during the summer months for First Nations and Inuit secondary and post-secondary students.

B. Eligible expenditures

A detailed list of eligible expenditures for FNIYES is included in Annex A.

For the Student Work Experience Program and Skills Link Mentored Work Placements (including ICT), please note the following:

  • Work placements under the Student Work Experience Program must provide a minimum of 80 hours of work. Skills Link Mentored Work Placements (including ICT) may not exceed 11 months
  • The non-profit sector is eligible to receive a contribution of up to 100% of the applicable wage plus mandatory employment-related costs including the gross employee share of CPP, QPP, EI, vacation pay, WCB/CSST (Quebec) and where applicable, health insurance premiums. The private sector is eligible to receive up to 50% of the applicable wage only
  • Where a disabled youth is hired, employers are eligible to apply for 100% of a participant's wage

Wage costs per participant will meet or exceed the applicable minimum wage in the province/territory where the work placement occurs.

C. Administration costs

Administration costs must not exceed 15% of total costs

6. Total Government of Canada funding and stacking limits

Where possible and appropriate, the costs of an eligible activity will be shared with the recipient and/or with government and/or the private sector. However, where the sharing of costs with the recipient and private sector are not feasible, total government funding (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal funding for the same eligible expenditures) must not exceed 100% of eligible expenditures for the Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program, FNICECP and FNIYES. For FNIYES, the private sector is eligible to receive up to 50% of the applicable wage only.

Recipients are required to declare any and all prospective sources of funding for the program or project, inclusive of all federal, provincial, territorial or municipal governments (total government assistance) and other sources that are expected to be received. Annual financial reporting shall show all sources of funding received by the recipient. Provisions for repayment shall be included in the funding agreements.

7. Method for determining the amount of funding

All programs are proposal driven. Funding amounts are determined based on factors including:

Proposed costs are assessed based on reasonableness and necessity, ensuring that the level of funding is the minimum required for attainment of the results expected of the recipient.

For all programs, funding must remain within the maximum amount payable as outlined in the subsequent section.

8. Maximum amounts payable

The maximum amounts payable to programs under these terms and conditions are outlined below. Note that recipients are not entitled to the maximum amount. Actual funding per recipient will depend on the overall availability of funding and quality of proposal.

Program Maximum amount payable
A. Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program A maximum amount of $5,000 within a fiscal year may be made available to a recipient for direct costs of one time projects as outlined in Section 5.1(B).
B. First Nations and Inuit Cultural Education Centres Program (FNICECP) The maximum amount payable to the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, which manages the funding for a majority of the First Nation cultural education centres, is $5,000,000 per year.

For Cultural Education Centres that ISC funds directly, the maximum amount payable is $2,000,000 per year.

* For FNICECP, the maximum amount payable may increase by no more than two percent per year, or the increase in ISC’s reference level, as appropriated by Parliament. (Base Year: FY 2013-2014).
C. Indigenous Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES) Contributions under FNIYES are normally not in excess of $500,000 per year, per recipient.

The maximum annual contribution payable for any single First Nations or Inuit community shall not exceed $2,000,000. The maximum amount of funding allocated annually to any single First Nations Regional Management Organization (e.g First Nations Education Steering Committee in British Columbia) will not exceed $14,000,000.

9. Basis on which payments will be made

A. Grant funding — Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program only:

As noted in Section 8.0(A), a maximum of $5,000 may be made available to a recipient of a grant. A one-time payment of the total amount of the grant may be made upon approval of an application.

B. Contribution funding:

Contributions are normally paid on the basis of achievement of performance objectives or as reimbursement of expenditures incurred. Advance payments may also be made based on a cash flow forecast from the recipient in accordance with the Cash Management section of Treasury Board's Directive on Transfer Payments. Where advance payments are necessary, they are limited to the immediate cash requirements of the recipient.

Monthly, quarterly or annual progress payments may be made based on expenditure claims and a final payment of any sums due following receipt of the final claim and activities report and, if considered necessary by the department, following completion of a financial audit.

Holdbacks will be applied in a manner consistent with Treasury Board's Directive on Transfer Payments and will take into account the management of risk and prudent cash management practices.

10. Application requirements and assessment criteria

Meeting the following criteria does not guarantee funding.

10.1 Application criteria

All programs administered under this set of terms and conditions are proposal-based. At a minimum, applicant proposals must:

  • establish eligibility (as outlined in Section 4.0)
  • establish the relationship of proposed projects, initiatives or activities to program objectives and priorities as outlined in these terms and conditions and published program guidelines
  • include a detailed implementation plan which comprises a description and costing of activities and/or project or initiatives as well as concrete deliverables/milestones
  • provide details on all sources of financial support (for example from all federal government departments and organizations, other levels of government, the private sector, the applicant and other sources)
  • provide a payment schedule, including basis and timing of payment
  • outline an evaluation plan and/or criteria for the measurement of success
  • For FNIYES, illustrate a commitment towards gender balance in the implementation of programming; and
  • For Inuit Education Centres Grant Program and FNICECP, letters of support from relevant organizations and/or community(ies) are recommended.

Note:

Recipients who are former public office holders must respect and comply with the Conflict of Interest Act. Recipients who are former public servants must respect and comply with Treasury Board's Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. Where an applicant employs or has a major shareholder who is either a current or a former public office holder or public servant of the federal government, a written affidavit is required to show compliance.

10.2 Assessment criteria

Geographic distribution may be considered in the selection process, where applicable. At a minimum, proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Capability: The experience and capacity of the recipient, and identified project leader, where applicable to manage the implementation of activities within their proposal successfully and complete the project/initiative in a timely manner;
  • Consultation and commitment: The extent to which the proposal has the support of relevant organizations and/or community(ies);
  • Implementation activities: The extent to which the proposal aligns with eligible activities and meets program objectives. The assessment process will consider timelines, cost-effectiveness and the degree to which the activities will result in expected outcomes;
  • Project management: How the initiative/project will be managed, including project governance, management of project scope, human resources, risk management, deliverables, and project monitoring, control and reporting; and
  • Project costs: A demonstration of a realistic assessment of estimated total costs and a justification of the level of funding required.

For FNIYES, the following additional assessment criteria will be applied:

  • Cooperation and partnerships: with other governments, employers, community-based organizations and interested organizations to encourage strategic partnerships, minimize overlap or duplication and operate in synergy with other related employment, entrepreneurship, economic development and social programs.

11. Due diligence and reporting

Contributions: Financial and performance reporting requirements are based on risk as determined through the Department's General (Risk) Assessment process. Recipients are required to submit progress reports that outline activities completed, demonstrate progress towards the achievement of results and financial reports that account for the use of the funding. The nature and frequency of such reporting is specified in each contribution agreement.

At a minimum, all contribution recipients are required to submit final performance and financial reports containing information on activities undertaken, results achieved and the nature of expenditures actually incurred.

All contribution recipients will also be required to report on administration costs to ensure that such expenditures remain within the maximum allowable.

Grants: Recipients may be required to report on the results of the project to support ISC's Performance Measurement Strategy and other departmental reporting. As such, recipients of the Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program are encouraged to provide a brief summary of their completed project to ISC, including results achieved.

12. Official languages

Where a program supports activities that may be delivered to members of either official language community, access to services from the recipient will be provided in both official languages where there is significant demand and Part IV of the Official Languages Act is applicable. In addition, the department will ensure that the design and the delivery of programs respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

13. Intellectual property

Where a grant or contribution is provided for the development of material in which copyright subsists, conditions for shared rights will be set out in the funding agreement.

14. Repayable contributions

Provisions for repayable contributions do not apply. Any contributions made to private firms under these programs, initiatives and projects are not intended to generate profits or to increase the value of a business.

15. Redistribution of contributions

A. Grant funding — Inuit Cultural Education Centres Grant Program only:

Payments are only made to eligible recipients. Recipients can neither transfer or delegate funds to a third party delivery agent.

B. Contribution funding:

Where a recipient delegates authority or further distributes contribution funding to an agency or a third party (such as an authority, board, committee, or other entity authorized to act on behalf of the recipient), the recipient shall remain liable to the department for the performance of its obligations under the funding agreement. Neither the objectives of the programs and services nor the expectations of transparent, fair and equitable services shall be compromised by any delegation or redistribution of contribution funding.

Recipients have full independence in the selection of such third parties and will not be acting as an agent of the government in making distributions.

Note:

The total administration costs, including those of third party organizations, cannot exceed 15% of the total contribution. When a funding recipient further transfers to a Third Party funds that were received under these programs and initiatives, the 15% allowed for administration costs must be divided between the parties, as agreed to between the parties.

16. Other terms and conditions

Program guidelines: Each program holds a corresponding set of ISC program guidelines, which include specific criteria supporting these Terms and Conditions. Recipients must act in compliance with the provisions outlined in these terms and conditions and the program guidelines.

All programs: Each agreement will specify that the department retains the right to conduct an evaluation and that the party signing the agreement agrees to actively participate in the evaluation process as needed. Each agreement will further specify that ISC retains the right to audit the records of the recipient and, if it is determined that the amounts paid exceed the amounts payable, the difference will be considered as a debt to the Government of Canada.

Effective April 1, 2021.

Annex A — FNIYES eligible expenses

Eligible expenditures by expense type SL — mentored work placements SWEP — summer work experience program SL — co-op and internships SL — career planning and science and technology
Participant wages and mandatory employment-related costs (MERC), — including gross employee share of CPP, QPP, EI, vacation pay, WCB/CSST (Quebec) and health insurance premiums, as applicable. Yes Yes
Youth training, — that supports the acquisition of skills required for work placements. Yes
Other necessary costs directly related to a work placement, — including but not limited to criminal record check, required uniforms, personal safety gear (for example work boots, safety hats) up to a maximum of $300 per participant. Yes Yes Yes
Accommodation for disabled participants — A maximum contribution of $3,000 per participant may be available, on an actual cost basis, for special equipment and facilities to accommodate disability needs. Yes Yes Yes
Participant costs, — such as living expenses, travel costs, accommodation. Yes Yes
Dependent care for participants — Documentation is required for dependent care. Yes
Other incidental co-op and internship placement costs, — including insurance for students during their co-op or internship placement, travel for co-op coordinators/teachers to meet employers. Yes
Salaries and benefits, — for teachers, co-op/internship coordinators, career counsellors and other staff directly related to FNIYES program delivery not already covered by existing initiatives, such as ISC's elementary and secondary or band support/tribal council funding. Yes
Staff training on co-op education and internships. Yes
Facility rental, — for career fairs, science camps. Yes
Honoraria and speaker fees Yes
Admission and event fees and transportation costs, — for students and chaperones Yes
Materials produced exclusively for students to promote specific careers, subjects, fields of study for (for example testimonials, biographies and other materials), but not including general program advertising. Yes
Administration (max. 15% of project costs), — including office and general expenses,materials, supplies, advertising, communication and printing costs, professional services. Yes
for direct recipients only (that is to say First Nations and Inuit governments and organizations)
Yes
for direct recipients only (that is to say First Nations and Inuit governments and organizations)
Yes Yes
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