Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples

Funding for organizations and projects that support urban Indigenous peoples.

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About the program

Infographic: Urban Programming
for Indigenous Peoples:
Funding streams

More than half of Indigenous peoples in Canada live in urban centres. Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples (UPIP) was created in 2017, based on feedback received during the engagement on the Urban Aboriginal Strategy that took place in 2016.

UPIP is designed to assist First Nations (status and non-status), Inuit and Métis living in or transitioning to urban centres. An urban centre is considered to be an urban area having a population of at least 1,000 people and a population density of no fewer than 400 people per square kilometre. Funding is also available for organizations that serve rural and northern areas that act as hubs for those living on reserves or in smaller northern settlements.

In 2017-2018, more than 120 organizations, projects or initiatives received funding for one to five years.

Funding streams

UPIP has four funding streams:

  1. organizational capacity
  2. programs and services
  3. coalitions
  4. research and innovation

The Government of Canada is providing $53 million each year to UPIP for five years, beginning in 2017-2018.

Organizational capacity

This stream offers core funding for up to five years to Indigenous organizations that deliver programs or services to urban Indigenous peoples. Core funding covers the day-to-day operating costs of an organization, like staffing of key positions, utilities, rent, etc.

Programs and services

This stream provides project funding for up to five years to organizations that deliver programs and services to Indigenous peoples in urban areas. Projects that focus on these six key areas will be considered for funding:

  1. women (such as projects to help women transition out of shelters)
  2. vulnerable populations (such as projects for persons with addictions, disabilities, seniors)
  3. youth (such as projects that provide land-based activities, mentoring)
  4. transition services (such as navigator services)
  5. outreach programs (such as cultural awareness training for non-Indigenous organizations)
  6. community wellness (such as housing plans or studies, anti-racism, pre-employment supports)


This stream supports local coalitions that bring together all levels of government and other stakeholders.

Under this stream, UPIP will connect organizations and all levels of government to:

  • identify key local priorities and needs
  • ensure efficient and coordinated delivery of urban Indigenous programs

The coalitions will:

  • promote local collaboration
  • identify local needs
  • develop local plans on how best to address the priorities

Research and innovation

This stream provides funding to academics, researchers and organizations in order to:

  • better understand the urban Indigenous reality
  • gather information on best practices, methodologies and programming approaches
  • pilot innovative programs and services to address systemic challenges in new ways

Set-aside allocations

Beyond the calls for proposals, a certain amount of funding has been allocated in advance to certain organizations under the first two funding streams. During the Urban Aboriginal Strategy Engagement, Inuit and Métis organizations identified a need for distinction-based funding. As a result, the Friendship Centre movement, the Métis Nation and Inuit have set-aside allocations.

These organizations operate on a large scale and are able to reach their members across Canada.

Although the 2017-2018 calls for proposals are closed, friendship centres may still be able to access funding from the:

Who can apply?

Each stream of UPIP funding has its own eligibility requirements. Common requirements for all streams include:

In addition, all non-Indigenous organizations, including municipal governments, health and education authorities and institutions, require demonstrated support from Indigenous organizations or Indigenous community groups to be eligible for funding.


There are currently no open calls for proposals.

How to apply?

Each stream of UPIP funding has its own application process.

Selected organizations, projects and initiatives

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