Innovation in Education Program

This program supports innovative programs and projects, which aim to improve outcomes for First Nations communities, schools and students.

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About the program

The Innovation in Education program supports the Government of Canada's commitment to working collaboratively with First Nations to ensure that all First Nations students receive a culturally-responsive, high-quality education that improves student outcomes, while respecting the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education.

The objective of the Innovation in Education Program is to support innovative programs and projects which aim to improve outcomes for:

Guidelines for this program were initially developed in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the National Indian Education Council and are intended to help eligible beneficiaries in the development of their costed work plans.

The Innovation in Education Program is 1 of several contribution programs, along with programs such as the Research and Learning Program and the Education Partnerships Program, which complement Indigenous Services Canada's (ISC) funding efforts towards First Nations elementary and secondary education.

These projects are defined through a regionally-based funding allocation and project approval process led by First Nations.

About the activities

The program supports development and implementation of innovative education program pilots, for example, projects related to:

Eligible activities include:

The program is a small part of broader efforts to improve First Nations elementary and secondary education. Activities are expected to support improving the overall quality of education in First Nations and to contribute to specific results.

Who can apply

Eligible funding recipients are:

Depending on the nature of the regional agreement, funding may be allocated to a First Nations organization to administer the program regionally or to specific projects based on availability of funds and First Nations decisions.

Total program budget is divided amongst Assembly of First Nations-determined regions and based on a First Nations-determined methodology.

If the total costs of identified projects are lower than the approved allocations and additional opportunity exists for collaboration between regions, additional projects may be supported in oversubscribed regions. This process should be completed by May 31 of each year.


The deadline to submit a proposal is 11:59 pm Eastern time on April 30, 2024. Deadlines and processes may slightly differ based on the region. Please contact your regional office for further information.

How to apply

Applicants are encouraged to submit their detailed proposals electronically. Follow the instructions in the 2024 to 2025 Innovation in Education program guidelines. Applicants are encouraged to review these guidelines before submitting an application, particularly the eligible expenditures section.

Applicants who have access to the ISC's services portal should use the electronic application form by opening a session on the portal. If you do not have access to the portal, please contact your regional office to get access to the portal.

In your proposal, remember to:

Please ensure that the form is fully complete and all mandatory fields are filled in. Attach any supporting documents with the proposal form. Attached documents should be in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel format.

Submission of a proposal does not guarantee its acceptance. Funding decisions are determined on a regional basis according to regional office and First Nations schedules. Funding amounts are based on the number of successful proposals and availability of regional funds.

First Nations organizations in British Columbia should contact the First Nations Education Steering Committee for further information about this program.

Guidelines for previous years

Proposal assessment criteria

Regionally-based First Nations organizations are engaged in and in many cases lead the selection of innovation in education proposals, based on an approved regionally-based process. Contact your regional office for more information.

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