10-year grant

Please note that the deadline for submitting expressions of interest to ISC on the 10-year grant for 2020 to 2021 is September 3, 2019.

Learn about the 10-year grant.

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About the 10-year grant

The 10-year grant is a funding mechanism that is available to First Nations that provide a written request and that meet the eligibility requirements. These requirements, co-developed with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB), assess the financial performance and governance of recipients. To continue to receive grant funding, recipients will have to demonstrate that they continue to meet these eligibility requirements during the entire term of the grant.

10-year grants provide a number of significant benefits, including:

Administrative and reporting benefits of the 10-year grant include:

Read what other communities have said about the 10-year grant.

Eligibility requirements

ISC will make the final decision on eligibility, based on the following co-developed approach with the AFN and FMB. Eligibility will be based on the following co-developed approach:

1. Financial administration law

A First Nation government wishing to be eligible for the 10-year grant must have in place a financial administration law. A financial administration law is a set of financial and governance practices that assist a First Nation government in making informed financial decisions, and can be passed either under the Indian Act or the First Nations Fiscal Management Act. If the First Nation government chooses to pass a financial administration law under the Indian Act rather than under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, the law must obtain Ministerial approval. Regardless of whether a First Nation chooses to pass the law under the Indian Act or the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, the same standards for the financial administration law will apply. The FMB will provide reports to ISC on whether First Nations have met the eligibility criteria related to the financial administration law. For more information and to see a sample financial administration law, consult the FMB's 10-year grant eligibility page.

Minimum financial administration law implementation provisions

First Nations applying for the grant would be asked to ensure that certain provisions of their financial administration law are supported by policies and procedures, where required, and have been legally brought into force. More information on the minimal provisions related to the financial administration law can be found on the FMB's 10-year grant eligibility page and is also set out in the sample Comprehensive Funding Agreement model.

2. Financial performance

A First Nation government's financial statements for the preceding 5-year period must be in substantial compliance with certain financial performance standards as of March 31, 2019. To assist ISC in reaching its determination, the FMB will be asked to provide opinions to ISC on whether First Nation governments meet these standards.

Specifically they must demonstrate:

  • an average "fiscal growth ratio" of no lower than minus 5%
  • an average "operating margin ratio" of no lower than minus 5%
  • an average "asset maintenance ratio" of no lower than 100%
  • a weighted average "net debt ratio" of no more than 60%; or a current year "net debt ratio" for the most recent year of no more than 60% and
  • an average "interest expense ratio" of no more than 5%

First Nation governments that express interest in the 10-year grant will be provided with more detailed information on meeting the eligibility requirements based on their unique circumstances. For a First Nation to be eligible for a 10-year grant, it must:

  • provide a written request to be considered for a 10-year grant by September 3, 2019 (for the 2020-2021 agreement cycle)
  • if not already done, create a financial administration law or bylaw under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act or Indian Act, and confirm that that the law is consistent with FMB standards and that minimum implementation standards have been met
  • provide audited financial statements for the past five years to demonstrate that the financial performance provisions listed above are met

FMB will provide reports to ISC confirming that First Nations have met eligibility criteria for the 10-year grant. To support development of funding agreements in time for April 1, 2020, our objective is that First Nations will have completed all steps necessary to meet eligibility criteria and obtained the necessary assessments from the FMB by November 29, 2019.

To ensure all First Nations have a chance to access grants over time, ISC will issue annual calls for written requests to be considered for 10-year grants. First Nations who expressed interest last year but did not complete steps for qualifying, or who qualified but did not opt into the grant for 2019 to 2020, must express interest again in order to be considered for 2020 to 2021. If you met eligibility criteria last year, but did not opt in, ISC will work with you to re-confirm eligibility for 2020 to 2021.

If a First Nation government has a certification from the FMB, are they automatically eligible for a 10-year grant?

While the final decision on the eligibility requirements rests with ISC, the FMB will provide reports on the assessment of the First Nation's financial performance and financial administration law against the co-developed eligibility requirements. The requirements for a 10-year grant are aligned with FMB certification standards:

How is it different from the current block funding approach?

There are some significant differences:

What are the next steps for First Nations interested in the 10-year grant that do not currently meet the eligibility requirements?

First Nations interested in meeting the eligibility requirements for the 10-year grant can continue to work with FMB. All First Nations applying for the 10-year grant have access to FMB-developed tools, as well as advice and support from the FMB in working towards meeting eligibility criteria. First Nations working with the FMB to meet the eligibility requirements for the 10-year grant can also access other FMB services.

All First Nations interested in developing their governance capacity can submit a project proposal through the Professional and Institutional Development Program. This program is administered by ISC at the regional level and funds projects that will help to increase the governance capacity of communities in core functions of governance such as leadership, law-making and financial management. All First Nations are eligible for project-based funding under this Program, regardless of their interest in the 10-year grant.

Will the 10-year grant cover both core and proposal-based funding?

Core funding is program funding that is:

Most programs which provide core funding are covered under the grant. Proposal-based funding is funding that may be provided from time-to-time and requires a successful proposal submission.

First Nations operating under the 10-year grant are able to apply for proposal-based funding outside of the 10-year grant. First Nations receiving the 10-year grant can still receive other contribution funding, through set, fixed, or flexible funding approaches.

What service delivery areas are included in the 10-year grant?

The 10-year grant funding for each recipient is provided through a single Comprehensive Funding (CFA) Agreement. The 11 service delivery areas included in the 10-year grant are:

  1. band support funding
  2. employee benefits
  3. capital facilities and maintenance
    1. operations and maintenance
    2. minor capital
  4. income assistance
  5. assisted living
  6. elementary and secondary education
    1. core elementary and secondary education
  7. post-secondary education
  8. primary health care, except in British Columbia
    1. health promotion and disease prevention
    2. public health protection
    3. primary care
  9. health infrastructure support
    1. health system capacity
  10. lands and economic development services
    1. community economic development
    2. lands and environment
  11. registration administration

Service delivery areas which are not included in the grant:

Will funding from other government departments also be incorporated into the 10-year grant?

This is an objective that will take some time and effort to achieve given the differences in program mandates, objectives and authorities between departments. ISC is working with other departments to identify barriers and to develop approaches to overcome them so that this funding might also be available through the 10-year grant in the future.

Where can I get more information?

Reach out to your regional ISC funding agreement contact to learn more.

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