First Nations and Inuit Cultural Education Centres Program: National Program Guidelines 2019-2020

Table of contents

1. Introduction

The First Nations and Inuit Cultural Education Centres Program (FNICECP) provides funding to First Nations and Inuit cultural education centres on reserves or Inuit settlement regions to support the development and promotion of First Nations and Inuit cultural heritage.

These guidelines are effective as of April 1, 2019.

The program published a call for three-year project proposals in 2018-2019. There will be no call for proposals in 2019-2020.

2. Objective

The objective of the FNICECP is to:

3. Expected results

The program expected results are:

4. Funding recipients

A "funding recipient" means an individual or entity that has met the eligibility criteria of the program and has signed a funding agreement with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to deliver an initiative (program, service or activity).

4.1 Eligible recipients

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 manages and administers FNICECP funds for a majority of First Nations cultural education centres.

4.2 Program recipients

First Nations and Inuit communities.

5. Activities

Key activities supported by the program include:

6. Expenditures

6.1 Eligible expenditures

Eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • salaries
  • printing and publishing costs
  • materials and supplies
  • Elders and guest speakers
  • professional services and consulting fees (including communications consulting and business services)
  • facility rental (including equipment rentals, conference and meeting rooms)
  • travel within Canada

Travel expenses are to be claimed at actual cost and may not exceed Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s guidelines as specified in the Travel Directive in effect at the time of travel. Expenses which exceed the rates set for in the directive are not eligible and will not be paid.

  • administration costs not exceeding 10%:
    • telephone, fax and internet connection
    • postage and courier
    • photocopying
    • costs associated with ensuring that personal information is appropriately managed and safeguarded during its collection, retention, use, disclosure, and disposal
    • bookkeeping
    • or
    • audit, if required, (not to exceed $5,000)
  • other (detailed explanation required)

Administration costs must not exceed 10% of the sub-total amount requested before administration costs. The program's Data Collection Instrument (DCI) will automatically calculate the amount.

Further distribution of funds by ISC's funding recipients: When a funding recipient further transfers, to a third party, funds that were received under this program, the 10% allowed for administration costs must be divided between the parties, as agreed to between the parties. The total administration costs retained by all parties must not exceed 10% of the sub-total amount requested before administration costs.

6.2 Ineligible expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • capital construction and renovation
  • purchase of land or buildings
  • stipends, allowances, honoraria for attendance in a course and activity
  • contingency or miscellaneous fees
  • deficit recovery
  • interest or other bank charges
  • amortisation expenses
  • advocacy

7. Proposal process

All funding for the FNICECP is based on proposals approved by ISC. Applicants must submit detailed proposals for all the activities to be undertaken over the course of the agreement, clearly stating how the proposed activities will further the objectives, and respond to educational and community needs and expected results of this program.

The program published a call for three-year project proposals in 2018-2019.

All recipients that were approved in the 2018-2019 call will be notified in a timely manner of their funding amount for the second year of their proposal. Funding for the second year is dependent on funding recipients achieving their objectives and availability of funds.

Submission of proposals (applies when a call for proposals is issued)

Only proposals submitted in the electronic proposal form issued by ISC will be considered for assessment. Refer to the proposal form and the attached instructions for application details. Incomplete proposals will be returned to applicants.

The information required in the proposal is available in the Reporting Guide. Recipients who have access to the ISC Services Portal can access the proposal form by opening a session on the portal. If you do not have access to the portal, contact your regional office, or if you are a national recipient, write to

Assessment criteria

All proposals will be assessed by 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 or initiative in a timely manner
  • consultation and commitment: The extent to which the proposal has the support of relevant organizations or communities
  • 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 the expected outcomes
  • project management: How the initiative or project will be managed, including project governance, management of program scope, human resources, risk management, deliverables, and project monitoring, control and reporting
  • project costs: A demonstration of a realistic assessment of estimated total costs and a justification of the level of funding required

Any cultural education centre that has previously received funding from the FNICECP must report on how that funding met the commitments in their funding agreement and concretely addressed the approved proposal objectives and expected results of the program.

Meeting these criteria does not guarantee funding from the FNICECP program.

Review and approval of proposals

ISC regional or headquarters staff will review and approve proposals. Applicants will receive a written response to confirm whether, or not, their proposal has been approved for funding.

The First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres will review and approve proposals for recipients funded by them.

8. Funding

8.1 Maximum amount of funding

The maximum amount of funding to be provided to a funding recipient in a fiscal year is set out in the funding agreement signed by the funding recipient.

This program is proposal-driven and the level of funding is determined on a case-by-case basis, limited overall by total available funding and the number of proposals submitted.

8.2 Funding approaches

Transfer payments to funding recipients can be made using different funding approaches, depending on the eligibility of the recipient and depending of the program, service or activity to be delivered. Your ISC regional officer can inform you about eligibility for these different funding approaches as well as of the delivery requirements related to each of them. The funding approach used to transfer the funds will be identified in the recipient’s signed funding agreement.

Consistent with the Government of Canada’s intention to provide additional flexibility to First Nations recipients to carry over funds, most funding approaches include, to different levels, carry over provisions and redirection of funds provisions. For details on the different levels of flexibility, consult the Funding approaches.

This section will require adjustment to align program instructions with the new provisions included in the 2019-2020 national funding agreement models.

9. Reporting requirements and monitoring and oversight activities

The reporting requirements (program and financial reports) and their respective due date are listed in the recipient's funding agreement, and details on these requirements are available in the Reporting Guide. Recipients who have access to the ISC Services Portal can access the reporting forms by opening a session on the portal. If you do not have access to the portal, contact your regional office, or if you are a national recipient, email us at:

All funding recipient reporting requirements are subject to monitoring and oversight activities to determine the accuracy of the information provided to ISC.

10. Accountability

ISC is committed to providing assistance to recipients in order for them to effectively carry out obligations set out in this document and funding agreements.

Funding recipients must deliver the programs in accordance with the provisions of their funding agreement and the program delivery requirements outlined in this document while also ensuring that the necessary management controls are in place to manage funding and monitor activities. Funding recipients are required to exercise due diligence when approving expenditures and must ensure that such expenditures are in accordance with the eligible expenditures set out in this document.

11. Personal information

The department’s collection and use of personal information and other records for the purposes of program compliance reviews will be limited to what is necessary to ensure program delivery requirements are met.

The department is responsible for all information and records in its possession. The confidentiality of the information will be managed by ISC in accordance with the Privacy Act and other related policies on privacy. Recipients are responsible for the protection of personal information per the privacy legislation, regulations or policies that govern them up to the point that it is transferred to ISC.

12. Contact information

For further program information:

You can email us at:

You can also write to:

Education Branch
Indigenous Services Canada
10 rue Wellington
Gatineau QC K1A 0H4

You can consult these national program guidelines at Education Programs: National Program Guidelines and through the View Instructions button on the first page of this program's proposal form.

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