Contributions to support the Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategy

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is committed to working collaboratively with Indigenous partners in transforming the way the Department adapts and implements policy and program reform. These terms and conditions have been discussed with and informed by the Métis National Council and its Governing Members. In developing these terms and conditions, Métis partners have asked that the following statements be included:

Significant milestones have been achieved for Canada and the Métis Nation – as represented by the Métis National Council and its Governing Members – the Métis Nation British Columbia, Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation—Saskatchewan, Manitoba Metis Federation, and Métis Nation of Ontario. On April 13, 2017, the Canada-Métis Nation Accord was signed by the Prime Minister of Canada and the leadership of the Métis Nation.

Through this Accord, the Parties committed to "advancing reconciliation in a nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship through a permanent bilateral mechanism between the Métis Nation and Canada."

In keeping with a government-to-government relationship, and in the spirit of reconciliation, the Government of Canada has committed to support Métis Nation post-secondary students to attend school and to attain credentials. This commitment supports a renewed relationship with the Métis Nation, one that is framed by the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, partnership and self-determination.

Table of contents

1. Introduction

1.1 Context

Post-secondary education is an important factor in closing the socio-economic gap between Métis Nation citizens and non-Indigenous people in Canada. To support Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education and foster lifelong learning and skills development, the Government of Canada has committed to the creation of the Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategy. This new strategy includes direct financial support for Métis Nation students, complementary programs and services, and regional institutional and governance capacity to support service delivery.

1.2 Scope of programming

The purpose of these Terms and Conditions is to establish provisions for making contribution payments to Métis Nation recipients for the provision of post-secondary education programming. This document provides the framework under which current and future ISC contribution programs can be administered to support post-secondary education attainment for Métis Nation students. They provide the flexibility for ISC to meet changing conditions and government priorities and to implement acceptable programs and initiatives in line with departmental policy and legislative authorities. As a result, new programs and initiatives may be added and others removed from time to time.

1.3 Spending authorities used under these terms and conditions

This strategy is delivered through one spending authority: Contributions to Support Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education.

2. Legal and policy authority

Constitution Act, 1867, 30-31 Vict., c. 3 (U.K.), s. 91(24)

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. I-6, s. 4

R. v. Powley, 2003, SCC 43

PC 2004-0850 - Order authorizing the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to Act as Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), 2016, SCC 12.

Department of Indigenous Services, Advancing Indigenous Post-Secondary Education, 2019

3. Purpose, strategy objectives and expected results

3.1 Purpose/objectives

The strategy will help close the post-secondary education attainment gaps between Métis Nation citizens and non-Indigenous Canadians through distinctions-based and regionally delivered strategic support. The expected results are based on implementation strategies and objectives co-developed between ISC and the Métis Nation Governing Members.

The strategy contributes to the broader strategic outcomes of self-determination and control of education, strengthening education, social and economic outcomes, and lifelong learning.

3.2 Expected results

Results of this strategy include an increase in post-secondary education enrolment and improved graduation rates for Métis Nation students.

3.3 Indicators

  • Number of students funded for post-secondary education;
  • Percentage of eligible students who applied and received funding for post-secondary education;
  • Percentage of students who access support services provided by Métis Nation jurisdictions;
  • Percentage of Métis Nation jurisdictions that have increased post-secondary education capacity in one or more key areas of need;
  • Number of MOUs and/or partnership agreements;
  • Percentage of students who continue to be funded beyond the first year of their program of study;
  • Percentage of funded Métis students with a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree;
  • Number of funded Métis students who graduate with a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree;
  • Number of education professionals accessing Métis cultural resources, training and other programming;
  • Number of Métis students accessing Métis Nation resources, training and other programming provided by Métis Nation jurisdictions;
  • Percentage of Métis Nation jurisdictions with policy/guidelines regarding professional standards to support culturally competent teaching and education practices; and,
  • Percentage difference between Métis and non-Indigenous adults (25-64) with a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree.

4. Recipient eligibility

For sub-sections under Eligibility, meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding. The terms and conditions will apply to the Métis Nation.

Eligible recipients are of 2 types: initial recipients that may have Contribution Agreements with ISC, and ultimate recipients that may have agreements with the initial recipients and receive funding that is distributed by the initial recipients.

4.1 Initial recipients

The initial recipients that are eligible to have a Contribution Agreement with ISC are solely the following:

  • Métis National Council (MNC)
  • Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC)
  • Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA)
  • Métis Nation – Saskatchewan (MN-S)
  • Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF)
  • Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO)

Each Métis Nation Governing Member will determine the mechanisms through which funding will be distributed to eligible recipients.

4.2 Ultimate recipients

The ultimate recipients that may receive funding that is further distributed by the initial recipients may include:

  • Métis Nation students who reside in Canada
  • post-secondary institutions generally recognized through an accrediting body such as Universities Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada, or other professional associations and certification boards
  • community and regional service providers, including, but not limited to, childcare services, employment programs, and mental health supports

5. Eligible expenditures

There are three main components eligible for funding:

5.1 Strategy expenditures

Eligible expenditures include:

  • actual administration costs proportional to resources used and not to exceed 15% of total expenditures that are required to directly administer the strategy. These may include but are not limited to:
    • salaries and benefits of personnel
    • materials and resources for the management of funds
    • the development of database capacity and the collection, maintenance, safeguarding and reporting of data and information in accordance with program and financial reporting mechanisms
    • rent and utilities
    • communications costs, including printing and web presence
    • travel and accommodation

5.2 Student financial support

This category is for student grants that support academic and living expenses associated with pursuing a post-secondary education credential at an eligible post-secondary institution. These may include but are not limited to:

  • transcript and application fees
  • tuition and other students fees
  • initial professional certification and examination fees
  • books and supplies
  • supplemental tutorial, guidance and counseling services
  • living expenses, including for dependents, if applicable
  • transportation supports, when needed
  • expenses associated with travel home, including for dependents, as applicable
  • child care, as needed

Initial recipients will provide funding directly to eligible students and/or to post-secondary institutions, as required. Retroactive funding is not permitted for studies in a previous fiscal or academic year.

5.3 Programs and services

Eligible expenses to provide programs and services may include, but are not limited to:

  • academic readiness and support
  • wraparound services to students and their families (such as mentorship/student-peer mentorship, career counselling, clinical and mental health services; Elder guidance, and Knowledge-keeper and cultural support)
  • outreach and navigation services
  • cultural education and life-skills development, including fostering awareness and cultural belonging as a citizen of the historic Métis Nation
  • information technology, and remote locations access, to allow students the opportunity to complete distance education or online courses from their home communities

Initial recipients may carry out activities or contract out services.

5.4 Governance capacity

Eligible expenses for governance capacity include the human, information and physical infrastructure necessary to meet local and regional needs, including, but not limited to:

  • management of processes and systems to support program delivery
  • data collection and management
  • needs assessment and analysis
  • engagement and partnerships
  • knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices
  • bilateral or tripartite discussions
  • development of culturally relevant content (curricula, as required)
  • post-secondary education trends and research analysis

5.5 Ineligible expenditures

Capital and maintenance costs are ineligible under the strategy.

6. Total Canadian government funding and stacking limits

Total government assistance for the same purpose and eligible expenditures shall not exceed 100% of the eligible expenditures.

7. Method for determining the amount of funding

Funding will be directed to the Métis National Council and its Governing Members pursuant to their existing arrangements. Of the total funding in a given year, the Métis National Council will receive 1.5% for governance capacity, to carry out eligible activities such as, but not limited to, data collection and management; engagement and partnerships; and post-secondary education trends and research analysis.

The remainder of annual funding will be distributed according to the existing Métis Nation governance frameworks, education investments are apportioned among the governing members as follows:

Once initial recipients receive funding allocations, they will provide programs and services according to an established funding breakdown, as follows:

Direct financial assistance to students 80%
Programs and Services 10%
Governance capacity 10%
Total 100%

Funding amounts for ultimate recipients will be determined by the initial recipients. Students will request support through a centralized application process administered by initial recipients.

Where demand exceeds funding, criteria will be established by initial recipients as per the National Program Guidelines.

Funding must remain within the maximum amount payable as outlined in the subsequent section.

8. Maximum amount payable

The maximum amount payable per full-time students under the strategy cannot exceed $53,000 per year.

The maximum amount payable per student does not represent an entitlement. The actual amount of funding will depend on the overall amount of funding in the strategy and the number of recipients selected.

On an extraordinary and justified basis, full-time graduate students in an advanced professional degree program (such as dentistry, medicine) or a masters or doctoral program, may be awarded funding in excess of $53,000 up to a maximum of $90,000 per year. Such awards may be granted by special request on a case-by-case basis only and considered when a graduate student has extraordinary circumstances that warrant the setting aside of the standard policy on maximum amounts payable.

Part-time students, as defined by the post-secondary institution being attended, may receive assistance for tuition and fees, and the cost of books and supplies. Part-time students may be awarded assistance for living allowances or travel, typically at a pro-rated amount.

The maximum amount payable per initial recipient for Programs and Services cannot exceed $1,000,000 per year.

The maximum amount payable to per initial recipient for Governance capacity cannot exceed $1,000,000 per year.

9. Basis on which payments will be made

Contribution progress payments and final payments will be made on the basis of one or a combination of the following:

10. Monitoring and accountability

Funding recipients must deliver the activities in accordance with the provisions of their funding agreement and the program delivery requirements outlined in these terms and conditions, communicated through program guidelines, 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 these terms and conditions.

ISC is accountable to provide funding to Métis Nation recipients in a timely manner through contributions payments under the Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategy.

To ensure that program outcomes and objectives are being met and opportunities for continuous improvement are being identified—with the goal to improve results for Métis people—activities, including audits, evaluations and targeted program reviews (both desk and on-site review) may be conducted with all funding recipients.

11. Application requirements and assessment criteria

The application requirements and assessment criteria are set out in the National Program Guidelines, updated and published annually.

For the Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategy, there is no application process required between ISC and initial recipients. It is rather based on the established allocation of resources. There is nonetheless a requirement for an application process for students applying to the strategy to determine eligibility and to prioritize the allocation of resources.

Eligible Métis Nation students must be enrolled full time in a post-secondary program generally recognized through an accrediting body such as the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada, the Association of Community Colleges of Canada, or other professional associations and certification boards.

Meeting the application requirements and assessment criteria outlined in the program guidelines does not guarantee funding.

12. Due diligence and reporting

At a minimum, contribution recipients are required to submit an annual financial report that accounts for the use of funding in accordance with the terms of the funding agreements. The frequency of reporting will be based on the recipient risk and departmental directives.

In addition, to support a reduction in the reporting burden, performance measurement data will be collected annually using various methods and sources aligned with the performance measurement strategy for the Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategy, reporting strategies that were co-developed with Métis Nation Governing Members. Recipient performance reporting requirements will be set out in departmental recipient reporting documents, and the frequency of reporting will be set out in each funding agreement.

13. Official languages

ISC will take into account the relevant official languages obligation and comply with all applicable official language requirements stipulated in the Official Languages Act and the related Regulations, as well as any new or existing federal government legislation and policies in this regard.

14. Intellectual property

Ownership of Indigenous intellectual property remains with the respective organizations or individuals. Conditions for shared rights will be set out in the funding agreement as appropriate.

15. 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.

16. Redistribution of contributions

Where a recipient delegates authority or further distributes contribution funding to agency 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.

17. Other terms and conditions

National Program Guidelines – The Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategy 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.

The Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Strategy initial recipients may issue local program guidelines provided they are consistent with the Terms and Conditions set out in this document. These guidelines will include information on the application and funding process, including a formal appeals mechanism. All prospective applicants must have access to these local guidelines.

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