Indigenous Community Support Fund

This fund helps Indigenous communities and organizations prevent, prepare and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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About the fund

The health, safety and well-being of all people in Canada, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis is and will remain a top priority for all.

Canada recognizes that First Nations, Inuit and Métis are among the most at risk and that during this crisis, in particular, those in remote and fly-in only parts of the country are uniquely vulnerable. Communities are incredibly resilient and full of solutions and innovative ideas. This is why we must support distinctions-based measures to improve public health response for Indigenous communities and provide them with the flexibility they need to address the specific needs identified by communities and their members.

This fund provides Indigenous leadership with the flexibility needed to design and implement community-based solutions to prevent, prepare and respond to the spread of COVID-19 within their communities. These funds can be used for measures including, but not limited to:

Although the ICSF was created to prevent, prepare and respond to COVID-19, we recommend communities speak with their regional First Nations and Inuit Health Branch contacts, or First Nations Health Authority contacts (in British Columbia), for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccine distribution and support for the rollout.

How the fund developed during the pandemic

On March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $305 million for a new, distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund through its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. $290 million was allocated directly to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, and $15 million was allocated to urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations through a call for proposals.

May 21, 2020, $75 million was announced for urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations, bringing the total to $90 million .

August 12, 2020, an additional $305 million was announced. This included:

The needs-based application process was launched on October 30, 2020, and closed on November 30, 2020.

On November 30, 2020, an additional $380 million was announced for the fund through the Fall Economic Statement. This includes:

Needs-based support will continue to fund needs-based applications received by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), and address COVID-19 emergency situations as they arise.

On December 18, 2020, the government announced that $30 million of the $100 million Emergency Food Security Fund is being transferred to ISC from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to help improve access to food and increase food supply for Indigenous communities, and is being distributed through the Indigenous Community Support Fund.

A list of Indigenous Community Support Fund allocations is available. It does not yet include amounts allocated through the needs-based application process, for food security, or $22.5 million in direct allocations to Inuit regions through funding announced November 30, as distribution is to be determined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the 4 regional Inuit land claims organizations.

Who this supports

Deadline

For formula-based funding allocated directly to First Nation, Inuit and Métis Nation communities, there is no deadline or application process. The funding was flowed through existing agreements.

The initial $90 million dedicated to Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres or First Nations peoples off reserve was allocated through a call for proposals. This process is now closed.

For needs-based COVID-19 support funding, applicants were asked to submit their applications no later than November 30. This process is now closed, but Indigenous communities and organizations are invited to continue communicating with regional offices about their urgent needs.

How it works

First Nations

On-reserve and self-governing First Nations communities received formula-based funding directly from ISC.

The amount provided to each community took into account a base amount per community, the total population residing in community (based on 2016 Census population) and was adjusted for remoteness and Community Well-Being Index scores. Landless bands received $50,000, as their amounts are not able to be adjusted based on population residing in community, remoteness and Community Well-Being Index scores. A landless band is defined as a band with no corresponding land on the Indian Lands Registry System.

Additional funding announced on August 12 and November 30 followed the same methodology, but the base amount was $25,000 per community.

Landless bands received $50,000, as their amounts are not able to be adjusted based on population residing in community, remoteness and Community Wellbeing Index scores. A landless band is defined as a band with no corresponding land on the Indian Lands Registry System.

Inuit

Inuit Nunangat Regions received formula-based funding directly from ISC. Distribution of funding among Inuit Regional Corporations was in accordance with the general regional allocation funding formula agreed to by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Board of Directors as set out in Resolution #B20-03-01 of March 23, 2020. This was continued on September 14, 2020 with the allocation of an additional $22.5 million from the Indigenous Community Support fund as noted in Resolution #B20-09-02. For funding announced on November 30th, $22.5 million will be distributed to Inuit communities through an allocation determined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the 4 regional Inuit land claims organizations.

Métis Nation

Métis Nation governing members received formula-based funding through existing mechanisms to facilitate funding distribution. A standard model was applied to decide how much each region received, consistent with governing members historical application to federal funding.

Call for proposals for urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations and communities

Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres or First Nations peoples off reserve applied for this funding through a call for proposals. This call is now closed and the funding has been distributed.

Needs-based funding

On August 12, 2020, the Government of Canada announced needs-based funding through the Indigenous Community Support Fund. This funding was available, through the following application process, to:

  • all First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and organizations
  • Indigenous communities and organizations serving Indigenous peoples, including in those living in urban centres and First Nations living off reserve.

While the call for proposals process is now closed, needs-based funding announced on November 30 is also supporting the needs-based applications received by the Indigenous Services Canada. Indigenous communities and organizations are invited to continue communicating with regional offices about their urgent needs.

Contact us

To find out more please contact your regional office.

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