Indigenous Community Support Fund

This fund helps Indigenous communities and organizations prevent, prepare and respond to 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 and organizations 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 fund 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 on reserve and in Inuit Nunangat.

Who this supports

Deadline

The request process for needs-based support recently reopened and Indigenous communities and organizations can request funding now.

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

How it works

Needs-based funding

Needs-based funding is currently available through the following request process, to:

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

First Nations

On-reserve and self-governing First Nations communities received formula-based funding directly from Indigenous Services Canada (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, 2020 and November 30, 2020 and the funding proposed on April 19, 2021 followed the same methodology, but the base amount was $25,000 per community.

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. This was continued on September 14, 2020 with the allocation of an additional $22.5 million from the Indigenous Community Support fund.

For funding announced on November 30, $22.5 million was distributed to Inuit communities using the same allocation methodology, as determined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the 4 regional Inuit land claims organizations.

A portion of the funding proposed on April 19, 2021 will support Inuit Nunangat regions. The specific amount and allocation methodology will be determined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the 4 regional Inuit land claims organizations in spring 2021.

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.

Urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations and communities

An initial $90 million was distributed in Spring and Summer of 2020 to Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres or First Nations peoples off reserve through a call for requests. This process is now closed, but organizations and communities were able to apply for needs-based funding.

Approximately $235 million was allocated in 2020-2021 to Indigenous organizations serving urban Indigenous peoples and First Nations living off reserve.

$150 million of the funding proposed on April 19, 2021 will support urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations and communities and will be available through the needs-based funding request process.

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 (ICSF) 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 requests.

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

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

The needs-based request 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:

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 was distributed through the Indigenous Community Support Fund.

On April 19, 2021, Budget 2021 proposed an additional $760.8 million for the ICSF. This includes:

The request process for needs-based funding recently reopened and requests are currently being accepted.

A list of Indigenous Community Support Fund allocations is available.

Contact us

To find out more please contact your regional office.

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