Indigenous Community Support Fund: Urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations and communities

Funding to help Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres or off reserve prevent, prepare and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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About the call for proposals

This process is now closed.

In March 2020, the Government of Canada dedicated $15 million of the Indigenous Community Support Fund to support Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres or First Nations off reserve, to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19.

This initial funding was allocated through a call for proposals process, in April 2020. At the time, Indigenous Services Canada received over 500 proposals, of which 94 were funded.

In May 2020, an additional $75 million was made available for Indigenous organizations and communities providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres or First Nations off reserve.

Eligible Indigenous organizations and communities who had submitted applications during the April call for proposals were invited to reconfirm their interest in the process and update their proposals. This included organizations and communities partially or fully funded in the April round, as well as those that did not receive any funding. No new applications were accepted. This process is now closed.

A total of 246 proposals have been approved to receive funding from the additional $75 million.

Indigenous peoples and organizations can also access other supports through Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Who can apply


The deadline to submit an application for the initial call for proposals was April 13, 2020. The deadline to reconfirm interest in the process and submit updated proposals for the additional funding was June 8, 2020. In some cases, applicants were given until June 16, 2020 to respond in the event they did not receive the May 28, 2020 invite to reconfirm interest.

How to apply

New applications will not be accepted at this time.

Email your proposal to Please do not send links to files in the Cloud as we cannot access them. Contact us by email and we will help find an alternative.

Only proposals submitted electronically will be considered. We will confirm receipt of your proposal and may contact you for further clarification.

Proposals will be assessed against the selection criteria below once they are received.

Selection criteria

Proposal assessment criteria

  • Population served: What is the reach of the proposed activities? Who are the participants for each activity (for example, community members, women, youth, Elders, homeless)? How many individuals are expected to be reached?
  • Activities and timelines: Will the proposed activities address urgent, immediate community needs to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak?
  • Budget: Does the budget reflect reasonable costs for the proposed activities, including administrative costs within the 15% maximum?
  • Impacts: Does the project offer direct, meaningful benefit to the recipients or anticipated number of individuals?

Meeting these criteria does not guarantee funding. Proposals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, depending on total available funding and the number of proposals submitted. We may also consider geographic representation.

Examples of activities that can be funded

  • Support for Elders, women, caregivers and vulnerable populations (for example, individuals at an elevated medical risk, or people with disabilities)
  • Food bank or nutritional assistance for community members (for example, care packages of food, water, cleaning products)
  • Learning packages for children (for example, workbooks, school supplies, educational flashcards)
  • Emergency response services
  • childcare assistance for workers providing essential services
  • Mental health services
  • Assistance applying for government supports (for example, Canada Child Benefit, Emergency Care Benefit, Emergency Support Benefit)
  • Development and distribution of information that can help individuals and communities more fully respond and access available services and supports
  • Transportation costs for community members who can no longer use public transportation or need access to essential activities of daily life (such as grocery shopping, medical appointments)
  • Other activities related to supporting COVID-19 preparedness and response measures

Project costs

  • Overhead administrative costs (for example, supplies, IT equipment, rent) cannot exceed 15% of the direct project costs
    • For example, $50,000 in direct costs can request up to $7,500 in administration costs for a total project cost of $57,500
  • Project expenses must be incurred by the project completion date, as set out in the approved project proposal, and no later than March 31, 2021
    • For example, salaries can only be paid for the duration of the project and cannot be used for permanent positions

Contact us

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