Capacity-building funding for An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families for fiscal year 2021 to 2022

Funding to build capacity in preparation for exercising jurisdiction over child and family services

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About the call for proposals

Through the July 2020 Economic and Fiscal Snapshot, the Government of Canada has committed over $542 million over five years, starting in fiscal year 2020 to 2021, to support the implementation of an Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, which came into force on January 1, 2020. The act enables Indigenous groups, communities or peoples that hold rights recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act,1982 (thereafter referred to as "Indigenous groups, communities or peoples") to exercise jurisdiction over child and family services.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) recognizes that not all Indigenous groups, communities or peoples have the same readiness or resources to exercise jurisdiction under the act. As part of the Government of Canada's funding commitment to support the implementation of the act, funding is available to support Indigenous groups, communities and peoples and their Indigenous governing body wishing to:

All capacity-building proposals/work plans (thereafter referred to as proposals) submitted for fiscal year 2021 to 2022 will be assessed based on the selection criteria and other information provided in this call for proposals. If you have already submitted a capacity-building proposal before this call was issued, you are strongly encouraged to update your proposal.

Future opportunities to access funding will be available regularly over the next 5 years. We are committed to evolving this process over time based on lessons learned and feedback from partners.

Proposals for capacity-building funding will not be interpreted as a notice of intent to exercise jurisdiction as specified under sections 20 (1) or 20 (2) of the act. An Indigenous governing body acting on behalf of Indigenous groups, communities or peoples can submit notices of intent by email to

Who can apply


There is currently no deadline to apply. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

How to apply

  1. Email your proposal (also known as a work plan) and a detailed budget using the Project or Work Plan Funding Application (PDF) to Alternatively, you can use your own proposal template in Microsoft Word or Excel format.
    Help on accessing PDF forms
  2. If you are applying as an Indigenous governing body, you must submit documentation that clearly states you are mandated to act on behalf of an Indigenous group, community or people and clearly defines the scope of the work you are mandated to undertake on their behalf.
    • As part of the mandate validation process, ISC may also communicate with the Indigenous governing body to discuss the mandate or scope, or with the section 35 rights-holding groups to validate the mandate.
  3. If your proposal is multi-year, make sure that your detailed budget includes clear costing for each year. Funding may be allocated on a yearly basis.
  4. ISC will confirm receipt of your proposal via email. ISC may contact you for additional information, as required.

Only proposals submitted electronically will be considered. Please do not send links to files in the Cloud or Internet servers as ISC cannot access them.

Please ensure your proposal clearly describes how the Indigenous group, community or people meet the Selection criteria.

All applicants will be notified whether or not their proposal was selected.

If you have any questions or would like help submitting a proposal,

Selection criteria

In order to access capacity-building funding, Indigenous groups, communities or peoples will be required to demonstrate:

  1. that they intend to, or will be in a position to, exercise jurisdiction within the next 5 years ("readiness" to exercise jurisdiction)
  2. sound administrative and fiscal management

A number of factors will be used to assess readiness, including whether existing plans, structures and community engagement are in place to support the reform of child and family services and whether there is a strong track record with program management and reporting requirements.

Sound administrative and fiscal management will be determined by a review of any existing financial agreements between the Indigenous groups, communities or peoples and the Government of Canada.

Meeting these criteria does not guarantee funding.

Please note that while this capacity-building funding is intended for communities who will be in a position to exercise jurisdiction under the Act within 5 years. Other communities can access other programs for capacity-building based on their particular situation. Contact your regional ISC or Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada office to discuss further capacity-building funding opportunities.

Eligible activities

  • community self-assessment
  • community engagement, including engaging community stakeholders and community members in the drafting, revision, or finalization of child and family services legislation or culturally appropriate programs
  • planning, including the strategic planning for transition toward and transfer of child and family services jurisdiction
  • research, including research and development of child and family services models and feasibility studies
  • child and family services program development
  • drafting of child and family services legislation and policies
  • data gathering
  • professional consulting fees, including expert advice
  • policy development activities
  • legislation development, including hiring professionals to assist in legislation development
  • travel and accommodations
  • communications
  • IT systems design
  • hardware and software needed to support data collection, analysis and reporting

ISC recognizes the need to support groups wishing to build capacity in their community by providing temporary employment to support their work towards exercising jurisdiction over child and family services and prepare to partake in coordination agreement discussions.

This funding is not meant to:

  • establish permanent employment
  • establish permanent structures
  • implement the Indigenous law
  • provide training on the Indigenous law

Capacity-building funding is meant to support section 35 rights-holding Indigenous groups and their mandated Indigenous governing body as they work within and across their communities to build strong foundations in preparation for their participation in coordination agreement discussions. Funding for permanent structures for the implementation of Indigenous laws, models, programs and service delivery will be discussed through the coordination agreement discussion process.


Funding will be:

  • comparable for all groups and distinctions
  • based on distinct circumstances of each Indigenous community or Indigenous governing body, including geographic location (remoteness) and the number of section 35 rights-holding communities the Indigenous governing body represents

The funding amounts will be subject to:

  • yearly maximum funding as per the funding chart below


  • the number of proposals received and the total funding available

Multi-year proposals will be reviewed every year. Funding for the subsequent year will be dependent on funding recipients achieving their objectives and the availability of funds.

The maximum level of total government assistance (including federal, provincial, and municipal assistance for the same eligible expenditures) for the same purpose and eligible expenditures will not exceed 100% of eligible expenditures.

Where applicable, funding ceilings may be higher to allow for travel costs in remote regions of the country. Temporarily for the purpose of this funding process, remote shall be defined as a place with no year-round road access to a service centre.

The manner in which ISC will assess remoteness will be in line with CIRNAC's Contributions to Support the Negotiation and Implementation of Treaties, Claims and Self-Government Agreements or Initiatives. This is an interim measure to allow ISC to allocate capacity-building funding in a timely manner to Indigenous groups that wish to exercise their jurisdiction over child and family services, until a longer-term funding approach can be concluded with Indigenous partners.

Maximum funding levels per year
  Geographic location
Urban Remote
Indigenous communities
(typically under 1,500 people)
$250,000 $300,000
Indigenous communities
(typically over 1,500 people)
$550,000 $650,000
Indigenous groups representing multiple communities, council of the band, etc. $1,000,000 $1,200,000
Large organizations on a Treaty or a regional or provincial scale, Inuit Land Claims Organization, Métis Federation, etc. $1,750,000 $2,000,000

Terms and conditions

ISC will be co-developing terms and conditions for this program with Indigenous partners. In the meantime, in order to get funding to applicants as soon as possible, ISC will use terms and conditions from other programs:

Reporting requirements

Funding recipients will be required to submit an annual financial report to account for the use of funding, in accordance with the terms of their funding arrangement.

Contact us

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