Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Program
- Legal and policy authority
- Purpose, objectives and expected results
- Eligible Recipients
- Eligible activities
- Type and nature of eligible expenditures
- Stacking limits
- Method for determining the amount of funding
- Maximum amount payable
- Basis for payment
- Application requirements and assessment criteria
- Due diligence and reporting
- Official languages
- Intellectual property
- Redistribution of contributions
- Other terms and conditions
The Government of Canada takes the issue of Indigenous safety and well-being very seriously and will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous communities and organizations, and external partners to develop effective solutions.
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), the department, administers the Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative, Pathways Initiative, that contributes to the safety and well-being of Indigenous Peoples, families and communities.
The Pathways Initiative aims to fund services for Indigenous communities, women, children, and families across Canada, including First Nations, Inuit, Métis, urban and Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual + (2SLGBTQQIA+) people. Funding recipients provide Indigenous peoples with community services that are developed and implemented through an Indigenous lens, targeting the specific safety and well-being needs of the communities. The intention of the program is to assist Indigenous individuals and communities to:
- support the development and delivery of culturally relevant and community and organization identity specific safety and well-being initiatives
- address community safety and well-being needs that support reconciliation, resiliency, and capacity of Indigenous communities and organizations and their members, contribute to and promote a sense of belonging of community members, address intergenerational trauma, address systemic barriers and biases within existing systems, recognize the impact of lived experiences
- support Indigenous designed interventions and Indigenous definitions of safe, secure and resilient communities
The Pathways Initiative will also assist in aligning existing federal safety and well-being programming and services. This will be accomplished through the identification and prioritization of needs and opportunities for a whole-of-government approach to community safety and well-being. In order to maximize benefits to communities, ISC will work with partners through regular, ongoing outreach and engagement to identify the needs of communities to enable the development and implementation of services and programming that will assist communities in achieving their visions for community safety and well-being. This will include the identification of available resources from all partners including existing federal programming.
The purpose of these terms and conditions is to support horizontal approaches that allows for the coordination of Government of Canada efforts on community safety and well-being initiatives and to set out the policy and criteria for the administration of financial assistance under the Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative. Horizontality will be achieved through Interdepartmental Loan Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding or by departments signing on to these terms and conditions.
Contributions to support the safety and well-being of Indigenous communities will:
- Support projects, programming and activities that promote the safety, well-being and resilience of Indigenous communities
- Support safer communities for Indigenous women, girls and 2LGBTQQIA+ people
- Support Indigenous-designed interventions and Indigenous definitions of community safety and well-being while recognizing unique challenges related to colonial legacies
- Support initiatives that are cross-sectoral, support wrap-around program and service approaches, address the changing landscape of community policing and policing in general
- Support Indigenous communities and organizations in delivering programs that increase community safety and resilience through horizontal coordination of federal investments and leverage investments from numerous federal and other partners to advance community priorities and provide a more comprehensive, integrated approach to federal support for Indigenous community safety and well-being
- increase flexibility to respond to local needs, including the ability to respond to existing and emerging needs, which can vary from one community to another
- Support results-based community safety and well-being innovation initiatives, including activities such as feasibility studies, developing partnerships, research, data gathering, and pilot projects as a way to try out approaches, measure impact, policy design and delivery, and to improve outcomes by learning what does and doesn't work
- Support specific groups with specific and unmet community safety and well-being needs, including Indigenous women and girls, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and older adults
- Support single and multi-year, up to 5 years, Indigenous community safety and well-being initiatives
2. Legal and policy authority
The Pathways Initiative is delivered under the authority of the Department of Indigenous Services Act, S.C. 2019, c. 29, s. 6, which provides the Minister of Indigenous Services with powers, duties and functions that extend to and include all matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction, not by law assigned to any other department, board or agency of the Government of Canada, relating to the provision of services to Indigenous individuals who, and Indigenous governing bodies that, are eligible to receive those services under an Act of Parliament or a program of the Government of Canada for which the Minister is responsible.
The Minister is to ensure that services with respect to the following matters are provided to Indigenous individuals who, and Indigenous governing bodies that, are eligible to receive those services under an Act of Parliament or a program of the Government of Canada for which the Minister is responsible including, in the case of Indigenous individuals, services provided by Indigenous governing bodies, if applicable:
- child and family services
- social development
- economic development
- emergency management
- any other matter designated by order of the Governor in Council
3. Purpose, objectives and expected results
Indigenous communities have expressed a need for additional flexibility in addressing community safety and well-being needs. The purpose of the program is to fund and support Indigenous designed interventions and Indigenous definitions of safe and resilient communities - including First Nations, Inuit, Métis, urban, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
- Safety and well-being needs and priorities of Indigenous communities, women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are identified through engagement and outreach
- Number of engagement and outreach sessions with Indigenous communities or representative organizations
- Number of women's, girl's and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations represented in engagement and outreach
- Indigenous communities, including women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ implement approaches to community safety and well-being that support their needs and priorities
- Number of projects delivered
- Percentage of projects delivered that support the safety and well-being needs and priorities of Indigenous communities
- Percentage of projects delivered that support the safety and well-being needs and priorities of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+
- The safety and well-being of Indigenous communities, including women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, is improved
- Percentage of Indigenous communities, women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people surveyed reporting that their sense of community safety and well-being has improved
4. Eligible Recipients
The following recipients are eligible to receive contributions:
- First Nations governments and communities in Canada, including bands, district, tribal councils and associations
- Inuit representative organizations, Inuit governments and Inuit communities
- Metis representative organizations and Metis settlements
- Indigenous organizations
- National, regional and local Indigenous organizationsFootnote1
- Non-governmental and voluntary associations and organizations, including non-profit corporationsFootnote1
- Educational or research institutions and associationsFootnote1
A recipient must have the legal capacity to enter into a funding agreement, for example, being incorporated.
5. Eligible activities
Eligible activities aim to advance approaches to community safety and well-being that support Indigenous designed interventions and Indigenous definitions of safe, secure and resilient communities. In collaboration with Indigenous partners, federal partners will support strategies that are responsive to identified needs and that will assist communities to achieve their safety and well-being interests. Activities may include but are not limited to the following activities that aid in the design, development, delivery and management of culturally-appropriate safety and well-being services and programming:
- Engagement with or by Indigenous organizations and communities to identify gaps and opportunities for the Pathways Initiative
- Activities that promote physical and mental safety and well-being and access to programming that promotes physical and mental safety and well-being
- Activities that improve community safety and well-being
- Activities that reflect and promote Indigenous culture and language
- Activities that complement community safety, well-being, health and development goals
- Engagement, feasibility and diagnostic studies, safety and well-being evaluations, information gathering, proposal development, strategic planning, community planning, and research activities
- Activities that support programming related to the specific safety and well-being needs of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIIA and adults and older adults
- Activities that enable self-determination, Indigenous control and governance of community safety and well-being programs and services
- Activities that support innovative and collaborative links to partnerships to support community safety and well-being
- Pilot projects and activities that advance results based innovation in supporting community safety and well-being as a way to try out different approaches, measure impact, policy design and delivery and to improve outcomes by learning what does and doesn't work in different situations or contexts
- Capacity and professional development
- Activities that support volunteer recruitment and screening
- Community development activities are eligible under the contribution program from 2022 to 2023 through to 2026 to 2027
6. Type and nature of eligible expenditures
Eligible expenditures are those incurred by the recipient, which are necessary and reasonable to carry out the eligible activities to which they directly relate, as outlined in the projects' statement of work in the contribution agreement or related amendments. Eligible expenditures include:
- Salaries and employee benefits
- Professional fees, for example, contracts
- Honoraria for Elders
- Domestic travel and transportation
- Costs related to the purchase, ownership, and maintenance of vehicles, including insurance as applicable, to support project objectives
- Meetings, hospitality, training and development, equipment, translation and communications, materials and supplies; event and other security needs
- Volunteer participation expenses and program incentives and rewards expenses
- Audit and evaluation
- Legal and banking fees
- Overhead administration costsFootnote2
- Operations, capital costs and costs of infrastructure development including costs related to the planning, design, construction or repair or improvement of community facilities; minor maintenance, upgrading and repairs to facilities
- Workshops, conferences, and meetings
- Research and studies
- Costs of engaging consultants or other qualified professionals
Expenditures related to hospitality have to be reasonable for the activities undertaken. Please refer to the Treasury Board guidelines on hospitality for examples of rates and eligible expenditures.
Expenditures related to travel have to be reasonable for the activities undertaken. Please refer to the National Joint Council travel directive for examples of rates and eligible expenditures.
Other expenditures may be considered eligible based on direct link to the activity and are subject to program review and approval.
Ineligible expenditures include:
- international travel, unless pre-authorized in writing
- deficit recovery
- for-profit initiatives and investments
6.1 Flexible Contribution Funding
ISC will consider utilizing a flexible contribution funding approach for multi-year funding agreements where a recipient has demonstrated the capacity to manage transfer payments. A flexible contribution approach can be used for First Nation, Inuit and Métis recipients when they have demonstrated capacity to manage transfer payments.
This approach enables the recipient to redirect funding among the cost categories established in the funding agreement. It also allows the recipient to carry over unexpended funding remaining at the end of each fiscal year for use in the next fiscal year to further achieve results toward the funding objectives.
Before ISC initiates agreements including this approach, the funding manager will consider the recipient's:
- governance structure
- organization for purposes of funding and activities management, financial and administrative experience, and capacity to deliver activities
- management processes, procedures and controls
- accountability mechanisms for transparency, disclosure, responsibility and redress
All unspent contributions at the termination or expiry of a contribution agreement, unless it is renewed, will constitute a debt due to Canada and will need to be reimbursed.
7. Stacking limits
The stacking limit is the maximum level of funding to a recipient from all sources, including federal, provincial, territorial and municipal for any 1 activity, initiative or project. The limit is 100% of eligible costs.
8. Method for determining the amount of funding
The amount of funding for community safety and well-being projects is determined by completing an assessment of the proposed project objectives, activities and budget against these Terms and Conditions, then negotiating with the recipient the exact required amount of funding in order to achieve the proposed project objective. The department will also ensure that the funding amount is appropriate.
9. Maximum amount payable
The maximum amount payable to any 1 recipient per year for any one project will not exceed $1,000,000.
10. Basis for payment
Payments will be made in accordance with the type of funding arrangement and will be guided by departmental policies as reflected in the contribution agreement. Where it is advantageous to the success of the activities, the department shall offer fixed or flexible funding approaches for contributions to Indigenous recipients, in accordance with appendix K of the Directive on Transfer Payments. Basic payment principles applicable to the Pathways Initiative specify that:
- funds be used for eligible activities and cost categories as specified in the contribution agreement
- costs charged to the program do not exceed any maximums specified in the agreement
- funds be used to address the needs for which they were provided
- funds for project activities which have not been delivered within the specific period, but which are projected to be completed within a future period may be retained by the Indigenous recipient
- financial reporting requirements specified in the contribution agreement be met
Advance payments may be permitted, based on a forecast of cash flow provided by the recipient. Progress payments will be subject to periodic reports of activities and expenditures, as specified within the funding agreement, which will be reviewed and validated by the department. Officials will ensure that all applicable requirements are met prior to processing a payment.
11. Application requirements and assessment criteria
This section reflects the requirements and criteria by which the department will support program delivery.
In order to be considered for receipt of contribution funding from the department, an eligible recipient must complete and submit an application that identifies the following:
- description of the project and how it supports the objectives of the Pathways Initiative
- outlines the activities to be performed in pursuit of the objectives
- identifies the expected results within a specified time frame and the intended benefit for Indigenous peoples
- outlines the role played, or to be played, by Indigenous Peoples and community in designing and delivering the project
- provides a detailed budget and if applicable, a cash flow statement
- discloses all sources of funds
Additional documentation may be requested by the department to assess new funding recipients for the purpose of determining eligibility and suitability in being able to deliver on the objectives of the project.
Funding applications may be assessed against the following criteria:
- preference for Indigenous community and organization designed and led projects
- focus on safety and well-being of Indigenous women and girls and other under serviced and vulnerable populations in communities
- completeness of the application may be a factor depending on capacity needs
- objectives of the project and how the project will contribute to the objectives of these terms and conditions
- eligibility as per these terms and conditions
- who will benefit from the project
- assets and needs of the target beneficiaries and the community in which the project is to be delivered which will be determined through a flexible application process that will permit plans, videos and other means to meet this requirement in recognition that Indigenous communities and organizations have different capacity
- demonstrated support by Indigenous peoples, community and other partners in designing and delivering the project
- feasibility of the project, as well as proposed outcomes achieved compared to the funding requested
12. Due diligence and reporting
Performance measurement strategy
To support a reduction in the reporting burden, performance measurement data will be collected using various methods and sources. Recipient performance reporting requirements will be outlined in the projects' statement of work in the contribution agreement or related amendments.
Financial reporting requirements will be set out in the funding agreements and the frequency of reporting will be based on the recipient risk. At a minimum, contribution recipients are required to submit annual financial reports or financial audits that account for the use of funding in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement.
13. Official languages
The department will take into account the relevant official language obligations and comply with all applicable official language requirements stipulated in the Official Languages Act and the related regulations, as well as federal government policies in this regard.
Transfer payments to recipients
Where it has been determined that:
- the target clientele eligible to participate in a project to be carried by the recipient is composed of members of both official language communities.
- the anticipated demand for project assistance by the target clientele in both official languages justifies the use of both official languages, the department requires the recipients to:
- make any announcements to the public concerning the project in both official languages
- actively offer project-related services to members of the public in both official languages
- make available in both official languages any documents or other information for the general public relating to the project
- encourage members of both official language communities to participate in the project
- provide its services, when appropriate, in such a manner as to accommodate the specific needs of both official language communities
If the department determines that the activities of a specific recipient may have an impact on official-language minority communities or be susceptible of promoting linguistic duality, the funding agreement will specify the recipient's linguistic commitments and ensure that additional expenses incurred as a result of these commitments are considered eligible. Commitments relating to the development of minority communities will be determined based on the needs of the community, determined after consultations with the community, if appropriate.
14. Intellectual property
Where a contribution is provided for the development of material in which copyright exists, intellectual property ownership will reside with the recipient. However, in the event the department wishes to use the intellectual property produced by a recipient, a clause outlining requirements will be included in the funding agreement.
15. Redistribution of contributions
As per the Directive on Transfer Payments, a recipient is defined as an entity that either has been authorized to receive a transfer payment or that has received that transfer payment." In this context, the department may provide contribution funding to recipients who in turn further distribute payments to 1 or more ultimate recipients to conduct approved activities.
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 will have independence in the choice of those persons or entities to whom funds will be further distributed and will not be acting as an agent of the government in making distributions.
16. Other terms and conditions
These terms conditions come into effect on June 16th, 2022.
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