We want to highlight the following notable government programs that are supporting Indigenous peoples:

Federal Government

Budget 2021: Strong Indigenous Communities

Through Budget 2021, the federal government is proposing a historic, new investment of over $18 billion over the next five years, to improve the quality of life and create new opportunities for people living in Indigenous communities. 

Support for Indigenous Entrepreneurs: 

  • Budget 2021 proposes to invest $42 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to expand the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program. This will directly support Indigenous-led businesses and help Indigenous communities generate wealth by improving access to capital and business opportunities.

Currently, only 36 percent of Indigenous-led businesses are owned by women.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to invest $22 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to support the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association’s (NACCA) Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Provincial Government

Budget 2021: Stronger BC

Provides funding across government for work between the Province and Indigenous peoples to advance reconciliation, ensure Indigenous peoples can fully participate in economic recovery and continue to work together to implement the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

  • Budget 2021 adds $60 million in annual base funding to the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

  • Budget 2021 includes $6 million per year to support 30 new positions in the ministries of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

  • Budget 2021 continues critical investments in skills and training to support Indigenous peoples to access programs to prepare for new employment opportunities in high demand jobs.

  • The Indigenous Community Skills Training and Education program received $15 million to enable more than 1,000 Indigenous peoples whose employment was affected by COVID-19 to access skills training and education programs.

  • Budget 2021 includes $59 million to support culturally safe health services for Indigenous peoples, which is critical to ensuring equal access to the health care system and promoting health and well-being.

We also want to highlight the following programs that are still available and open for applications:

The Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund (IPRF): A new and growing fund created by Indigenous peoples for Indigenous-led organizations and groups. Any Indigenous-led organization working to foster resilience in Inuit, Metis and First Nations communities anywhere in Canada can apply for resiliency support ranging from $5,000 to $30,000.

Eligible organizations are:

  • community groups;

  • registered charities;

  • registered not-for-profit organizations;

  • public bodies performing a function of government in Canada

Indigenous Community Business Fund: The fund provides $117 million in non-repayable financial contributions to help support First Nations, Inuit and Métis community-or collectively-owned businesses and microbusinesses whose revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund has 2 streams:

  • Stream 1: Funding will be transferred directly to communities and collectives to immediately support their COVID-19 economic priorities. No applications are required for stream 1 funding.

  • Stream 2: Funding will be proposal-based. Applications must be submitted by the community or collectives on behalf of the business.