Horizontal initiative: Aboriginal Economic Development Strategic Partnerships Initiative

Lead department: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNA)

Federal partner organizations: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency; Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec; Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario; Indigenous Services Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Employment and Social Development Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, including FedNor; Natural Resources Canada; Parks Canada; Status of Women Canada; Western Economic Diversification Canada; Environment and Climate Change Canada; Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Non-federal and non-governmental partner(s): Not applicable

Start date: June 17, 2011

End date: Ongoing

Description of the horizontal initiative:
Strategic Partnership Initiative (SPI)
With a focus on economic readiness, the Strategic Partnership Initiative (SPI) supports Indigenous participation in the economy, with a particular emphasis on emerging opportunities in the resource development sectors, including forestry, fisheries, mining, energy and agriculture. The program also supports other key economic development opportunities in areas such as shipbuilding, tourism and potash.

SPI provides a coordinated federal response to existing and emerging Indigenous economic development opportunities. The process-oriented program builds partnerships among participating federal departments and agencies, Indigenous communities, provincial and territorial governments and the private sector to help Indigenous peoples take advantage of complex market-driven opportunities in key and emerging economic sectors. The Initiative's funding is designed to fill gaps that cannot be addressed by existing programs.

SPI also helps to build closer partnerships with non-federal cohorts, including provincial and territorial governments, the private sector and Indigenous individuals, organizations, businesses and communities. These partnerships help bring together the people and resources required for Indigenous communities to take advantage of key economic development opportunities across all regions of the country.

West Coast Energy:

In June 2014, a coordinated government response was launched with the objective of building Indigenous support for energy projects. Part of the response included the expansion of SPI, which will provide the Government of Canada with the resources needed to enhance Indigenous participation in West Coast Energy infrastructure development.

Funding is being used in four priority areas to help build Indigenous support for energy projects. These include:

Governance structures: Central to the governance structure of the Strategic Partnership Initiative is the Director General Investment Committee (DGIC), which includes all core voting member departments. The committee validates and prioritizes opportunities, taking a whole-of-Government approach to investments under the program. It also identifies relevant federal government departments that have a role to play in supporting any given initiative, and ensures that they work with Indigenous groups to advance these opportunities. The committee completes a review of detailed proposals from federal departments on opportunities for consideration under the program, and makes final decisions on initiatives seeking funding.

Total federal funding allocated (start to end date) (dollars):
Strategic Partnership Initiative: $85,500,000 over five years (approved in 2010–ongoing), and $14,500,000 for each of 2015–2016, 2016–2017, and 2017–2018

West Coast Energy Initiative: $61,000,000 over five years (2014–2019)

Total federal planned spending to date (dollars): $190,000,000

Total federal actual spending to date (dollars): $163,338,420

Date of last renewal of the horizontal initiative: Not applicable

Total federal funding allocated at the last renewal and source of funding (dollars): Not applicable

Additional federal funding received after the last renewal (dollars): Not applicable

Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners (dollars): Not applicable

Fiscal year of planned completion of next evaluation: An evaluation of SPI – West Coast Energy Initiative covering the period 2014–2015 to 2017–2018 commenced in early 2017. The final evaluation report, together with the Management Response and Action Plan, will be presented to CIRNA's Performance Measurement and Review Committee in 2018. This evaluation work will contribute to a Natural Resource Canada-led horizontal evaluation of the West Coast Energy Initiative in 2018–2019.

Shared outcome of federal partners: SPI supports a horizontal approach to federal investments that ensures these investments align with and target market-driven opportunities. It also ensures that the Government of Canada is able to anticipate, plan for and engage in opportunities; is able to maximize the results of federal investments; and is better positioned to lever funds from non-federal sources. SPI uses a single-window approach (shared application, monitoring and reporting) to federal investments in identified priorities and addresses program gaps that might preclude Indigenous participation in economic opportunities. This process also allows funds to flow from multiple programs and departments through one federal lead department in support of the initiative.

Expected outcome or result of non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Name of theme: Not applicable

Theme Outcome: Not applicable                  

Theme performance indicator(s): Not applicable

Theme target: Not applicable

Planning highlights: SPI is a federal horizontal initiative designed to further the objectives of the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development by ensuring:

Performance information
Federal organizations Link to the department's Program Inventory Horizontal initiative activities Total federal allocation
(from start to end date) (dollars)
2018–2019 Planned spending (dollars)

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

Economic Development Capacity and Readiness

Not applicable $114,500,000
(General SPI)
Not applicable $61,000,000
(West Coast Energy Infrastructure)
Other federal partners Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Total for all federal organizations $175,500,000  $22,450,000
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Expected results
Performance indicators
Date to achieve target
Regional economic opportunities and large resource development projects impacting Indigenous communities are pursued in partnership with public and private sectors Value of federal and non-federal investments leveraged under the community readiness phase of the Strategic Partnership Initiative 1:1.5 leveraging over three years (for every $1 Strategic Partnership Initiative investment an additional $1.50 is leveraged from other sources including private and other public sectors) March 31, 2019

Contact information:

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Stephanie Blondin
Director, Strategic Partnerships Initiative
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Telephone: 819-994-7219

Date modified: