Nation Rebuilding Program Guidelines: 2019 to 2020

Table of contents


The Government of Canada has committed to a forward-looking and transformative agenda to renew relationships with Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous groups are seeking to rebuild their nations in a manner that responds to their priorities and the unique needs of their communities. Through Budget 2018, funding has been made available for 5 years starting in fiscal year 2018 to 2019, to support activities that would facilitate their own path to reconstituting their nations.

According to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), an Aboriginal nation is a sizeable body of Indigenous people with a shared sense of national identity that constitutes the predominant population in a certain territory or collection of territories. There are 3 elements in this definition: collective sense of identity, size as a measure of capacity and territorial predominance. The first element, a collective sense of identity, can be based on a variety of factors. It is usually grounded in a common heritage, which comprises such elements as a common history, language, culture, traditions, political consciousness, laws, governmental structures, spirituality, ancestry, homeland or adherence to a particular treaty.

The RCAP report recommended that these nations begin to reconstitute themselves as nations and create institutions with the breadth and capacity to take on the exercise of rights, including self-government.

Consult highlights from the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

This new program will support the rebuilding efforts of Indigenous nations through the provision of contribution funding aimed at developing capacity.

Consult the terms and conditions of the Indigenous Nation Rebuilding Program for more details.

These program guidelines are evergreen and will be amended as required as the program evolves over time.

Program objective and expected results

The objectives of this program are to renew the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, to improve the well-being and economic prosperity of Indigenous peoples and to develop healthier, more sustainable communities.

The provision of this new capacity funding will promote:

Eligible recipients

Recipients eligible to receive funding under this program are the following:

Preference will be given to reconstituted Indigenous nations representing multiple Indigenous communities.

Eligible initiatives and activities

As this is a new program, there is no definitive set list of eligible initiatives. Initiatives that foster nationhood and support the rebuilding of nations and develop capacity of self-identified nations will be considered for funding. As the program evolves, a list of eligible initiatives will be created based on accepted initiatives put forward in proposals for funding.

Eligible activities under accepted initiatives include but are not limited to:

Ineligible initiatives

Ineligible initiatives include activities that can mainly be supported by any other government funding programs such as:

Eligible expenditures

Eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to: salaries and wages, accommodations, hardware and software needed for capacity development, administrative costs, supplies and materials, information and training services, travel costs, professional services (for example, speakers, legal advice, coordinators), event, meeting or workshop costs (for example, rentals, related supplies, logistics), honoraria and communications.

Application process

This program is proposal-driven. Funding under this program will be awarded to eligible recipients based on proposals received. Funding will be awarded based on the merits of the proposals and alignment with the objectives of the program and not on a first come first served basis.

Interested eligible recipients will be required to submit proposals. The deadline to submit a proposal for the 2019 to 2020 call for proposals is April 15, 2019. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.

Multi-year funding will be considered for initiatives and activities spanning more than one fiscal year. However, continuation of funding will depend on demonstrable progress reports on proposed initiative and activities outcomes and meeting funding terms and conditions (meeting deadlines for financial and activity reporting as per contribution terms and conditions).

The proposal submission of revised or updated multi-year funded initiatives and activities will be required by the deadline of the annual call for proposals.

Application requirements

There is no official application form to be submitted however, applications for funding under this program must include the following elements:

  • a detailed workplan including objectives, planned activities, responsibilities, deliverables and specific timelines
  • the purpose of the funding including a detailed budget
  • a list of communities participating in the initiative
  • proof that the applicant is mandated to undertake the initiatives on behalf of the individual member communities or organizations (for example, band council resolution, support letters)
  • disclosure of the involvement of any former public servants as per the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service
  • proof that the applicant is incorporated and in good standing
  • a description of how the applicant will report to member communities on the use of the funds received, the activities undertaken and the results achieved
  • disclosure of any and all prospective sources of funding for the initiative, inclusive of all federal, provincial or other government sources that are expected to be received

Please send your proposal by email to:

To the attention of:

Director, Negotiation Support Directorate
Fiscal Branch
Treaties and Aboriginal Government

The subject line of the email must include:

Subject: Name of the applicant — Nation rebuilding submission 2019-2020

Only submissions including all application requirements above and received by email will be considered.

Application review

Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will have an oversight committee made up of various levels of departmental officials who will review proposals against the program objectives and make recommendations for funding to the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of the Treaties and Aboriginal Government Sector.

For more information on the assessment criteria, please consult the terms and conditions of the Indigenous Nation Rebuilding Program.

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