Northern Participant Funding Program

Funding for Indigenous peoples and other Northerners to participate meaningfully in impact assessments of major projects in Yukon, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Eeyou and Nunavik Marine Regions.

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About the program

The Northern Participant Funding Program assists people in meaningfully participating and having their voices heard in impact assessments of major infrastructure and resource extraction projects that are likely to affect, positively or negatively, their land, lives or livelihoods.

Indigenous governments, non-governmental organizations, individuals and, in some cases local governments can submit funding applications for:

Funding level

The total funding level for the program is $10.3 million over 5 years, starting 2018-19 to 2022-23.

A recipient can receive up to $150 000 per project, per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31), depending on their application and on the funding available. Multi-year contribution agreements may be available if an impact assessment takes place over multiple fiscal years, and recipients can receive funding to participate in multiple impact assessments per fiscal year.

Participation in impact assessment

Funding is provided in order to support participation in impact assessment processes. Funding cannot be provided for participation in regulatory processes such as water licensing.

When surplus funding is available in a fiscal year, the Northern Participant Funding Program can provide funding to support capacity building related to participation in impact assessments. Whether funding will be available, and how much, varies from year to year based on how many impact assessments occur and how much money they require. See Previously funded projects and initiatives below for examples of previously funded capacity building initiatives and contact us at if you have any questions.

Eligible impact assessment projects

Impact assessment projects are eligible if they are:

  • large
  • complex
  • potentially controversial
  • of significant interest to local communities

The program primarily targets natural resource and infrastructure projects; to date it has funded participation in impact assessments of large-scale mining and remediation projects .

Factors that determine project eligibility include:

  • size and location
  • potential for public concern, interest or opposition to the project
  • potential for adverse environmental, cultural or socio-economic impacts
  • potential for impacts on established or asserted rights
  • use of new or untested technologies
  • complexity and duration of the project

Funding approaches

Funding is provided by contribution agreement.

There are 3 funding approaches available for Indigenous recipients:

  • set contribution
  • fixed contribution
  • flexible contribution

Non-Indigenous recipients are only eligible for the set contribution approach.

Fixed Carry over of funds is possible with the department's approval*

If carry-over is not approved, funds will be returned to the department
Can be kept at the end of the agreement with the department's approval

If keeping unspent funds is not approved, funds will be returned to the department
Flexible Carry-over of funds is automatic without department's approval Any unspent funds at the end of the agreement must be returned to the department
Set No carry-over of funds between fiscal years Any unspent funds at the end of the fiscal year must be returned to the department.
*carry over only applies if the fixed agreement spans multiple fiscal years

We will work with recipients to create a contribution agreement that works for your needs. For details about each funding approach, visit Funding approaches.

Reporting requirements

The program requires 2 reports annually from recipients:

  • Activity report: Consists of up to 8 questions. The purpose is for recipients to report their activities related to the funding they received, and to give feedback on the program.
  • Financial report: A record of the funds and how they were spent. These can be audited or unaudited, depending on the contribution agreement

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, parties must meet at least 1 of the following criteria:

Under certain circumstances municipal governments may be eligible. For more information please

Individuals, groups or organizations that represent for-profit organizations or have a direct commercial interest in the development are not eligible for funding. Organizations that represent a level of non-Indigenous government are also generally ineligible, though an exception may be made for some municipal governments that serve a predominantly Indigenous population.

Available funding opportunities

When participant funding is available for an eligible project we will:

Application and review process

Contact to receive a funding guide and application form.

Applications are reviewed by an independent application review committee. The committee consists of at least 3 people from territorial and federal governments, Indigenous organizations or other knowledgeable persons that have no interest or stake in the project.

The committee reviews funding applications, identifies groups whose contribution is valuable to the assessment of the proposed project, and recommends a level of funding required to effectively support participation.

The program aims to have decisions made within 4 weeks of receiving applications. Because funds are limited some applicants may receive less than the amount for which they applied, or may not be awarded funding.

Previously funded projects and initiatives

Table 1: Total project-specific funding amounts per project for 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020 fiscal years
Fiscal year Territory Project Funding amount
2018 to 2019 Nunavut Mary River Phase 2 $219,873.40
Grand total   $219,873.40
2019 to 2020 Northwest Territories Diavik Diamond Mine $342,128.14
2019 to 2020 Nunavut Mary River Phase 2 $590,363.30
2019 to 2020 Nunavut Whale Tail Pit Expansion Project $174,675.00
2019 to 2020 Yukon Coffee Gold Project $64,159,50
2019 to 2020 Yukon Kudz Ze Kayah Project $263,076.45
2019 to 2020 Yukon Faro Mine Remediation Project $450,000.00
Grand total   $1,844,402.39
Table 2: Total funding amounts per capacity building initiative for 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020 fiscal years
Fiscal year Territory Activity Funding amount
2018 to 2019 Yukon Kaska-Centric independent peer review $150,000.00
2018 to 2019 Yukon Champagne and Aishihik First Nations impact assessment capacity building project $145,594.00
Grand total   $295,594.00
2019 to 2020 Yukon Building Indigenous gender-based analysis plus capacity in environmental assessments $177,853.78
Grand total   $177,853.78

Contact us

We are committed to improving the program welcome input on how the program can best serve our Indigenous and Northern partners. As a result of previous feedback, we have made significant improvements to program materials (such as the application form, guide, presentation material, and reporting template) based on engagement sessions in Whitehorse, Inuvik, Yellowknife, Cambridge Bay and Iqaluit.

If you have any suggestions please contact us at

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