Residential schools missing children - community support funding
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A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide mental health and emotional support services to former residential school students who are experiencing distress. It is operated by experienced and culturally sensitive counsellors and provides access to emotional and crisis referral services. You can also obtain information on how to access additional health supports from the Government of Canada.
Please call the Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 if you or someone you know is triggered while reading the content on this website.
We encourage all those who need some support at this time to reach out and know that support is always there for you through the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Support services are safe, confidential, respectful and non-judgmental.
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About the Residential Schools Missing Children Community Support Fund
Addressing the ongoing legacy of residential schools is an urgent priority for the Government of Canada. This priority includes supporting Indigenous communities and families as they seek to research, locate, and document burial sites associated with former residential schools. As well as memorialize deaths of children and return children's remains home.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report and 94 Calls to Action detailing the far-reaching impacts of the residential schools system. The report outlined the significant work remaining to address the ongoing legacy of the residential schools system. Which includes the work to identify and locate the resting places of children who died while in the care of these institutions.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action 74 to 76 sets out an approach to honour missing children and undocumented burial sites of Indian Residential Schools. The Residential Schools Missing Children Community Support Fund aims to provide support to Indigenous communities and partners. The support is intended to develop and implement community-led initiatives to locate, document, and memorialize undocumented burial sites and graves associated with Indian Residential Schools and to honour families' wishes to identify and repatriate the children's remains. These include the 140 residential schools in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) and 5 residential schools included in the Newfoundland and Labrador Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
Who can access funding
To access funding, you must be:
- Indigenous governments, band councils or tribal councils, or its delegated authorities
- an Indigenous not-for-profit organization or group
- organizations, including Survivor groups, demonstrating a close working partnership with and directed by Indigenous-governed organizations
As children from multiple home communities attended the same residential school, groups coming together with joint proposals for individual Indian Residential Schools are encouraged to consult with each other on their proposed initiatives where appropriate. This consultation is intended to avoid a potential duplication of efforts.
For initiatives to be eligible under this funding stream they must be related to 1 or more of the 140 schools included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement or 1 of the 5 schools in the Newfoundland and Labrador Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (Anderson).
Eligible activities include efforts to:
- engage, coordinate, develop and provide capacity support for initiatives
- conduct research and knowledge gathering
- memorialize and commemorate burial sites, unmarked graves and Survivors
- fieldwork investigation, identification and repatriation of remains
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada recognizes that these initiatives must be flexible and responsive to the broad range of community needs, realities and priorities.
How to access funding
Applicants are encouraged to read the Program Guidelines prior to submitting a funding request form. We also encourage communities and organizations to engage with a program representative prior to the completion of a funding request. Should you wish to be contacted by a program representative, please submit an email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also refer to the Program Guidelines for a listing of eligible initiatives and expenditures and send a completed Residential Schools Missing Children Community Support Funding form to: email@example.com
If the activities contemplated by your organization are not eligible for this funding, we will attempt to identify relevant available resources as part of our analysis, with a view to offering a single window for accessing support.
Funding to address former residential school buildings and sites on reserve is available through Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). To access support for the demolition or rehabilitation of residential school buildings, or the construction of new facilities on reserve so that activities currently taking place in these buildings can continue, communities should contact their regional ISC office.
How the Residential Schools Missing Children Community Support Fund is delivered
The funding is provided in the form of a contribution.
The maximum amount payable per year is $3 million.
A contribution is a conditional payment issued for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement. The funding agreement is signed by all parties and specifies the terms to receive funding.
Consult the Residential Schools Missing Children Community Support Funding Recipients for information on current funded initiatives.
Proposals including a completed application, workplan, detailed budget and cashflow forecast can be submitted to the department throughout the fiscal year for current and future year funding. The department has established the annual deadline for applications for current fiscal year requests, including expenses incurred back to April 1 of the current fiscal year. Annual deadlines for funding applications are as follows:
- Fiscal Year 2023-2024: closed
- Fiscal Year 2024-2025: open, closing November 15, 2024
Resolution & Partnerships, Settlement Agreement & Childhood Claims Branch
25 Rue Eddy - 6th floor
Disclosure of information
Funding requests are subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information you submit in your application may be disclosed in accordance with these acts.
By submitting your activities information, you authorize us to disclose any information submitted with this form within the Government of Canada or to outside entities for the following purposes:
- to reach a decision
- to support transparency, accountability and citizen engagement
Mental health support
The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all Indigenous peoples across Canada, by telephone and by online chat.
The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program provides mental health, emotional and cultural support services to eligible former Indian residential school students and their families.
- Statement of apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools
- Statement from the Minister
- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Final Report
- National Advisory Committee on Residential Schools Missing Children and Unmarked Burials
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Office of the Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools
- Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement Website
- Delivering on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action
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