Application Guidelines – Indigenous Languages Component

Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program

The following guidelines apply to all Indigenous Languages Component projects, with the exception of First Nations languages projects in the regions of Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia.

To apply for one of the listed regions, please consult the Indigenous Languages Component's home page for information regarding the regional organization to whom you must submit your request.

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Objectives for the Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program

The objectives of the Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program are to:

  • Support the efforts of Indigenous peoples to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages and cultures.
  • Support the production and distribution of Indigenous audio and video content.

Objectives and expected results for the Indigenous Languages Component


The Indigenous Languages Component supports the efforts of Indigenous communities and Indigenous organizations to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages.

Expected results:

  • Indigenous communities have access to resources to deliver activities that incorporate Indigenous languages;
  • Indigenous individuals and groups are engaged in activities that strengthen Indigenous languages; and
  • Indigenous individuals and groups are engaged as an integral part of Canadian society and embrace and share their languages with other Canadians.

Application deadline to the Department of Canadian Heritage

The 2022-2023 call for applications is now closed. Applicants that were previously approved for multi-year funding in 2021-2022 were still eligible to apply for additional funding for 2022-2023.

Priority will be given to applicants who have not been previously approved for funding in 2022-2023 as part of a multi-year funding application.

Fiscal year application Single year Multi-year (2 years) Deadline
2021-2022 Yes Yes Closed
2022-2023 Yes No Closed

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, you must be a Canadian organization or group, democratically held and managed, and in good standing:

  • Indigenous not-for-profit organization;
  • Indigenous governing body i.e. a council, government or other entity that is authorized to act on behalf on an Indigenous group, community or people that holds rights recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;
  • Indigenous ad hoc committee that have formed to do a specific project;
  • For profit Indigenous organization, provided that the project for which you are requesting funding will not result in income generation for your sole benefit;
  • Indigenous-led institution including accredited programs; and
  • In exceptional circumstances to be approved by the program, non-Indigenous not-for-profit organization, in close partnership with Indigenous organizations.


We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses. The Indigenous Languages Component’s requests for funding typically exceed our available resources. If your organization or your group is eligible, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

Eligible activities

To be eligible for funding from the Indigenous Languages Component, your project must include community-based activities such as:

  • Cultural development;
  • Language reclamation, promotion, revitalization, maintaining and strengthening;
  • Capacity building;
  • Conferences and gathering;
  • Community engagement;
  • Leadership development towards Indigenous languages;
  • Life skills and wellness that incorporate learning of an Indigenous language;
  • Production and broadcast of radio, television and programming;
  • Innovation and new technologies;
  • Consultation and coordination;
  • Research, studies and community assessment; and
  • Management and administration.

View the list of previous projects funded by the Indigenous Languages Component.

Eligible expenses

Expenses for activities related to the objectives of the Indigenous Languages Component are eligible, these include:

  • Salaries and employee benefits;
  • In exceptional circumstances, stipends, allowances or honoraria for attendance in a course or activity;
  • Travel expenses, which must not exceed the rates permitted as per travel on government business;
  • Professional development and training programs;
  • Meetings;
  • Rent and utilities related to the activities;
  • Translation and communications;
  • Professional, consulting and Elder fees;
  • Equipment rental, service and purchase;
  • Costs associated with information technology, including purchase and upgrade of hardware and software;
  • Start-up costs for Indigenous organizations whose mandate is to support the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance and strengthening of Indigenous languages;
  • Minor renovation in the context of promotional languages activities;
  • Project supplies and resource materials related to the activities;
  • Photocopying and printing related to the activities;
  • General liability insurances; and
  • Administrative costs, such as: bookkeeping services, office supplies, telephone, fax, utilities, postage and courier fees, photocopying, printing, rent for office space, audit, legal, translation. Administrative costs cannot exceed 15% of the total approved funding.

Eligible expenses must be held between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023. We cannot fund expenses incurred before the start date of your project. If you incur expenses for your project before receiving written confirmation of your funding approval, you will be doing so at your own risk.

Ineligible expenditures are:

  • Capital construction and major renovation;
  • Salaries and honoraria for Board of members in the delivery of regular operations;
  • Start-up and operational costs for commercial enterprises, and support for the development of cultural and professional industries;
  • Contingency and miscellaneous fees; and
  • Deficit recovery.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of your project, we encourage you to have other funding sources. This may include contributions from your organization or group, the private sector or other levels of government.

The total financial assistance received from the Indigenous Languages Component and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 100% of the total eligible project-related costs.

We can fund up to 100% of eligible expenses. Applications for the Indigenous Languages Component should generally not exceed $300,000 per year.

Approved applications of $150,000 and under may be funded through a grant agreement.

Approved applications over $150,000 will be funded through a contribution agreement.

You can submit only one application per applicant to this program per fiscal year.

How to apply

Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing your application. The same project should only be submitted once, by a single applicant or a delivery organization.

Please contact us to receive your application package.

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. A complete application package includes the:

  • Supporting documents required in the Application Checklist (Annex A);
  • General Application Form (Annex B);
  • Proposal (Annex C); and
  • Budget (Annex D).

Application process

Only application packages submitted electronically will be considered for assessment.

  • Complete, sign and date the General Application Form (Annex B);
  • Complete the proposal and budget templates (Annexes C and D);
  • Attach all the required supporting documents (Annex A); and
  • Submit your complete application package to the following email address:

The email must be sent no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on the date of the application deadline for your submission to be considered.

Please contact us for further information or if you need assistance to submit your application.

How applications are evaluated

We fund activities that have clear objectives and measurable results. Your application will initially be assessed by the Department of Canadian Heritage to ensure the eligibility of the application, according to the Eligibility section above. Eligible applications will then be evaluated, based on the evaluation criteria below through distinction based Indigenous review processes, which will prioritize them in relation to the funds available.

Failure to comply with any conditions of a previously funded project will be considered in the evaluation of your new application and could result in a rejection of your new application.

Evaluation criteria

  • The proposal demonstrates that its implementation would support the objectives of the Indigenous Languages Component;
  • The proposal describes the activities to be funded;
  • The proposal describes the expected results of the proposed activities;
  • The proposal includes a budget that clearly links to the proposed activities;
  • If applicable, the proposal discloses partners and the role that they will play in the project;
  • The recipient commits to providing activity, evaluation, and financial reports and other related information, when requested by the Department; and
  • Funding priorities:
    • Indigenous communities;
    • Indigenous organizations with a long-standing history of funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage that are delivering services to Indigenous communities;
    • Activities that strongly support reclaiming, revitalizing, maintaining, and strengthening Indigenous languages (e.g. mentor-apprentice programs, immersion, language nests, development of language plans); and
    • Other priorities recommended by the Indigenous review processes.

Application processing time

Please refer to the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application package within two weeks of its reception.

Funding decisions

We reserve the right to target funding to specific projects based on the priorities. Applications for two years of funding may be approved for one or two years of funding.

Please note that decisions regarding eligibility and funding amounts are final.

How funding is provided

We will determine if funding will be disbursed as a grant, as a contribution or as a fixed contribution.

A grant is a payment issued to a recipient for a project. The conditions you agreed to at the time of application will apply. At the end of your project, you may be required to submit a report and/or participate in the evaluation of results.

A contribution is a conditional payment issued for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement. The agreement is signed by your organization or group and by the Department of Canadian Heritage and specifies the terms and conditions to receive payment. At the end of your project, you must submit a final report.

A fixed contribution funding is an option to Indigenous recipients where eligibility criteria are met. The funding level is predetermined annually to meet program requirements and achieve the planned results. When planned results are achieved for less than the amount provided, fixed contribution funding allows the recipient to retain the unexpended funds, subject that all the contribution agreement conditions are met, including a plan on how the unexpended funding will be utilized.

Funding conditions

You may be required to submit interim reports during your project. If you receive $250,000 or more as a contribution, you are required to submit an audited financial report.

Additional conditions may apply and, if applicable, will be included in your funding agreement.

Workplace well-being

The Government of Canada is strongly committed to promoting healthy workplaces where harassment, abuse and discrimination are not tolerated. Organizations that receive funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage must take measures to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse and discrimination.

Public Health Guidance

We expect that you will act in compliance with applicable statutes, laws, bylaws, regulations, orders, codes, standards, directives and guidelines governing the activities for which funding is being sought, including those related to public health and safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Official languages requirements

While supporting efforts to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages and to preserve and revitalize Indigenous cultures, the Department of Canadian Heritage is committed to taking positive measures to enhance the vitality of official-language minority communities and to promote the use of English and French in Canadian society, as needed. If you receive funding, you agree to comply with the official languages requirements set out in your application and in your funding agreement, when applicable.

Acknowledgement of financial assistance

If you receive funding, you must publicly acknowledge – in English and in French – the financial support received from the Government of Canada in all communications materials and promotional activities. Additional requirements may be included in your funding agreement.

For additional information, please refer to our Guide on the public acknowledgement of financial support.

Access to information requests

We 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.

Disclosure of information

By submitting your funding application, you authorize us to disclose any information submitted with this application within the Government of Canada or to outside entities for the following purposes:

  • To reach a decision;
  • To evaluate the results of the project; and
  • To support transparency, accountability and citizen engagement.

Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program

We reserve the right to audit your accounts and records to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of your funding agreement. We also conduct periodic program evaluations, during which you may be required to present documentation.

You must keep any records, documents, or other information that may be required to perform the audit or the evaluation for five years. Demonstrated failure to maintain such records may result in the repayment of amounts previously received.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

The Department of Canadian Heritage
Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program
15 Eddy Street, 8th Floor (15-8-E)
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5

1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
1-888-997-3123 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired)

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET).


Audited financial report
An audited financial report includes a statement of operations for the given period with regard to the Project and is prepared by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization.
Audited financial statements
A complete set of financial statements including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Audited financial statements are completed by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization. The certified accountant performs auditing activities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Cash flow
A presentation of all anticipated revenues and planned expenses that will occur over the length of your project. At the beginning of your project, your cash flow will have only forecasted revenues and expenses. Over time, your cash flow will be updated to reflect the actual revenues and expenses.
Final report
A final report is submitted at the end of your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your final report needs to provide the results of the activities you have undertaken for the duration of your project.
Final financial report
A final financial report includes, as separate items, the budget as well as all of the revenues realized and expenditures incurred for the given period with regard to the Project being funded.
Financial statements
A complete set of financial statements, including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Financial statements may be audited or unaudited.
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities are First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
Interim reports
Interim reports are submitted during your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. These reports indicate the results of the activities undertaken for a specific period. In addition, they include a status report on the work to be accomplished and updated revenue and expense reports.
Official-Language Minority Communities
The official-language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.
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