Application Guidelines - Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities

Sport Support Program

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List of acronyms

Eastern Standard Time
Provincial / Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies
Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities
Sport Support Program
Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Objectives and expected results for the Sport Support Program

The Sport Support Program (SSP) supports the development of Canadian athletes and coaches and Canadians’ participation in sport. Funding is provided to eligible organizations for programming and projects that support the goals of the Canadian Sport Policy.

The objectives of the SSP are to:

Objectives and expected results for the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities component

The Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (SSDIC) component reflects that the Government of Canada considers sport to be a powerful agent for social change and innovation and can achieve key social development outcomes in Indigenous communities. It is also a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)’s Calls to Action, which identified four key social development needs of Indigenous communities. SSIDC is distinct from sport development as it is focused on the achievement of these specific social development outcomes. This component offers a flexible program that can be tailored to address the self-identified social objectives of individual Indigenous communities.

Funding under the SSDIC component of the SSP is divided into two streams in order to ensure that the majority of the funding is provided to Indigenous organizations as the delivery mechanism, while also allowing an opportunity for non-Indigenous organizations to support the self-identified needs of Indigenous communities.

The SSDIC component funds projects that will contribute to the following four social development outcomes:

Application deadline

When an application deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or statutory holiday, it is extended to the following working day.

Who can apply

To be eligible for Stream One funding, your organization must be:

Note: The Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC) is also eligible for Stream one funding to provide leadership and support to the PTASBs for their delivery of the Initiative.

To be eligible for Stream Two funding, your organization must:

Note: Up to 25% of the Stream Two funding will be available for non-Indigenous delivery organizations.

To be eligible for Stream One or Stream Two funding, your organization must:

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding from the SSDIC component:

To honour the guiding principles of the SSDIC Initiative, the definition of sport will be broader than that which Sport Canada uses for high performance sport. As such, activities that could be viewed as recreation or physical activity are permissible if they have a physical activity component and they have been chosen by the community.

Eligible expenses

Only project-related expenses, which can be of cash and in-kind, are eligible. These may include:

Ineligible expenses include:

All uniforms and equipment for program development and sporting and office equipment funded through this component must remain the property of the funded or beneficiary organization.

In-kind contributions are considered real contributions to the cost of the proposed project but are not reimbursable. Donated goods and services may be considered in-kind contributions if they:

We cannot fund expenses incurred prior to the application deadline. If you incur expenses for your project after the application deadline, but before receiving written confirmation of your funding approval, you will be doing so at your own risk.

Eligibility criteria

We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, their project and project-related expenses.

Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee funding.

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, the private sector or other levels of government.

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

Applying for more than 12 months

You may request funding for the same activities up to two fiscal years. You must show that you have the capacity to complete the planned projects on an annual basis. This is demonstrated with realistic results and budget projections as well as sound governance.

How to apply

Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing your application.

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. A complete application package includes the Application Form (in the fillable format – not a scan) and the following supporting documents:

Application process

Email submissions

You are required to submit your application package electronically 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 application to be considered.

If you are unable to submit your application by email, please contact the Sport Support Program – SSDIC component to discuss this option.

How applications are evaluated

We fund projects that have clear objectives and measurable results.

For Stream One

You are eligible for capacity-building support for your PTASB, as well as project support for SSDIC-eligible projects in your jurisdictions. Your project proposals will be reviewed for eligibility and then evaluated based on the evaluation criteria below.

For Stream Two

Your application will be reviewed for eligibility and then evaluated based on the evaluation criteria below. It will be compared with other applications and prioritized 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

For Stream one and Stream two, project proposals must address the self-identified needs and culture of the community and, to the extent possible, deliver projects by members of that community. The following will be primary criteria used to evaluate the project proposals:

  1. Eligibility:
    • your organization meets the eligibility requirements set out above; and
    • your project meets the project eligibility criteria set out above.
  2. project need and rationale:
    • the project clearly identifies the specific social development need of the community and how the project will address it.
  3. project, timelines and feasibility:
    • the application must clearly demonstrate how it will:
      • identify and advance the objectives of the SSDIC; and
      • Note: for Stream One only: how it builds on similar projects being funded by the provincial/territorial government or other federal departments, where appropriate.
    • the application provides a clear description of each project and the nature and scope of the group(s)/community(ies) being targeted (e.g., age, gender, location/scope (national, provincial/territorial or local/community), linguistic profile, etc.); and
    • timelines are clear and feasible
    • activities are coherent, logical and feasible
  4. measurable outcomes:
    • the outcomes of the project are directly linked to the project objectives, i.e., one or more of the social outcomes identified above; and
    • they are specific, concrete and measurable (qualitative and/or quantitative).
    • Note: The applicant must have a project evaluation strategy (format of their choice) in place to monitor, measure and report on expected results and outcomes.
  5. project budget:
    • project costs are reasonable and details support the project’s description.
    • Note: Once a merit-based assessment has been completed, consideration will be given to the distinctions-based and regional distribution of funding, as well as with regards to repeat recipients of SSDIC funding.

Application processing time

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

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within two weeks of receiving your application in our office.

Funding decisions

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

How funding is provided

We provide funding in the form of a contribution.

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

Funding conditions

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

Additional conditions will be included in your funding agreement.

Workplace well-being

The Government of Canada is strongly committed to promoting healthy workplaces and project environments where harassment, abuse and discrimination are not tolerated, to ensure the well-being of all participants. Organizations that receive funding from Canadian Heritage must take measures to create workplace and project environments free from harassment, abuse, and discrimination.

Official languages requirements

We are 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. If you receive funding, you agree to comply with the official languages requirements set out in your application or in your funding agreement.

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 Canadian Heritage to disclose any information submitted with this application within the Government of Canada or to outside entities for the following purposes:

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:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Sport Support Program - Sport Canada
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5


To speak to a representative of the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities program, please send an email to and indicate a phone number that you can be reached. A representative will contact you within the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs.

If you are unable to send emails, you can call at 1-866-811-0055 (toll-free number) and leave a contact number with the Call Centre Agent. A representative of the SSDIC Unit will contact you within the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs.

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

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


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 auditing standards.
Distinction-based approach
The Government of Canada recognizes First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis communities as the Indigenous peoples in Canada, consisting of distinct, rights-bearing communities with their own histories, including with the Crown. The work of forming renewed relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership must reflect the unique interests, priorities and circumstances of each People.
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.
Indigenous governments, Indigenous communities, and other Indigenous delivery organizations
These consist of the following: Indigenous-controlled incorporated not-for-profit organizations; Indigenous-controlled unincorporated not-for-profit organizations; Indigenous governments and equivalent organizations, and their delegated authorities; and, Indigenous-controlled ad hoc committees that have formed to do a specific project.
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 you have undertaken for a specific period. In addition, they include a status report on the work to be accomplished and updated revenue and expense reports.
Measurable social development outcome
The specific result that comes from participating in or completing the project that will determine if the recipient has successfully accomplished the planned objective. The social development outcome will be gathered by method(s) deemed appropriate by the recipient; quantitative, qualitative, traditional approach and the method(s) will be reflected in the application form.
Non-Indigenous delivery organizations
Federally and/or provincially incorporated not-for-profit non-Indigenous organizations.
Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Body (PTASB)
Provincial and Territorial organizations, associations or corporations that carry the mandate, as recognized by the Aboriginal Sport Circle, to represent the sport and recreational interests of the largest percentage of Indigenous peoples in that province or territory.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada

The TRC issued 94 Calls to Action and 10 Principles of Reconciliation, some of which were used in the development of the SSDIC and are listed below:

  • TRC Calls to Action
    • #7 - We call upon the federal government to develop with Aboriginal groups a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
    • #19 - We call upon the federal government, in consultation with Aboriginal peoples, to establish measurable goals to identify and close the gaps in health outcomes, between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities, and to publish annual progress reports and assess long-term trends. Such efforts would focus on indicators such as: infant mortality, maternal health, suicide, mental health, addictions, life expectancy, birth rates, infant and child health issues, chronic diseases, illness and injury incidence, and the availability of appropriate health services.
    • #38 - We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial and Aboriginal governments to commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth in custody over the next decade.
  • TRC Principles of Reconciliation
    • #4 - Reconciliation requires constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Aboriginal peoples’ education, cultures and languages, health, child welfare, the administration of justice, and economic opportunities and prosperity.
    • #5 - Reconciliation must create a more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health, and economic outcomes that exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
    • #9 - Reconciliation requires political will, joint leadership, trust building, accountability, and transparency, as well as a substantial investment of resources.
Under-represented groups
Certain groups such as girls and women, people with a disability, Indigenous peoples and visible minorities continue to be under-represented in the Canadian sport system as athletes/participants and as leaders. In addition, and despite past efforts, language-based barriers still exist in the sport system for francophones, especially at the national team level.
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