Application Guidelines – Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (Stream One)

Sport Support Program

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List of acronyms

Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Plus
Calls for Justice (from the National Inquiry into MMIWG)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Calls to Action
The Department of Canadian Heritage
Sport Support Program
Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities

Sport Support Program (SSP)

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:

Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (SSDIC) component of SSP

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 goals in Indigenous communities. It was developed in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC)’s Calls to Action, which identified four key social development goals of Indigenous communities:

SSDIC is distinct from sport development as it is focused on the achievement of these specific social development goals rather than athletic ability or sport performance. The SSDIC component offers a flexible program that can be tailored to address the specific needs of Indigenous communities.

Definition of Sport

Recognizing and respecting that there are many important cultural approaches to health and wellness in Indigenous communities, the definition of sport is broader for the SSDIC program than that which Sport Canada uses for high performance sport. The focus of the SSDIC program is on supporting the self-determined social development goals of communities and program participants. These social development goals can be facilitated by any physical and cultural activities that have a recreational or wellness component deemed appropriate by the client.

Funding under the SSDIC component of the SSP through Budget 2018 investments was initially divided into two streams; Stream One is available to the 13 Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies (PTASBs), and Stream Two is available to Indigenous governments and communities, as well as other delivery organizations submitting project proposals in collaboration with Indigenous communities.

In response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ (MMIWG) Report and the MMIWG Calls for Justice, a third stream of SSDIC funding was created through Budget 2021 investments. The Reconciliation and Strength for Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ peoples Through Sport (SSDIC Stream Three) fund seeks to provide meaningful opportunities for sport and physical activity to Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ peoples.

It is important that all three Streams of the SSDIC Program are designed and delivered with a strong understanding of the views of the Indigenous communities they serve. For this reason, Sport Canada is undertaking a consultation process in order to evaluate and evolve the SSDIC program. Facilitated by an experienced Indigenous consultant firm, this research will gather the perspectives and input from Indigenous people and representative organizations on how the three Streams can best serve the social development goals. The findings of the consultation will be integrated into the next call for proposals for projects taking place in 2024-2026.

SSDIC Stream One outcomes

The SSDIC Stream One program has two specific outcomes that help to ensure that Indigenous people benefit from this funding.

Outcome #1. Increase the opportunities for Indigenous people to participate in sport activities.

This is captured by identifying the number of communities reached and number of participants included.

Outcome #2. Support communities’ self-determined social development goals.

This is captured by identifying if and to what degree participants report feeling they have improved on the project’s identified social development goals and feeling more positive about their own health and wellness.

Application deadline

January 9, 2023, 11:59 local time.

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


Sport Canada is responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, their project, and project-related expenses.

Note: Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee funding.

Eligible applicants

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

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.

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding from Stream One of the SSDIC program component, your project must:

Eligible expenses

Only project-related expenses are eligible for Sport Canada SSDIC Stream One funding. These may include:

Note: Organizational capacity building is eligible as an expense for PTASBs through Stream One.

*Requests for exceptions must be presented and approved in advance by the Sport Support Program – SSDIC component.

Ineligible expenses

There are a number of expenses that are not eligible for Stream One funding. These include:

Note: the expenses for which this funding is intended must be incurred between the period of April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024. It is possible that approvals of recommended projects may occur after April 1st and recipients could receive their funding after the start of the fiscal year. If you incur expenses for your project before receiving written confirmation of your funding approval, you will be doing so at your own risk.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of your project, Sport Canada encourages you to obtain other funding sources. This may include contributions (including in-kind) from your organization, the private sector, or other levels of government.

In-kind and other cash revenues, if applicable, should be reflected in the project budget to demonstrate the true cost of the project and may include ineligible expenses.

Note: In-kind contributions are considered real contributions to the cost of the proposed project but are not reimbursable. In-kind contributions must be balanced by an equal expense in your budget (i.e., total in-kind expenses equals total in-kind revenues).

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.

Sport Canada can fund up to 100% of eligible expenses per fiscal year.

Applying for more than 12 months

Funding for proposed Stream One projects is available for 2023-2024 fiscal year. You cannot seek funding past March 31, 2024.

How to apply

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

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a completed application form before the deadline to be considered for funding.

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 or using the fillable PDF format, please contact the Sport Support Program – SSDIC component to discuss other options.

How applications are assessed

Sport Canada funds projects that clearly identify community need and propose to address this need through feasible activities and achievable results.

Your project proposals will be reviewed for eligibility and then evaluated based on the assessment criteria below.

Assessment criteria

Stream One project proposals must address the one or more of the four SSDIC Stream One social development goals, and to the extent possible, be designed in a way that builds capacity in the communities they serve.

The following will be primary criteria used to evaluate the project proposals:

  1. Eligibility
  2. Complete Application
    • The application provides a succinct introduction to the organization demonstrating its capacity and suitability to carry out the proposed project.
    • If any partnerships are needed to adequately deliver the proposed initiatives, they are clearly identified.
    • The application provides a clear description of the overall project (and each initiative if there is more than one).
    • The information provided is clearly described and linked to the SSDIC Stream One social development goals.
    • The budget is balanced and there are no ineligible expenses included in the funding request from SSDIC Stream One.
  3. Project Context
    • The needs of the community to be served are clearly identified, described, and are aligned with one or more of the four Stream One social development goals.
    • The intended communities to be served by the project are clearly identified. The applicant demonstrates they are familiar with the intended participants in terms of their demographics (identities, age, location, language), their specific needs, and appropriate approaches to best serve those needs.
    • The project description and planned activities for each initiative clearly address these identified needs.
    • The planned activities support the improvement of Indigenous people’s overall health and wellness.
  4. Feasibility of Initiatives
    • The planned activities are described in detail and are feasible.
    • Activities are well planned, clearly support the intended Stream One social development goals, and are very likely to achieve the expected results.
    • Expected results are clearly identified, structured, measurable, and are linked to the project context and planned activities.
    • Planned activities include some form of a timeline that shows when they will take place.
  5. Project Budget
    • Financial breakdown table is completed for each initiative.
    • Project costs are eligible, reasonable, well justified, and cost-effective.
    • Budget details clearly support the project’s description and planned activities.
    • Total revenues match total expenses

Application processing time

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

Sport Canada 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

Sport Canada provides funding in the form of a contribution.

A contribution is a conditional payment issued for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement. The funding agreement is signed by your organization and by us 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 a contribution, you are required to submit an audited financial report.

Additional conditions 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 Canadian Heritage must take measures to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse, and discrimination.

Public health guidance

Sport Canada expects 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

Sport Canada 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. 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

Sport Canada is 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:

Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program

Sport Canada reserves the right to audit your accounts and records to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of your funding agreement. Sport Canada also conducts 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 St
Gatineau QC  J8X 4B3


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 accounting principles.
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.
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.
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 (CTA)
    • 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.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Calls for Justice

On June 3, 2019, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) issued its Final Report. The Inquiry examined the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls including the underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional and historic causes. The inquiry found that there was no single answer to ending violence and that communities had their own distinct social and cultural systems, which required nuanced approaches. Through its 231 Calls for Justice, it also asserted that addressing the issues faced by Indigenous women and girls required the active involvement of all governments working with Indigenous communities and with Indigenous women and girls.

The Inquiry’s findings are similar to those of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in that both emphasize the importance of an Indigenous-led, government-supported approach forward.

Using the mechanism of the SSDIC, the Stream Three fund seeks to support the following MMIWG Calls for Justice (CFJ):

  • 3.1. We call upon all governments to ensure that the rights to health and wellness of Indigenous Peoples, and specifically of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people, are recognized and protected on an equitable basis.
  • 7.3. We call upon all governments and health service providers to support Indigenous-led prevention initiatives in the areas of health and community awareness, including, but not limited to programming: for Indigenous men and boys; related to suicide prevention strategies for youth and adults; related to sexual trafficking awareness and no-barrier exiting, and specific to safe and healthy relationships, and to mental health awareness; and related to 2SLGBTQI+ issues and sex positivity.
Under-represented groups
Certain groups such as women and girls, 2SLGBTQI+ peoples, 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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