Application Guidelines – Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (SSDIC) 2024-2026 (Stream Two)

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List Of Acronyms

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

Who We Are

We are the Indigenous Sport Unit (ISU) here at Sport Canada. In addition to supporting the Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC), we manage and deliver the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (SSDIC) component of the Sport Support Program (SSP).

Our SSDIC program exists to support various social development goals of diverse Indigenous communities across Canada through sport.

These Guidelines speak specifically to SSDIC Stream Two:

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.

Definition of Sport

The SSDIC social development goals can be facilitated by any sport or physical activities and can include cultural components, such as traditional and cultural sports (for example, snowshoeing, Inuit games, snow snake game, traditional dance) and non-traditional sports (for example, skateboarding, bowling, dance) or by physical activities (for example, pow-wow dancing, berry picking, etc.). Ultimately, it is up to the Indigenous organizations and communities receiving project funding to determine what is appropriate for their needs.

SSDIC Stream Two

Stream Two of the SSDIC component of the SSP funds eligible organizations to deliver sport for social development projects in Indigenous communities in Canada.

Stream Two seeks to provide opportunities for Indigenous people to participate in meaningful sport, recreational, and physical activities that support one or more of the Stream Two social development goals. Drawn from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action, the Stream Two social development goals focus on:

SSDIC Stream Two Outcomes

The SSDIC Stream Two program has two specific outcomes that our clients and our team report on, which help to ensure that Indigenous people benefit from this funding.

Outcome #1. Increase the opportunities for Indigenous people to participate in sport, recreational, physical, and cultural activities.

This is captured by identifying:

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

This is captured during the project’s reporting phase by asking:

2024-2026 Stream Two Open Call

The Stream Two fund has $3.6 million available annually to fund projects across Canada that serve the above social development goals and outcomes. This year, the intake period for new applications for funding opens in the winter of 2024 for projects that will take place within the 2024-2026 fiscal years (for activities occurring between April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2026).

Each intake of the SSDIC program is vastly oversubscribed. This means that the amount of requested funding from all proposals far exceeds the total available. Therefore, applicants may propose projects that request a maximum of $249,999 in SSDIC Stream Two funding. This is to ensure that more proposals can be recommended for funding and to promote a diversity of projects across jurisdictions that serve Indigenous people. Projects requesting less than the maximum amount are often easier to fund given the oversubscription and the priority to fund feasible projects.

These Guidelines help you with your 2024-2026 Stream Two application. Also, please see the Assessment Guide. It tells you how to fill out the Application form and explains how your application will be assessed.

How To Apply

If you are interested in applying for Stream Two funding to deliver a sport or physical activity project to Indigenous peoples during 2024-2026, you are in the right place! Begin by continuing to read through these Application Guidelines to make sure you understand the important information. Here is what you need to know:

Complete Application

To be considered for funding you must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a completed Application form, with supporting documents (if applicable) as follow:

Note 1:

Email submissions

We encourage you to submit your application package electronically to the following email address:

Application Deadline

All completed Application forms and supporting documents (if required) are due no later than March 11, 2024.

Application Form

If you have not already received an Application Form, please email the Indigenous Sport Unit at We will send you the Application form, which is in a fillable PDF format.

In the next sections of these Guidelines, we describe the SSDIC Stream Two Eligibility and Assessment Criteria.


We (ISU) are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project, and project-related expenses.

Stream Two is highly competitive. Requests for funding typically exceed our available resources. If your organization is eligible, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

Who Can Apply

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

Failure to comply with any conditions of a previously provided funding agreement will be considered in the evaluation of the applicant’s new application and could result in a rejection of the new application.

For the purposes of this funding program an Indigenous organization is:

NOTE: As eligible recipients under Stream One, Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies and the Aboriginal Sport Circle are ineligible under Stream Two.

Eligible Projects

To be eligible for SSDIC Stream Two funding, your project must:

Eligible Expenses

See Appendix B

Ineligible Expenses

See Appendix B

Note: The expenses for which this funding is intended must be incurred between the period of April 1, 2024, and March 31, 2026. Expenses incurred prior to April 1, 2024, are not eligible for Stream Two funding. It is possible that approvals of recommended projects may occur after April 1 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.

How Applications Are Evaluated

Immediately following the application deadline, all applications will be reviewed for eligibility and then scored according to the Assessment Criteria listed below. After the assessment process, an external Review Committee made up of diverse Indigenous representatives will make funding decisions by consensus.

Assessment criteria have a weighting that reflects their relative level of importance in the assessment process. For detailed information about these assessment criteria and the 4-point scoring matrix, please refer to the Assessment Guide. The Assessment Guide outlines the assessment criteria for project proposals and provides contextual information to guide you as you develop your application.

Evaluation Criteria

The Application Form that you must complete and submit by the deadline has a series of questions that need to be answered for your project proposal. Here, we summarize the more detailed information contained in the Assessment Guide.

The assessment criteria serves as a foundational assessment of all project proposals. Ultimately, decisions will be made by consensus of the Indigenous-led review committee, who will consider additional context and capacity issues in their funding decisions. The following are some of the additional considerations that go into funding decisions:

Project Need & Impact

Your application should clearly describe the needs of your community and how your project will address these needs:

Project Description & Activities

Your application should provide a clear overview of what you will do with your funding and then specifically list the activities or steps you will take to accomplish your goals.

Project Success & Outcomes

Success can be defined in many ways and communities have diverse ways of measuring the results of their programs. Your application should describe what you hope to achieve with your proposed project and describe how you will determine if you were successful.

Project Budget

The Project Budget is a detailed breakdown of all expenses and revenues related to your proposed project. Your application should ensure that the following categories are completed as needed: General administration; Salaries, fees, and benefits; Operations and programming.

Note: For more information on eligible and ineligible expenses, see Appendix B.

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.

If you have other sources of funding, either in-kind or other cash revenues, they should be reflected in the project budget to demonstrate the true cost of the project. These may include ineligible expenses that are going to be funded by other revenues (not SSDIC Stream Two funding).

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 in-kind expense in your budget (for example, total in-kind expenses equal 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.

How Applications Are Processed

Within two weeks of the date the application is received, all applicants will receive an acknowledgement email from the ISU indicating receipt of applications. Please note that this acknowledgement does not mean that a complete file was submitted. As we review all applications, we may reach out to you if further information or clarification is required.

The review and assessment process for all applications is rigorous and does take time, but we will be sure to contact you as soon as funding decisions are made. The entire process can take a minimum of three months.

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

Applying For More Than 12 Months

You may request funding for a project spanning more than 12 months. You must then show that there is a need for a multi-year commitment and that you have the capacity to deliver the project. This is demonstrated with a realistic project timeline and budget projections as well as sound governance.

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. The maximum amount of funding that can be provided to a single recipient through the SSDIC Stream Two fund is $249,999.

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 the minister and specifies the terms and conditions to receive payment. At the end of the contribution agreement term, you must submit a final report.

Funding Conditions

You may be required to submit interim reports during your project.

Additional conditions will be included in your contribution agreement.

Anti-racism and anti-hate

Canadian Heritage is committed to address systemic racism, promote diversity, and create environments where every individual is valued, respected, and empowered. We strive to challenge discriminatory beliefs and practices, cultivate understanding and empathy, and champion policies and programs that advance equality for all.

Organizations receiving funding, including any representatives whether employees, consultants, or other persons directly affiliated with the organization, must take steps to ensure they respect the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy.

Contact Us

For further information, please contact us:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Sport Support Program - Sport Canada
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
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 2 weeks.

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 ISU will contact you within 2 weeks.

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).

Additional Information

See Appendix C


See Appendix D

Appendix A

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:

SSDIC Program Review

The Indigenous Sport Unit, through a contract with an experienced research firm and Indigenous researchers, engaged and consulted with Indigenous stakeholders, including Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ representative organizations, on how to improve the design and delivery of the three funding streams, to ensure SSDIC serves their self-identified social development outcomes and goals.

Overall objectives were to:

The three aspects of the SSDIC program review of focus were:

The recommendations from the consultation are implemented in the SSDIC program design and delivery for the 2024-2026 intake.

Appendix B

Eligible Expenses

The table below presents information on the categories of costs as well as corresponding examples of activities that are eligible for funding through the SSDIC program.

Requests for exceptions must be presented and approved in advance by the SSP.
Eligible Expenses Category Examples of Eligible Expenses
  1. General Administration Costs
    • These are costs related to the management of an organization.
    • Up to 10% of the total SSDIC funding may be allocated toward general administration costs.
  • Executing office operations
  • Hosting office meetings
  • Office supplies
  • Printing
  • Translating
  1. Salaries, Fees and Related Benefits
    • SSDIC contribution to these costs is limited to $90,000 per eligible full-time position on an appropriate pay-scale for the level and responsibility.
    • The contribution limit for part-time positions is prorated against this amount.
    • Priority should be given to hiring Indigenous employees.
  • Employing or contracting part-and full-time management and administrative staff
  1. Operation Costs
    • Logistical and set-up costs associated with the planning, delivery and evaluation of your project.
    • All uniforms and equipment for the project delivery and office equipment funded through this stream must remain the property of the funded or beneficiary organization.
  • Renting of facility to delivery the project
  • Travel costs
  • Disability-related accommodations expenses
  • Hosting of training sessions or workshops
  • Hosting of events/competitions for social development objectives
  • Renting or purchasing sports equipment
  • Promotion of the project (via online or in-print)
  • Professional development

Ineligible Expenses

The table below lists categories of costs and their corresponding examples of activities that would NOT be eligible for funding under the SSDIC program.
Ineligible Expenses Category Examples of Ineligible Expenses
  1. Sport Development
    • Activities related to athlete development or high-performance sport.
  • Hosting of competitions for athlete development/performance objectives
  • Delivery of Games missions, team travel and preparation
  • Multi-sport events (for example, North American Indigenous Games, Arctic Winter Games, etc.)
  1. Individual grants or scholarships
  1. Capital costs
    • Costs related to the construction, maintenance, and/or purchase or acquisition of a tangible asset for long-term use.
    • Capital costs are related to the development of physical infrastructure.
  • Purchase of a building or land
  • Maintenance costs for land or property owned by the organization
  • Construction and renovation costs
  • Costs of acquiring, constructing, renovating, or improving a tangible capital asset or an exterior space, including site development, demolition, excavation, materials, fixtures, permanent sport equipment, furniture, and labour
  • Advisor fees, project delivery; management fees and expenses.
  1. Cost of sales
  • All the costs that go into providing a service or product to a customer
  • Cost of packaging for commercial products
  • Wages for employees involved in the direct manufacture/delivery of goods and services.
  1. Fundraising
    • Costs related to the launch or delivery of fundraising activities
  1. Medals, trophies, awards, incentives, and banquets
    • Purchase of medals, trophies, awards, incentives, and banquets for participants
  1. Personal items
    • Purchase of goods or services for personal benefit that will not remain the property of the organization

In-Kind Contributions

SSDIC partner organizations may leverage in-kind resources to deliver the activities of a project.

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 in-kind expense in your budget (for example, total in-kind expenses equal total in-kind revenues).

Donated goods and services may be considered in-kind contributions if they:

Appendix C

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 Canadian Heritage 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

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.

Appendix D


Audited Financial Report
The Audited Financial Report shall clearly include all of the revenues realized and expenditures incurred by the Recipient for the given period with regard to the Project funded. Accounts shall be audited by professional accountants who are independent of the organization and are active members in good standing with a professional accounting association, as per provincial legislation.
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.
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:

  • 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.
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 over-representation 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 women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people, people with a disability, Indigenous peoples, and visible minorities continue to be underrepresented 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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