Government of Canada provides over $9.6 million in support for Indigenous-led community infrastructure and tourism projects that will contribute to economic growth in southern Ontario 

News release

FedDev Ontario supports 23 projects for Indigenous-led businesses and organizations to enhance public spaces and attract visitors 

November 18, 2022 – Ohsweken, Ontario

The spirit, history, culture and traditions of Indigenous communities strengthen Canadian values and identities and are important for our society and economy. As we walk the path of reconciliation together, the federal government remains committed to working in partnership with Indigenous businesses and communities to create economic opportunities including supporting the Indigenous tourism sector and community infrastructure.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a total investment of over $9.6 million for 23 Indigenous-led projects that will support community infrastructure enhancements, tourism recovery and economic development. These investments will help Indigenous-led organizations grow and diversify. The unique experiences and improved public spaces will attract visitors leading to new jobs and economic growth.

The announcement was hosted by Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, which received a non-repayable investment totaling more than $500,000 for four projects to make important community infrastructure upgrades to Chiefswood Park and to promote local tourism and knowledge sharing. This includes developing and marketing virtual reality experiences at Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks and Chiefswood National Historic Site, through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF). In addition, with support through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation will make improvements to Chiefswood Park, including renovating washroom and laundry facilities and building a new pavilion and meeting space; installing a new splash pad; and constructing eight glamping units with roof-top solar panels.

The Government of Canada recognizes the important role Indigenous organizations and communities play in our economy and society. An additional 19 Indigenous-led community infrastructure and tourism projects are receiving support to recover from the pandemic, safely welcome back visitors and strengthen communities. For more information about the projects, please see the backgrounder


“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in Indigenous businesses, organizations and communities to achieve their goals, increase their participation in the economy and create prosperity. With investments through the Tourism Relief Fund and Canada Community Revitalization Fund, FedDev Ontario is providing Indigenous tourism owners with support to attract visitors, enhance public spaces, share knowledge and create jobs and economic growth in their communities.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Indigenous businesses and their communities offer authentic experiences, community spaces and ancestral cultural teachings that are important to our society and our economy. Through the Tourism Relief Fund and Canada Community Revitalization Fund, we are enhancing community infrastructure, public spaces and tourism attractions to drive growth and welcome visitors from Canada and around the world. Together with Indigenous partners, we are building an economy that works for everyone.”
– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“It is important that we continue to invest in Indigenous communities and tourism projects to ensure the strong economic growth and success of Indigenous tourism, as well as reinforcing the importance of gathering places to bring people together to share experiences, culture and history.”
– Vance Badawey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre

“I am pleased to announce that the projects funded through this investment, have been well-received by our guests and community members. The splashpad and virtual reality experiences are complete and seeing increased engagement. We are very happy with how the pavilion is coming along and look forward to the added value this facility will bring to Chiefswood Park. The pavilion will be utilized as a seating area and business centre, as well as a space where we can offer cultural programming and activities year-round.”
– Matt Jamieson, President/CEO Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation.

Quick facts

  • Ontario has the largest Indigenous tourism industry in Canada, contributing $622 million of gross domestic product, supporting nearly 13,000 jobs and over 550 Indigenous tourism businesses.

  • The Six Nations of the Grand River unifies all Haudenosaunee peoples under the Great Tree of Peace and is currently the only First Nation community that includes all six Haudenosaunee nations. Located along the banks of the Grand River, the Six Nations of the Grand River is the most populous First Nation in Canada.

  • With a national investment of $500 million over two years, the Canada Community Revitalization Fund supports projects that build new community infrastructure and revitalize existing assets, bring people back to public spaces safely and stimulate local economies. This includes $139 million for projects in southern Ontario, delivered by FedDev Ontario.

  • The Government of Canada’s $500-million Tourism Relief Fund is helping tourism-oriented businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth, with a minimum of $50 million of the Fund allocated to supporting Indigenous-led projects or Indigenous-focused projects. FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million of the Tourism Relief Fund across southern Ontario. Applicants with events and festivals that will be completed by March 31, 2023, can now apply for support through the Tourism Relief Fund in southern Ontario. 

  • FedDev Ontario contributed more than $44 million to support more than 180 Indigenous-led and Indigenous-focused projects through the pandemic with relief and recovery programming. This included a $3.5-million investment for Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) to deliver support to Indigenous-led tourism entities across southern Ontario, in addition to direct investments for Indigenous-led tourism organizations and businesses through the Tourism Relief Fund. 

Associated links


Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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