Indigenous Leadership Fund

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Environment and Climate Change Canada is working with Métis governments and Inuit organizations to deliver dedicated funding through the Indigenous Leadership Fund.

The First Nations funding stream of the Indigenous Leadership Fund will be open from October 30, 2023 to March 31, 2027. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

New! A designated funding stream for eligible applicants who are not already included in the funding streams for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis will be open from January 31, 2024, to March 31, 2027. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

About the program

The Indigenous Leadership Fund is a new program under the Low Carbon Economy Fund. It provides up to $180 million by 2029 to support climate action by Indigenous peoples. The program will fund Indigenous-owned and led renewable energy, energy efficiency, and low-carbon heating projects. These projects will help meet Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target and net-zero emissions by 2050. This is a key part of the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan.

Recognizing the unique rights, interests, and circumstances of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis governments, communities, and organizations, the Indigenous Leadership Fund will use a distinctions-based approach to deliver funding to support projects that:

As announced in Budget 2022, up to $32.2 million will go to the Atlin Hydro Expansion project, which will provide clean electricity to the Yukon and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Funding streams

Environment and Climate Change Canada will deliver the program using a distinctions-based approach and will be working and communicating directly with Indigenous governments, communities, and organizations to deliver funding to support projects. The three distinctions-based funding streams are:

A designated funding stream for eligible applicants not already included in the funding streams for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis is also available.

First Nations

The call for proposals for the First Nations funding stream will be open from October 30, 2023 to March 31, 2027. There is no deadline to apply. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until available funding is allocated.

The First Nations funding stream will spend up to $73.9 million. It was developed in collaboration with First Nation representatives and Indigenous clean energy experts. The stream is open to First Nations governments, communities, and organizations, including First Nations tribal or band councils, Modern Treaty and Self-Governing First Nations, First Nations-owned businesses and corporations, First Nations not-for-profit organizations, etc.

The call for proposals can fund a variety of project types and sizes, with a maximum ECCC contribution of $6 million per project. The Indigenous Leadership Fund will support First Nation-owned and First Nation-led renewable energy, energy efficiency, or low-carbon heating projects that provide benefits to First Nations. Eligible projects must be past the concept stage and ready for deployment or construction, meaning that project planning and pre-feasibility activities have been completed, other funding has been secured or is close to being secured, and partnership agreements, impact or environmental assessments, and permitting requirements have been finalized or are near finalization.

Proposals that include non-First Nation partners must provide transparent and comprehensive information on the ownership and governance structure of the project, including details on decision-making processes.

First Nations governments, communities, and organizations interested in this funding stream can contact us by email at LeadershipAutochtoneFEFEC-IndigenousLeadershipLCEF@ec.gc.ca so that we can share the Eligibility Criteria and Expression of Interest form. This form is used to determine if the project would be eligible in principle for the First Nations funding stream. If the project is eligible in principle, you will be sent an application package to begin the formal application process.

Inuit

This funding stream was developed in collaboration with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and four Inuit land claim organizations. It is delivered through a directed and continuous intake process over six years, starting in 2023. Each Inuit land claim organization is developing a portfolio of projects to access the funding they have been allocated.

Funding under the Inuit stream is available for the following Inuit land claim organizations:

Métis

This funding stream was developed in collaboration with the Métis National Council and five Métis governments. It is delivered through a directed and continuous intake process over six years, starting in 2023. Each Métis government is developing a portfolio of projects to access the funding they have been allocated. Funding allocations have been determined using the Métis National Council’s funding formula.

Funding under the Métis stream is available for the following Métis governments:

Designated stream

Eligible applicants for the Designated funding stream are Indigenous governments, communities, and organizations not already included in the funding streams for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. This can include Indigenous-owned businesses and corporations, Indigenous not-for-profit organizations, Métis Settlements, and Indigenous research, academic or educational institutions.

This call for proposals will be open from January 31, 2024, to March 31, 2027. There is no deadline to apply. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until available funding is allocated.

The Designated funding stream will spend up to $7.39 million to support Indigenous-owned and Indigenous-led renewable energy, energy efficiency, or low-carbon heating projects that provide broad benefits to Indigenous peoples. Eligible projects must be past the concept stage and ready for deployment or construction, meaning that project planning and pre-feasibility activities have been completed, other funding has been secured or is close to being secured, and partnership agreements, impact or environmental assessments, and permitting requirements have been finalized or are near finalization.

Proposals that include non-Indigenous partners must provide transparent and comprehensive information on the ownership and governance structure of the project, including details on decision-making processes.

Eligible applicants interested in this funding stream can contact us by email at LeadershipAutochtoneFEFEC-IndigenousLeadershipLCEF@ec.gc.ca so that we can share the Eligibility Criteria and Expression of Interest form. This form is used to determine if the project would be eligible in principle for funding. If the project is eligible in principle, you will be sent an application package to begin the formal application process.

Eligible projects

The Indigenous Leadership Fund supports Indigenous-owned and Indigenous-led projects that meet the following criteria:

  1. Incorporate or make use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, or low-carbon heating technologies and practices
  2. Offer broader environmental, social, and economic benefits
  3. Use proven technologies and practices (proven technologies usually correspond with a level 8 or above on the Technology Readiness Level Scale)

Applicants are also encouraged to submit projects that:

Contact us

If you have questions on the Indigenous Leadership Fund or would like to learn more about the program, please contact us by email at LeadershipAutochtoneFEFEC-IndigenousLeadershipLCEF@ec.gc.ca.

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