Indigenous Guardians


Indigenous Guardians Funding

Indigenous Guardians funding provides Indigenous Peoples with a greater opportunity to exercise responsibility in stewardship of their traditional lands, waters, and ice.

Funding for Guardians initiatives supports Indigenous rights and responsibilities in protecting and conserving ecosystems, developing and maintaining sustainable economies, and continuing the profound connections between natural landscapes and Indigenous cultures.

Indigenous Guardians launched in 2017, with the Government of Canada’s investment of $25 million over four years to support an Indigenous Guardians Pilot. From 2018-2022, funding for the Pilot supported over 80 Indigenous-led Guardians initiatives across Canada.

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada announced up to $100 million over five years (2021-2026) to extend the work of the Pilot to support new and existing Indigenous Guardians initiatives and to support the development of Indigenous Guardians networks for First Nations, Inuit and Métis through a distinctions-based governance structure.

Indigenous-led Natural Climate Solutions

As part of the Nature-Smart Climate Solutions Fund (NSCSF) $631 million ten-year investment (2021-2031), $36.9 million has been set aside to provide targeted support to Indigenous Peoples as leaders in natural climate solutions.

Funding for Indigenous-led Natural Climate Solutions (ILNCS) supports Indigenous Nations, communities and organizations to build capacity and to undertake on-the-ground activities for ecological restoration, improved land management, and conservation. These activities aim to effectively sequester carbon and maximize co-benefits for biodiversity, climate resiliency, and human well-being.

The Indigenous Guardians Secretariat is delivering funding for Indigenous-led Natural Climate Solutions collaboratively with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners using the existing distinctions-based governance structures in place for Indigenous Guardians.

Please visit the Indigenous-led Natural Climate Solutions webpage for more detailed information, including eligibility and application processes. The Secretariat will post updates related to ILNCS funding to that page as they become available.

Map of funded initiatives

See the Indigenous Guardians map for more information on the funded initiatives.

Governance structures for First Nations, Inuit and Métis

Funding and decision making is being implemented jointly with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis using a distinctions-based approach that respects and recognizes the unique perspectives, rights, responsibilities and needs of Indigenous Peoples.

Eligible organizations

Indigenous communities, Indigenous Nations, governments, and representative organizations are eligible for funding under Indigenous Guardians.

Eligible activities

The kinds of activities eligible for the Indigenous Guardians funding include, but are not limited to:

  • Gathering and application of Indigenous laws, teachings and knowledge;
  • Maintenance and support of Indigenous relationships with lands, waters, animals and plants;
  • Capacity building, outreach, education and training of Indigenous youth, tourists, and community members;
  • Emergency response;
  • Data collection and monitoring related to the use of lands, waters and other earthly gifts on traditional territories, including cultural sites;
  • Species and habitat identification, monitoring and protection;
  • Habitat stewardship for maintenance and improvement of ecosystem services;
  • Conservation, land use and land relationship planning; and
  • Enforcement and compliance support through observation, recording, and reporting.

Application process

Applications for Indigenous Guardians funding are currently closed. Details about future application processes are in development with Indigenous partners using a distinctions-based approach with First Nations, Inuit and Métis. We invite you to consult this webpage regularly for more updates.

For more information

For more information, please contact the Indigenous Guardians Secretariat by email at


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