Funding for engaging Indigenous Peoples in addressing Great Lakes issues

For funding under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, applications are now being accepted until March 3, 2020, with the exception of the engaging Indigenous Peoples priority. Applications for projects that support the engaging Indigenous Peoples priority will be accepted until March 17, 2020. Please contact us by email at ec.grandslacs-greatlakes.ec@canada.ca for more information.

Canada is funding partner-led projects that support actions to restore and protect Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health.

The Great Lakes Protection Initiative

The goal of the Great Lakes Protection Initiative (GLPI) is to target the most significant environmental challenges affecting Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health by delivering on Canada’s commitments under the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). The Initiative focuses on eight priority areas for action:

  • working with others to protect the Great Lakes
  • restoring Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs)
  • preventing toxic and nuisance algae
  • assessing and enhancing the resilience of Great Lakes coastal wetlands
  • evaluating and Identifying at risk nearshore waters
  • reducing releases of harmful chemicals
  • engaging Indigenous Peoples in addressing Great Lakes issues
  • increasing public engagement through citizen science

To assist in achieving this goal, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is making funding available to support action by others to:

  • restore AOCs: Supporting action at the local level to restore water quality and aquatic ecosystem health by implementing projects identified in AOC Remedial Action Plans
  • prevent toxic and nuisance algae: Increasing participation in the application of phosphorus load reduction measures by demonstrating innovative approaches and best practices and promoting broad uptake and application.
  • reduce releases of harmful chemicals: Increasing participation in the application of beyond-compliance measures to reduce releases of chemicals of mutual concern by developing, implementing, assessing and promoting use of innovative approaches
  • engage Indigenous Peoples in addressing Great Lakes issues: Enhancing Indigenous capacity to address Great Lakes issues through projects that engage Indigenous peoples at the community level
  • increase public engagement through citizen science: Enhancing Canadians’ knowledge of and engagement in addressing Great Lakes issues through participation in citizen science

Context: engaging Indigenous Peoples in addressing Great Lakes issues

Indigenous Peoples contribute to the protection of Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health through the wise use and management of land and water.

Objective

An objective of the GLPI is to increase Indigenous participation in decision making processes and actions to restore and protect Great Lakes water quality. To assist in achieving this objective, ECCC is providing funding to enhance Indigenous capacity to address Great Lakes issues by implementing projects that engage Indigenous peoples at the community level.

Eligible recipients

Eligible recipients for are Indigenous governments, communities, organizations, individuals, boards, commissions, associations and authorities, including;

  • Indigenous not-for-profit organizations
  • District councils, Chiefs Councils and Tribal Councils
  • Indigenous research, academic and educational institutions
  • Indigenous for-profit organizations

Proposals submitted by consultants, universities or other entities on behalf of their own organization and/or those that will not be led by an Indigenous government, community, organization, individual, board, commission, association or authority will not be eligible for funding.

A proposal involving a partnership with consultants, universities, etc. is eligible for support as long as it is led by an Indigenous government, community, organization, individual, board, commission, association or authority and is consistent with eligibility requirements.

Provincial government agencies are not eligible for funding.

Types of projects eligible for funding

Proposals must clearly demonstrate that the objective of the project is to build capacity at the local level to assist Indigenous Peoples in contributing to maintaining and restoring the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes.

Project proposals focused on one or more of the following project types will be eligible for funding:

  • action: This may include restoration, conservation and protection projects related to specific issues (such as nutrient reduction, habitat restoration, climate change, etc.)
  • science: This may include generating scientific knowledge and collecting and analyzing data related to the Canada–U.S. GLWQA; conducting studies that monitor concrete actions taken under GLWQA annex areas (such as habitat and species, climate change, nutrients, etc); producing scientific research and monitoring, assessments and reports related to ecosystem status; and, conducting research on the development of new technologies related to issues in the Great Lakes basin
  • networks: This may include creating networks of Indigenous experts to work together and share knowledge and experiences
  • awareness: This may include community/public awarness, training, outreach, the organization of meetings or symposia or encouraging behavioral change with respect to topics relevant to Great Lakes waters to bring greater awareness to Indigenous communities and the general public.
  • or all/any combination of the above

Funding details

  • funding is available between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022
  • the maximum amount available for any one project is $100,000
  • projects may be multiyear in nature (up to two years)

Eligible costs

Only costs which can be directly attributed to carrying out the project will be eligible for funding, including:

  • human resource costs, including salaries and benefits
  • management and professional service costs, such as accounting, monitoring, communications, official languages translation, audit and legal charges;
  • travel
  • material and supplies costs
  • printing, production and distribution costs
  • equipment and Capital Assets purchase or rental
  • vehicle rental and operation costs
  • contractors required to perform activities related to the project
  • cost associated with land acquisition or other means of land securement (i.e. leases, easements, covenants or servitudes)
  • a reasonable share of overhead and/or administrative costs
  • any GST/HST that is not reimbursable by Canada Revenue Agency and any PST not reimbursable by the provinces
  • other incremental expenditures directly related to the project (as pre-approved by ECCC)

Costs, other than those herein allowed, are ineligible unless specifically approved in writing by the Minister of the Environment or his/her representatives at the time of project approval. For all costs, only those deemed to be a reasonable share for completing the project shall be considered eligible.

Selection method

Project proposals will be reviewed and approval in principle decisions made by ECCC.   

Project proposals will undergo a two-stage review process:

  • administrative review by ECCC to ensure applications are complete and meet program eligibility requirements
  • project evaluation by ECCC against evaluation criteria. ECCC may seek advice on proposal submissions from external advisors with knowledge and expertise relevant to the proposal

Administrative review

To be considered eligible for funding, project proposals must meet the following requirements:

  • project proposal is submitted by an Indigenous government, community, organization, individual, board, commission, association or authority and the project as proposed will be led by an Indigenous government, community, organization, individual, board, commission, association or authority
  • details governing the ownership, control, access and possession of the data and research associated with any Traditional Knowledge referenced or utilized for the purposes of the proposed project have been determined by the project applicant and are outlined in the proposal. These details include an explanation of how the sharing of traditional knowledge with the Crown and other interested parties may be achieved under the ownership, control, access and possession regime determined by the applicant, and in keeping with the expectation that provisions will be made to share key project details and results with ECCC and, potentially, other concerned parties in the Great Lakes basin
  • project proposal clearly demonstrates that its objective is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes through capacity building (such as science, conservation/protection actions, networking and awareness work)

Project evaluation

Eligible project proposals will be assessed on the extent to which proposals meet the following evaluation criteria:

Project management experience:

  • a strong proposal demonstrates that the applicant has experience managing at least four projects, or has access to project management support that has experience managing at least four projects and can assist with the implementation of the project

Community focus:

  • a strong proposal incorporates four or more of the following elements into the project: awareness and respect for Traditional Knowledge; Indigenous youth and elders; Indigenous languages; employment, learning and/or development opportunities for Indigenous communities; end products usable by a range of different parties; and, additional support for the project (such as funding from other partners, letters of support, in-kind contributions from local communities and/or other organizations)

Project outcomes in relation to GLPI and Canada-U.S. GLWQA:

  • a strong proposal describes outputs and/or outcomes that will result in a direct benefit to one or more of the priorities and/or issues identified by the GLPI and the GLWQA

Contribution to enhancing the quality of the Great Lakes:

  • a strong proposal clearly demonstrates a contribution that will restore and maintain the waters of the Great Lakes and improve the state of this ecosystem consistent with the priorities of the GLWQA

Scientific outcomes:

  • a strong proposal demonstrates that the project will enable the creation of new science, or will enhance existing science and/or Traditional Knowledge regarding the waters of the Great Lakes

Project outcomes in relation to community capacity:

  • a strong proposal clearly demonstrates that the proposed project will enhance the capacity of the community to engage on Great Lakes issues

Project outcomes in relation to long term benefits:

  • a strong proposal details the long-term community benefits that are anticipated as project outcomes

Budget:

  • a strong proposal provides a budget with details of all project contributions and expenses clearly showing that these expenses are justified and reasonable based on quotes that are submitted. Note that while not required, applications demonstrating other sources of financial and/or in-kind support will be scored favourably when evaluated on value for money

Project work plan:

  • a strong proposal reflects a considerable work planning effort and presents a work plan that clearly identifies when and how the project activities will be undertaken to ensure the project is completed effectively and on time. A strong proposal presents a work plan that is realistic and achievable

Evaluation plan and performance measures:

  • a strong proposal reflects a considerable effort to design an evaluation plan and performance measures based on the proposed project's objectives and goals, and includes a clear and appropriate methodology that is able to effectively and completely assess the proposed project's achievements

For more information on the evaluation criteria or to request a copy of the “Engaging Indigenous Peoples in addressing Great Lakes issues - evaluation tool”, please contact Andrew Preston at andrew.preston@canada.ca or (416) 739-4505.

Description of the online application process and application sections

Environment and Climate Change Canada requires that applications to the GLPI be submitted online via the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS). The GCEMS is accessed through the department’s Single Window system. For additional information on accessing the GCEMS through ECCC’s Single Window system, please see Appendix A.

The project application for the GLPI: Engaging Indigenous Peoples in Addressing Great Lakes Issues funding stream involves completing 9 sections:

  • Section 1: Tombstone Data
  • Section 2: Project Summary
  • Section 3: GLPI – Indigenous Engagement (program-specific section)  
  • Section 4: Project Budget
  • Section 5: Project Work Plan
  • Section 6: Evaluation Plan and Performance Measures
  • Section 7: Other Supporting Information
  • Section 8: Official Languages
  • Section 9: Certification

In Section 1: Tombstone Data, provide basic information about your group as well as contact information for the individual leading the application.

In Section 2: Project Summary, provide basic information about the proposed project, including the name and location of the project, the project start and end date, the project goals/objectives, a brief general description of the proposed project, the experience of project team members and the financial and management capacity of the organization submitting the project proposal. If your project is approved for funding, the summary description you provide in your application may be made available to the public.

In Section 3: GLPI – Indigenous Engagement (program-specific section), provide information about various aspects of the proposed project, including confirmation that it meets the three program eligibility requirements and details on how it meets the project evaluation criteria. This information will be assessed through the two-stage review process for project proposals – including the administrative review and the project evaluation.

In Section 4: Project Budget, provide the total amount of ECCC funding that is being requested for the proposed project, outline the project’s budget and give an estimation of its forecasted expenses organized according to a set of pre-defined cost categories (such as salaries and wages; management and professional services; travel; and, material and supplies costs). The estimated cost of all project expenditures should reflect fair market values at the standard rate for that product or service in your area.

In this section you are also required to provide details regarding the project's fiscal year breakdown. Determine the number of years of funding from ECCC that your project requires (up to a maximum of 2 years) and indicate how the total amount of funding requested (up to $100,000) will be allocated on an annual basis (for example: $50,000 over 2 years with $30,000 in year 1 and $20,000 in year 2; or, $90,000 over 1 year).

Finally, in this section you are required to indicate other funding sources for the project if applicable. Provide letters of financial/in-kind support for the project in the Other Supporting Information section if possible.

In Section 5: Project Work Plan, provide details on the activities that will be undertaken for the duration of the project.

In Section 6: Evaluation Plan and Performance Measures, provide details on how the expected results and successes of the project will be measured.

In Section 7: Other Supporting Information, provide further information relevant to the project that was not captured elsewhere in the application if needed. Please ensure any letters of financial/in-kind support are provided here.

In Section 8: Official Languages, provide information related to the need to accommodate official language minority communities with respect to the proposed project’s activities.

In Section 9: Certification, certify that information provided in the Application Form is accurate and that you, as the applicant, have authorization to sign on behalf of the group.

Other instructions

Applicants are encouraged to provide the details necessary to give a full response to each section of the application but should be as concise as possible. Application material should be presented in a clear, logical and well organized manner.

Please ensure that all sections of the application are complete prior to submission. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Applicants may include additional information or documents with their application (such as examples of possible end products, photographs, maps, etc.). If additional material is submitted, it must be clearly referenced in the relevant section of the application. All such material must be submitted in accordance with the instructions found online in the Other Supporting Information section.

Applicants are encouraged to identify any additional partner funding and/or in-kind project support that has been obtained and/or that is being sought. Please note that while this is not a requirement, applications demonstrating other sources of financial and/or in-kind support will be scored favourably when evaluated on value for money.

In designing a project proposal, applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the Canada-United States GLWQA to ensure that the project addresses capacity building through science, conservation/protection actions, networking and awareness work in relation to environmental issues identified by and relevant to the GLWQA.

Note: if you are unable to complete and submit your application via the online application portal and wish to discuss options, please contact ec.grandslacs-greatlakes.ec@canada.ca.

Deadline and submission instructions

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 17, 2020. Late submissions will not be considered.

Once departmental approvals in principle have been confirmed, all applicants (both successful and unsuccessful) will be notified in writing. If your project is approved in principle, you will be contacted to negotiate a Contribution Agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of funding. Please note that the letter of notification informing that your project has been approved in principle will also be shared with relevant federal MPs. We will work towards completing this process within 40 working days. Please note that meeting this standard for the development of a Contribution Agreement is a shared responsibility and largely depends on you submitting all required documentation to ECCC officials in a diligent and timely fashion.  

If a Contribution Agreement is signed, expenditures made by your organization towards the project after the date of official notification and before the Contribution Agreement is signed may be considered for reimbursement.

Project implementation can begin after notification of project approval, pending the execution of project agreements or contracts where applicable.

For clarification on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact ec.grandslacs-greatlakes.ec@canada.ca.

Appendix A – the online application process

Environment and Climate Change Canada requires that applications to the GLPI: Engaging Indigenous Peoples in Addressing Great Lakes Issues funding stream be submitted online via the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS). The GCEMS is accessed through the department’s Single Window system.

To sign in to the department’s Single Window system select your language preference on the welcome page and when prompted to choose a sign-in method, select the GCKey sign-in option. If you already have a GCKey username and password enter them in the appropriate spaces.

If you do not have a GCKey username and password proceed through the sign-up process to obtain your username and password.

New users to the Single Window system will then be prompted to enter their email address and guided through a process to create a user profile.

In order to gain access to the link that will allow you to navigate to the GCEMS, you must add an organization to your profile. On the menu select “Organizations” and follow the instructions on the web page that opens. Note that when entering the organization’s business number you may use one of the following; business number; GST number; charitable number/non-profit organization registration number; or First Nations Band number. Once you have added your organization, select “Home” on the menu to navigate to the webpage that contains the link to the GCEMS.

Once you have accessed the GCEMS site, click on the link “View funding opportunities” on the left hand side of the GCEMS “My applications” webpage. On the “View funding opportunities” webpage, locate the GLPI: Engaging Indigenous Peoples in Addressing Great Lakes Issues in the “List of opportunities” table and view the funding opportunity information by clicking on the associated link in the “Action(s)” column. On the “View funding opportunity information” webpage, click on “Apply” to open the online application process for the GLPI: Engaging Indigenous Peoples in Addressing Great Lakes Issues funding stream.

Information on how to access and use ECCC’s Single Window system.

For technical assistance with ECCC’s Single Window system, please contact ec.gigu-swim.ec@canada.ca.

Information on how to access the GCEMS.

For technical assistance with the GCEMS, please contact ec.sgesc-gcems-sgesc-gcems.ec@canada.ca.

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