Funding to Support Indigenous Participation in the new Impact Assessment System

News release

July 10, 2019 — Ottawa — Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

The Government of Canada’s new rules for assessing major projects will ensure that good projects get built while protecting our environment and communities, creating economic opportunities for Canadians, and ensuring that Indigenous rights are respected.

Indigenous peoples are key partners in project assessments. That’s why the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, today announced funding through the new Indigenous Capacity Support Program. The funding will help Indigenous peoples, communities and organizations develop skills to better participate in the new impact assessment process.

This funding, provided outside the context of specific project reviews, is intended to support better informed and more meaningful engagement and leadership of Indigenous peoples in consultations on project assessments and regional and strategic initiatives.

Improvements in the proposed new impact assessment system for Indigenous peoples include:

  • Respect for Indigenous rights, including mandatory consideration of impacts on rights and Indigenous culture
  • Indigenous engagement and partnership early and throughout the process
  • Mandatory consideration of Indigenous knowledge
  • Provisions for arrangements with Indigenous groups to exercise powers and duties under the legislation
  • Aiming to secure free, prior and informed consent through processes based on mutual respect and dialogue

Additional information can be found under Indigenous engagement on the new impact assessment system.

For more information on funding, including what activities are eligible and how to apply, please refer to the Public Notice.


“We want to ensure that Indigenous peoples have the opportunity and the capacity to meaningfully participate in project assessment-related activities, that the activities address the issues that they consider most important, and that these issues are appropriately integrated into Government decision-making. By recognizing and respecting Indigenous rights, cultures and interests in project reviews, and working in partnership with Indigenous peoples from the start, we will advance Canada’s commitment to reconciliation, and get better project decisions.”

— The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The government is committed to working in partnership with Indigenous peoples in project reviews, recognizing Indigenous rights and knowledge and advancing Canada’s commitment to reconciliation.

  • The new impact assessment process will mean respect for Indigenous rights, engagement and partnership throughout the process, and mandatory consideration of Indigenous knowledge.

  • The funding available for the Indigenous Capacity Support Program in its first year (2019-2020) totals $1.5 million, increasing to a total of $4.2 million per year for the following four years.

Associated links


Sabrina Kim
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Follow us on Twitter: @CEAA_ACEE #IndigenousCapacitySupportProgram

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