Policy Dialogue Guidelines – Engagement with Indigenous Rights holders and organizations on Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework


These guidelines are intended for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for the Impact Assessment Act (the IAA) or any of its regulations. In the event of any inconsistency between these guidelines and the IAA or its regulations, the IAA or regulations would prevail.

To ensure that you have the most up-to-date versions of the IAA and its regulations, please consult the Department of Justice website.


This document may be reviewed and updated periodically. To ensure that you have the most up-to-date version, please consult the Funding Programs page of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’s website.


The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) engages with Indigenous Peoples to fulfill statutory requirements, to carry out the Crown’s legal duty to consult with Indigenous Peoples, and to promote strong policy development, good governance, and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Public participation is also an essential part of open, informed and meaningful impact assessment and regional and strategic assessment processes. Strong public participation provides the Government of Canada with an opportunity to share information with respect to the policy and regulatory regime in place to manage major projects, including the rigour with which they are assessed and regulated.

To support these initiatives, the Agency provides funding through the Policy Dialogue Program to support the provision of external advice and participation in the development of policies, methodologies, tools, and practices related to impact assessment, regional assessment, and strategic assessment.

The purpose of this document is to describe the Policy Dialogue Program criteria, application process, roles and responsibilities.


The overall objective of the Program is to support the provision of external advice and participation in the development of policies, methodologies, tools, and practices related to impact assessment, regional assessment, and strategic assessment. By supporting these initiatives, the Program encourages effective engagement of the public and Indigenous peoples in the development of policies, guidance, regulations and legislation that will contribute to higher quality Impact Assessments, an expanded community of practice, and the development of policies, guidance, regulations and legislation that will facilitate the implementation of the Impact Assessment system.

This funding is being provided to enable Indigenous organizations and communities to comment on the draft Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework. This financial assistance aims to strengthen active participation and will enable Indigenous peoples to better participate in providing feedback on the Framework.


Eligible recipients

In order to be eligible for contribution funding under the Policy Dialogue Program, applicants must be able to demonstrate a direct interest, expert advice or Indigenous knowledge relevant to the Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework initiative.

Eligible recipients for this funding initiative is limited to:

All Indigenous organizations, groups and communities are eligible for funding, including:

Ineligible recipients

For-profit companies and organizations or governmental organizations, other than Indigenous governments, are not eligible to receive funding.

Application Process

Funding made available under the Policy Dialogue Guidelines – Engagement with Indigenous Rights holders and organizations supports opportunities described in specific Indigenous engagement plans established for a policy related project or engagement initiative.

This funding approach is specific to the Indigenous Rights holders and organizations that apply. A completed funding application form must be submitted to the Agency by May 28, 2021 in order to be considered for funding. Note the deadline has been extended by three days. The application form is available on the Agency’s website. Any application must include at a minimum:

Eligible activities will be limited to:

For participation in this initiative, the maximum amounts of funding offered will depend on the funding available, proposed activities, the number of Indigenous groups that will participate, and the following group maximums in the table below.

Table 1. Funding maximums
Categories based on number of Indigenous communities Maximum Funding Available
Coordinating 1 community $5,000.00
Coordinating 5 communities $10,000.00
Coordinating 10 communities $15,000.00
Coordinating 20 communities $25,000.00
Coordinating 30 communities $50,000.00
Coordinating 40 communities $75,000.00
Coordinating 50 communities or more $100,000.00

The following are eligible activities that could be undertaken under Engagement with Indigenous Rights holders and organizations and for which funding could be provided:

The application must also address the criteria listed below under Assessment Process. All applications must meet the following requirements:

Feedback must be completed and provided to the Agency by September 15, 2021. Funding agreements under this initiative will expire by December 31, 2021.

A Funding Review Committee will review the proposed funding allocations, as required by the Terms and Conditions for the Policy Dialogue Program. Potential applicants may contact indigenouspolicy-politiquesautochtone@iaac-aeic.gc.ca prior to submitting a proposal.

Assessment Process

The following steps are used to assess applicants for funding:

  1. A Funding Review Committee reviews all applications received to determine whether the proposed activities align with engagement opportunities or engagement initiatives with Indigenous Rights holders and organizations set out by the Agency.
  2. The Funding Review Committee determines if the associated expenses reflect the effort and resources required to support those activities.
  3. Based on the analysis, the Funding Review Committee recommends whether funding should be approved, and if so, recommends an appropriate amount for each applicant to the President or a Vice-President of the Agency, or their delegate who makes the final decision on each funding request.

Assessment Criteria

The following criteria will be considered in assessing applications for funding, as applicable:


Eligible costs

The following expenses are eligible for funding under the Program:

To qualify for reimbursement, all costs must be attributed to these expense categories and must directly contribute to activities described in the approved work plan as outlined in the Schedule to the Master Contribution Agreement.

Ineligible costs

Ineligible expenses include capital expenditures, costs for construction, lost income and renovation of buildings.

The Funding Programs will not fund activities that duplicate services, studies or written materials that other public or private sources are already funding.

The Agency’s Funding Programs have a "stacking limit," that is, a maximum permitted amount of combined funding from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments for participation in any one project, engagement activities or associated Crown consultation activities. Combined funding from governments to a recipient for participation in a project, engagement activities or Crown consultation activities cannot exceed 100% of eligible costs. The Agency uses the information provided by a recipient in the application and in the Detailed Financial Reports to verify that a recipient’s funding request and Detailed Financial Report conforms to this stacking limit. If the stacking limit is exceeded, the Agency will adjust its level of contribution, and if necessary, seek reimbursement so that the stacking limit is not exceeded. A paragraph regarding the stacking limit forms part of the Funding Program’s Master Contribution Agreement with a recipient.

Client Service Standards

The performance target for the following service standards is 95%:

Client Service Standards


Performance metric

Time between the proposal deadline, and reviewing and providing decisions on complete proposals

45 business days

Time between receiving a signed Contribution Agreement from a client, to the Agency signing and returning it to the client

5 business days

Time between receiving a complete payment request and notifying the client that the payment request has been processed

25 business days

Funding Decision

The President or a Vice-President of the Agency, or their delegate, makes the final decision on the funding allocations. Some applicants may not receive funding and others may be approved for less than the amount they requested. The decision is based on the review of the committee’s report and recommendations, as well as any additional considerations identified by the Agency.

The Agency notifies applicants of the funding decision. The successful applicants’ names and approved funding allocation amounts are made public on the proactive disclosure website as part of its transparency efforts.

Master Contribution Agreement and Schedules

When the Agency approves funding, the Agency will contact the applicant to finalize a Master Contribution Agreement and a Schedule. A Master Contribution Agreement is a detailed contract between the Agency and a recipient and which identifies the conditions and obligations for all signatories for any project or engagement initiative by the Agency. The Master Contribution Agreement is designed to be in effect for a period of ten (10) years.

Schedules to the Master Contribution Agreement reflect the work plan and budget breakdown for the specific project approved for funding.

Expenses incurred can only be reimbursed after both the recipient and the Agency sign a Schedule to a Master Contribution.

The Schedule to the Master Contribution Agreement:

Because funding requests are based on estimations, an adjustment of up to 20 percent of funds (within expense categories) may be allowed. The recipient must submit a written request (email is sufficient) with a justification explaining why the recipient needs to modify the original eligible expenditures that were approved as part of the Schedule to the Master Contribution Agreement. The Agency must approve the request, and the total amount claimed must remain within the level of funding originally approved.

The Agency reserves the right to undertake, or have undertaken, a financial audit of the accounts and resources of the recipient to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Master Contribution Agreement and associated Schedule(s).

Direct Deposit

The Government of Canada has switched from cheques to direct deposit, an electronic transfer of funds deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account. For more information on direct deposit, visit your bank or financial institution, or call toll-free at 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). You can also find more information, including a short informative video,on the Government of Canada website.


The Schedule to the Contribution Agreement includes conditions of payment.


The Agency will approve payments based on:

Beyond payments that will be made on the basis of performance, there may be circumstances when advanced payments may be provided to recipients. For this, recipients must demonstrate a cash-flow requirement for funding, and this needs to be provided to the Agency prior to incurring eligible expenditures. Where a payment is based on a claim for eligible costs incurred, each claim is to be accompanied by a brief report of the work completed and details of all eligible costs being claimed. The claims must also be substantiated by documents that are considered satisfactory by the responsible Funding Programs Manager.

The responsible Funding Manager may hold back a portion of any payment under a contribution funding arrangement when deemed appropriate. This is based on the risk of non-performance or overpayment.


The Agency will process the final payment only after the responsible Funding Programs Manager is satisfied that the recipient has met all the requirements of the contribution agreement, and on receipt of acceptance of a final report(s) and financial statement(s).

Contact Information

Visit the Agency’s website for contact information.

Please send applications to, and for questions about Indigenous policy or Indigenous engagement, you can write to:

For inquiries about funding, you can email or write to the Agency’s Funding Programs team at:

For questions about Indigenous policy or Indigenous engagement, you can write to:

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