New federal investments to support Indigenous communities’ participation in mineral development projects in Manitoba

News release

$3.75M Federal support for Indigenous business participation in mineral development in Manitoba

Over $3.75M for the Manitoba Indigenous Critical Minerals Partnerships Initiative to build capacity, develop a skilled workforce, and increase mineral development opportunities for Indigenous businesses

May 16, 2023 – Churchill, Manitoba

Manitoba has the potential to be a leader in the production of critical minerals in Canada. Capitalizing on northern Manitoba’s geological advantages also depends on meaningful engagement, partnership and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, and respect for treaty rights holders.

Today in Churchill, The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced a $3.75 million federal investment through a new Strategic Partnerships Initiative with Indigenous Services Canada, to be delivered by PrairiesCan. The Manitoba Indigenous Critical Minerals Partnerships Initiative (MICMPI) will fund projects in three key areas— workforce development, capacity building, and business development and entrepreneurship related to minerals development.

The Initiative was designed in partnership with, and to support Indigenous Peoples and communities according to their self-determined priorities in this sector, including revenue sharing opportunities, participation in mineral development supply chains, and the creation of quality employment opportunities. In line with the Building a Green Prairie Economy Act, local engagement is crucial for advancing these opportunities, and for stronger collaboration.

The Strategic Partnerships Initiative investment provides a way for federal partners to coordinate efforts and pool resources to help Indigenous communities respond to increasing pressures for mineral development and explore opportunities to benefit directly from mining activity.

Over the span of three years, the initiative will engage and partner with communities, create partnerships, fund projects, and leverage more than $8.25 million in additional funding. This initiative will create new jobs in northern Manitoba with a focus on maximizing local benefits.


“The Government of Canada will continue to work alongside Indigenous communities to realize the full potential in the production of critical minerals in Manitoba. This presents a generational opportunity for Indigenous Peoples to prosper from mineral development activities. Through programs like SPI, we will increase education around mining, maximize local benefits, and focus on creating good jobs in northern Manitoba.”
–The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan

“Supporting Indigenous self-determination means advancing economic reconciliation. Today’s investment does exactly that – by empowering Indigenous communities to fully participate in Canada’s natural resource economy. The Manitoba Indigenous Critical Minerals Partnership Initiative will create new jobs and economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples, while accelerating the critical minerals production we need for the clean economy.”
–The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister for Indigenous Services Canada

“The federal government is delivering on its promise to invest in and support Indigenous communities, including in the critical minerals space. Today’s announcement is another important example of our commitment to support Indigenous self-determination while building off of Canada’s comparative advantages in the fight against climate change.”
–The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister for Natural Resources Canada

“Manitoba has an opportunity to play a leading role in critical mineral production. It is important that the economic benefits resulting from these opportunities be widely accessible. The federal government is creating a pathway to partnerships for communities in northern Manitoba to participate and benefit from the mining development happening in their areas. This initiative complements current strategic investments being made in the mining sector and will have positive long-lasting economic and community impacts.”
–Chuck Davidson, President & CEO, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce

Quick facts

  • The Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI) is a unique federal program administered by Indigenous Services Canada, and shared by a growing network of over 20 federal partners. Its innovative whole-of-government approach helps advance Indigenous inclusion in large, complex economic development opportunities that span a range of industry sectors across Canada. SPI provides a way to fill funding gaps that create barriers to Indigenous involvement in economic opportunities. It also promotes partnerships between federal and non-federal groups to leverage additional funding and support for opportunities that are not otherwise eligible for federal funding.

  • This initiative aligns with PrairiesCan’s support for a more equitable and inclusive economy, and for accelerating economic growth through new sources of value. 

  • Critical minerals are the building blocks for the green and digital economy. They are used in a wide range of essential products, from mobile phones to solar panels to electric vehicle batteries. 

  • The Building a Green Prairie Economy Act requires collaboration between federal departments on cross-cutting Prairie priorities. Its vision is for continued prosperity while ensuring local voices are heard and strengthened collaboration between Prairie Canadians and all orders of government.

Associated links


Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Chris Minaker
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Prairies Economic Development Canada

Zeus Eden
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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