Government of Canada partners with Indigenous communities in ocean protection and marine safety initiatives

News release

July 24, 2019          Vancouver, British Columbia           Transport Canada

Indigenous coastal communities share ties to Canada’s oceans that span generations. They value them as a source of livelihood, food security, and transportation. The Oceans Protection Plan is providing Indigenous peoples with new opportunities to protect, preserve, and restore Canada’s oceans and sea routes.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced $5.8 million in Indigenous and Local Communities Engagement and Partnership Program funding for 21 projects with Indigenous groups. This funding will allow for longer-term Indigenous participation in engagement activities linked to Oceans Protection Plan initiatives or Canada’s marine safety system.

This funding will support:

  • Building local capacity and expertise to help Indigenous communities take a greater role in the design and implementation of aspects of the transportation system and environmental protection measures.
  • Fostering federal-Indigenous and multilateral partnerships that will lead to greater participation in engagement of marine safety and environmental protection activities.

The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national plan is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.


“This program, demonstrates our government’s commitment to reconciliation and a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous communities. The Oceans Protection Plan funding I’m announcing today fosters an ability for Indigenous communities to build capacity and more fully participate in the marine safety system and the marine sector.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • Since the Oceans Protection Plan started in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been announced in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection that span coast-to-coast-to-coast.

  • The Indigenous and Local Communities Engagement and Partnership Program will be funding 21 Indigenous groups in the following provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador (1); Nova Scotia (2); Quebec (5); Ontario (1); British Columbia (7); Nunavut (2); Northwest Territories (2); and National (1).

  • All applications for Indigenous Local Communities Engagement and Partnership Program funding were required to meet pre-determined eligibility assessment criteria. Once confirmed, each application was evaluated by a Selection Review Committee against merit criteria which included project relevance, application quality, value for money and experience of the applicant.

  • Applicants who did not receive Indigenous and Local Communities and Engagement Partnership Program funding are encouraged to apply to the Community Participation Funding Program, which supports short-term participation in event-specific engagement activities like meetings and workshops.

  • In September 2017, Transport Canada launched the Community Participation Funding Program. This program helps eligible Indigenous peoples and local communities to take part in short-term/event-based activities such as engagement sessions, meetings and discussion forums on the development and improvement of Canada’s marine transportation system.

Associated links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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