Nation-building at forefront of federal funding initiative

·2 min read

The federal government took another step in the long road to Reconciliation when it announced it had opened the annual call for proposals from eligible Indigenous communities looking to fund projects that will continue to make Indigenous communities safer and more sustainable places to live, the federal minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations announced last week.

The Nation Rebuilding Project is part of a $100 million investment made in 2018 that would seen $20 million annually doled out to projects that helped rebuild Indigenous communities marginalized by the government’s destructive colonial policies.

The funding will support ‘constitution development, community engagement and consultation,’ in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities from coast to coast to coast in a way ‘that responds to their unique needs and priorities.’

That investment was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and is an objective outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

"Supporting Indigenous groups through this innovative program helps each Nation respond to the unique needs and priorities of their communities,” said Canada Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller. “We are committed to working with Indigenous partners on a Nation-to-Nation, Inuit–Crown and government-to-government basis, and to supporting them on their path to self-determination.”

Those eligible to receive funding include: Indigenous Nation entities (as self-defined and representing Nation-based collectives, could be linked by cultural or linguistic background, geographical area or historical treaty lines), Nation member communities or member organizations on behalf of Nation entities, Section 35 rights-bearing First Nations, Inuit and Métis entities, National and regional Indigenous organizations and Self-governing Indigenous governments.

Miller encouraged applicants to apply for funding for what he termed an ‘important’ initiative. The deadline to apply is December 17, 2021, for funding in the 2021-2022 season.

“We encourage all eligible Indigenous groups to apply to this important program,” he said.

Conditions for eligible projects are ‘that they are including more than one Indigenous group of the same nation (cultural or language background or historical treaty lines) facilitating a phased-approach to take on greater sectoral responsibilities to self-determination and self-governance, and that the activities contribute to nation-rebuilding by increasing capacity for action at the larger nation level and by fostering a greater sense of attachment identity.

For more information on the program, please visit www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca.

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase

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