The Ontario government has launched the annual funding applications for the Indigenous Economic Development Fund (IEDF) and the Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program (ICCGP). This funding provides $3.2 million through the IEDF and $6 million through the ICCGP to promote economic development in Indigenous communities and increase employment opportunities for Indigenous people.
Applications are open until early March 2023 and can be submitted through Transfer Payment Ontario. Interested applicants must register with Transfer Payment Ontario to submit, track, and manage requests for funding opportunities.
“Funding economic development in Indigenous communities creates more opportunities for businesses and jobs.” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Through the annual funding these programs provide, Indigenous communities and organizations develop infrastructure and growth plans and people build businesses and create employment opportunities.”
The IEDF provides grants and financing through two streams of funding to projects that diversify Indigenous economies, provide access to training opportunities, and support economic development initiatives through collaboration between Indigenous communities and the private sector.
The ICCGP funds community capital projects in all phases including feasibility studies, design, construction, and renovation of buildings such as community centres in First Nations and Métis communities and Indigenous organizations on- and off-reserve.
Previously funded projects include a business venture supporting Indigenous artisans, a cultural experiences project to increase tourism employment, and the development of a community service centre.
Ontario’s 2022 Budget allocated an additional $25 million over three years to support Indigenous economic growth:
- $10 million for Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs to increase access to low-interest loans and grants.
- $2.5 million to support digitization and e-commerce for Indigenous businesses.
- $7.7 million for Indigenous training and capacity building for economic development officers in communities.
- $800,000 to better understand issues within Ontario’s Indigenous supply chain and grow Indigenous businesses.
- $4 million to support skills training and Indigenous apprentices.
Supporting Indigenous economic development is an example of Ontario’s commitment to reconciliation and creating opportunities to strengthen relationships with Indigenous partners.