Indigenous Forestry Initiative

Table of contents

What is the Indigenous Forestry Initiative?

The Indigenous Forestry Initiative is a program that provides funding to support the economic development of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The activities we fund promote greater participation by Indigenous communities in all natural resource sectors, especially the forest sector.

In June 2017, the Government of Canada announced it would expand the IFI program with $10 million in funding over three years. For more information, please visit the softwood lumber backgrounder.

If you are interested in applying for funding for a project, we can help you develop your proposal. To start the process, please get in touch with a Regional Coordinator in your area.

We accept proposals throughout the year, as funds allow.

If you have any questions about the program, or would like to be added to IFI’s email list, please contact us.

What types of projects will be considered for funding?

Proposed projects must be aimed at achieving economic development through one of the following activity areas:

  • Clean technology and participation in the forest bioeconomy (e.g. a project that promotes using biomass for heat and power to reduce reliance on diesel fuel)
  • Environmental stewardship (e.g. a project that focuses, on climate change mitigation and adaptation, land reclamation, or environmental/ecological services)
  • Use and management of forest resources (e.g. a project that gives people in the community training in forest management)

As well, eligible projects must have at least one partner (e.g. federal or provincial government, industry, or research organization) that has agreed to contribute financially or with in-kind goods or services.

What project costs will the program cover?

When preparing your proposal, keep in mind that the program will fund many, but not all, project costs. Those that are funded include:

  • Professional and technical services
  • Training and skills development
  • Facility and transportation rentals
  • Communications materials
  • Planning and design costs
  • Equipment and machinery costs
  • Salaries, wages and benefits
  • Travel and accommodation costs

Tips for success

All eligible projects are assessed on their individual merit. However, those with potential for the greatest effect (e.g. broad reach or long-term benefits) may have a better chance of being approved for funding. When preparing your proposal, consider the following questions and tips to help you develop your project scope:

  • Are you able to have many partners on your project? Although you need only one partner to be eligible, having more than one can help promote your project’s success and provide opportunities for your community or organization that extend beyond the scope of your project.
  • Is the project overly ambitious? If so, would it be better to carry it out over multiple years? Are you missing any elements for successfully implementing the project? Carefully consider your timelines and path from project development to execution.
  • Will your project benefit your community or partner as well as other Indigenous communities? We want to reach as many Indigenous communities as possible through this program.
  • How long do you expect it would take to get your project started? Projects that are ready to start allow us to help you achieve results with less risk.
  • How does your project fit with other planned activities in the region? Is your project part of a broader plan for natural resource development? Consider where you can connect with other projects or initiatives that might be happening around you.

Who can apply for funding?

We are looking for applications from:

  • Indigenous communities and governments such as:
    • band and tribal councils
    • governments of self-governing First Nations
    • local governments of Inuit communities
    • Métis organizations
    • economic development corporations
  • for-profit and not-for-profit corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, associations, co-operatives and institutions that are Indigenous or majority-owned and controlled by Indigenous people or fully endorsed by an Indigenous partner organization or community
  • provincial, territorial, municipal and regional governments working with an Indigenous partner organization
  • academic institutions and research associations working with an Indigenous partner organization

How to apply for funding?

If you are interested in applying for funding under the Indigenous Forestry Initiative program, contact a Regional Coordinator in your area. Regional Coordinators will work with you to determine your eligibility, provide advice, and support you during the application process.

If we need more information from you after you have submitted your application, we may ask you to submit additional details.

How will you know if your application is successful?

If your application is successful, your Regional Coordinator will contact you about the next steps to get your project started. If your application is not successful, he or she will let you know and may give you feedback on how you could improve your project for a future request.

Recipient and program requirements are subject to Natural Resources Canada’s Terms and Conditions for Indigenous Economic Development [98 Kb PDF].

Contact us

To speak with a Regional Coordinator in your area, contact the appropriate forestry centre from the list below.