Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to September 2021, ISC BC Region Updates were sent as PDF attachments to First Nations in British Columbia, focusing on funding announcements, program and service changes, as well as relevant initiatives from other federal departments, the provincial government and community partners. In the fall of 2022, we shared a questionnaire with First Nation leadership and administrations requesting feedback on preferred methods of communication. In response, BC Region is launching a new email update, as a way to share timely information with you going forward. We hope you find this new product useful. Thank you and have a safe and wonderful holiday season.
New Funding Opportunities from ISC & the Government of Canada
2023-24 Professional and Institutional Development Program call for proposals
The call for proposals for Indigenous Service Canada’s 2023-24 Professional and Institutional Development Program will be open from December 2022 to February 17, 2023. The program provides supports to First Nations and Inuit communities to develop capacity initiatives within core functions of government. More information on the call for proposals will be sent to First Nations and Tribal Councils in the coming weeks. For questions related to this program, please email: email@example.com.
2023-24 Family Violence Prevention Program call for proposals (Please note: deadline to apply this week)
A reminder that the call for proposals for Indigenous Service Canada’s 2023-24 Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP) is still open with a due date of December 16, 2022. The program provides support to fund culturally-appropriate community-driven violence prevention activities such as public awareness campaigns, conferences, workshops, stress and anger management seminars, and support groups. These activities are to increase awareness of gender-based violence and provide families and communities with:
- tools to address violence such as treatment and intervention
- culturally sensitive services (Elder and traditional teachings)
- awareness and self-development projects
Funding opportunities for sport projects that promote social development in Indigenous communities
The Government of Canada recently announced the launch of a funding opportunity under the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities program. The program supports Indigenous communities in accessing culturally relevant physical activity. Through the program’s first and second streams, $8.9 million is available for projects serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across the country in the 2023-24 fiscal year.
Budget 2022 housing supports
The Government of Canada’s Budget 2022 announced $2.4 billion over five years starting in 2022-23, to support First Nations housing on reserve. Of that $2.4 billion, $157 million was committed nationally over five years to support housing management enhancement and capacity initiatives through subsidy allocations. To date, ISC BC Region has allocated a total of $8.9 million of the housing management enhancement and capacity funding to a total of 173 BC First Nations eligible to receive funding through ISC’s Housing Support Program.
For funding allocations in future years, ISC is currently engaging with First Nations in BC on how best to determine a funding methodology that meets their needs. As part of this engagement, ISC is gathering information from communities that demonstrates the type of support needed and challenges faced by communities that impact successful delivery of their housing programs. This information will support the development of future funding allocation methodologies.
ISC is committed to supporting First Nations with their housing needs and encourages them to reach out to their ISC Regional Housing Officers to discuss housing support options. ISC’s Regional Housing Officers are:
Canada Revenue Agency new benefits and increased credit payments
The Government of Canada has new financial support measures to make life more affordable for Canadians.
- The Canada Dental Benefit will provide financial support for eligible families earning less than $90,000 per year. Parents and guardians with children under 12 years old may be eligible to receive up-front, direct payments totaling up to $1,300 per child (up to $650 per year) if they obtain dental care for which the parent has out of pocket costs and does not have access to a private dental insurance plan.
- The one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit will provide a $500 payment to low-income renters facing housing affordability challenges. This benefit will be available to renters who had an adjusted net income for 2021 of $35,000 or less for families, or $20,000 or less for individuals, and pay at least 30 per cent of their adjusted net income on rent for their own principal residence in Canada.
- The government is also doubling the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GST Credit) for six months for those who receive it. Payments will be issued starting November 4, 2022. For GST Credit recipients who have already received a payment this year, there would be no need to apply for the additional payment. The additional GST Credit amount would be issued to eligible recipients automatically.
2022-23 BC Region Program Guide
The BC Region Program Guide contains important program and budget information intended for the administrators and program managers of First Nations, Indigenous organizations and Indigenous Services Canada staff. For your convenience, it is housed on the AFOA BC website, here.
Recent Changes to ISC Programs & Services
Government of Canada announces up to 50% loan forgiveness to support economic recovery of Indigenous businesses
ISC, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and Métis Capital Corporations are supporting Indigenous small and medium-size enterprises by forgiving up to 50 per cent of the COVID Indigenous Business Initiative loans, which provided much-needed assistance during the pandemic. These measures will benefit approximately 3,800 small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs across the country, and represent $82.5 million in loan forgiveness. Implementation of the Indigenous Business Initiative loan forgiveness began mid-summer, and Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs are encouraged to contact their respective financial institutions and Métis Capital Corporations regarding their loans.
Upcoming important Dates
December 16, 2022
Nominal Roll (Please note: deadline to submit this week)
A reminder that all information regarding extenuating circumstances relating to Nominal Roll submissions must be received by December 16. Please note the Nominal Roll and Annual Register of Post-Secondary Education Students were previously due on August 31, 2022 and October 15, 2022, respectively. If you have not yet submitted these reports, or require support and/or systems access, email the Education Programs team at firstname.lastname@example.org. ISC may reach out to First Nations for whom the noted reports have not been received.
January 31, 2023
Additions to Grades and Programs Applications
If you operate a First Nation school, Additions to Grades and Programs Applications are due by January 31, 2023, for consideration for the 2023-24 school year. For more details, email the Education Programs team at email@example.com.
January 31 to February 2, 2023
BC Links to Learning
BC Links to Learning is back in person! The symposium will be held on January 31 to February 2, 2023 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. Links to Learning is an annual technical training forum for First Nations Economic Development Officers and Lands Management Officers/Land Governance Directors in BC. Links to Learning is a partnership between Cando, the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association, First Nations Land Management Resource Centre and ISC.
Information from our partners
Province of British Columbia offers new funding to diversify rural and remote economies
Local governments, First Nations and other organizations looking to strengthen their communities can apply for new funding to build capacity and diversify rural and remote economies in BC. The Government of BC is investing as much as $33 million in 2022-23 to create the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP), which will support projects that promote economic diversification, resilience, clean-growth opportunities and infrastructure development.
Second chance to apply for provincial connectivity funding opens December 16
The second intake of the provincial connectivity funding program, Connecting Communities BC, will open for applications on December 16, 2022. The program supports expanding high-speed internet services to under-served rural, remote and Indigenous communities in BC.
Indigenous and health care leaders honour the creation of the Cultural Safety and Humility Standard
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) recently honoured the work that went into the creation of BC’s first-ever Cultural Safety and Humility Standard (CSHS), funded by Health Canada, and developed in partnership with the Health Standards Organization. The new Standard is a significant step forward in addressing systemic anti-Indigenous racism in the health care system. It will lead to work in other provinces and nationally to adopt an accreditation standard for achieving Indigenous cultural safety through cultural humility and eliminating Indigenous-specific racism.
For more news and stories from the FNHA: https://www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/news
BC Community Climate Funding Guide
The BC Community Climate Funding Guide is a comprehensive list of funding opportunities for Indigenous communities and local governments to reach their climate action goals.
In-person service for registration and status cards
ISC BC Region’s Registration and Status Card Service Counter at 1138 Melville Street in Vancouver continues to offer appointments for service, which can be made by calling (236) 330-9961. Hours for the Service Counter are Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Walk-ins are also welcome and are served between appointments.
Apply for Jordan’s Principle funding!
Jordan’s Principle is a needs-based initiative that provides funding to First Nations children and youth to access the products, services and supports they need, when they need them, regardless of whether they live on or off reserve.
- A Jordan’s Principle Request Form can be downloaded from the Jordan’s Principle website, or requested from the BC Region team. There are only three pieces of information required to submit a request: consent, eligibility and a letter of recommendation.
- For information, please contact ISC BC Region directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call the BC Duty Phone at (778) 951-0716 (monitored weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm). Jordan’s Principle staff can provide presentations or one-on-one information sessions.
- You can find a Service Coordinator to help you submit a request by emailing the Jordan's Principle BC Hub at email@example.com or visit the Hub website at jordansprinciplehubbc.ca and selecting the Service Coordinator Directory tab.
National First Nations Water Leadership Award
Each year, First Nations individuals and organizations from across Canada are recognized by their peers for demonstrating leadership and outstanding dedication to the advancement of clean and safe drinking water in First Nations communities through the National First Nations Water Leadership Award. Nominees for the award are First Nations individuals, community members or leaders, or First Nations organizations or communities. Congratulations to this year’s nominees from BC: Garney Reid (Heiltsuk First Nation), Ernie French-Downey (Takla First Nation), Katy Thorne (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc), Troy MacBeth Abromaitis (Lytton First Nation), Warren Brown (Lytton First Nation), and Hupacasath First Nation & the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council (Hupacasath First Nation).
The nomination period for the 2023 National First Nations Water Leadership Award will be from January 2 to March 31, 2023. The nomination process is outlined on the National First Nations Water Leadership Award web page.
We would also like to take this opportunity to share the contact information for our Executive Leadership Team should you or your team need to reach out regarding specific programs or services within their respective areas.
- Regional Director General: Allyson Rowe / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Acting Associate Regional Director General: James Moxon / email@example.com
- Residential Schools Information and Inquiries: David Russell / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director, Community Infrastructure: Averil Lamont / email@example.com
- Acting Director, Programs and Partnerships: Dena Duncan / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Acting Director for Emergency Management: Laura Aucoin / email@example.com
- Acting Director, Lands and Economic Development: Julia Kristjanson / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director, Funding Services: Jody Kaden / email@example.com
- Director, Child and Family Services: Angela McCarthy / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Acting Director, Community Development: Carina Chow / email@example.com
- Manager, Communications: Hazel Desharnais / firstname.lastname@example.org