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 launched a new email update, as a way to share timely information with you going forward. We trust you received the first issue on December 12, 2022 and found it useful. Today we’re pleased to share our second edition. We welcome your feedback at the link at the bottom of this email.
We are also happy to announce that James Moxon is the new Associate Regional Director General of ISC BC Region. His appointment comes after serving for many months in the position and completing a successful competition for the role. James has worked with both Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations for 20 years. Some of you may have met him through his work as the Director of Community Development, which highlighted his passion for working with and supporting First Nations. Thank you.
New Funding Opportunities from ISC & the Government of Canada
BC Indigenous Cannabis Business Fund launched
First Nations partners in BC, alongside the Federal and Provincial governments, recently launched the BC Indigenous Cannabis Business Fund. The fund will support First Nations communities and Indigenous businesses in BC that want to increase their participation in, or join, the regulated cannabis industry. Administered by the New Relationship Trust and Aboriginal Financial Institutions, the Government of Canada and the Government of BC are investing up to $7.5 million over three years in the fund. The next intake for applications is open from April 1 to September 30, 2023.
2023-24 Professional and Institutional Development Program call for proposals (Please note: deadline to apply next week)
The call for proposals for Indigenous Service Canada’s 2023-24 Professional and Institutional Development Program closes February 17, 2023. Applications received by the deadline will be considered first, but applications are accepted throughout the year. The program provides supports to First Nations and Inuit communities to develop capacity initiatives within core functions of government. For questions related to this program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Opportunities Readiness Program (CORP) call-out for regional funding opportunities
ISC BC Region’s Economic Development unit has officially announced the Community Opportunities Readiness Program (CORP) call-out for regional funding opportunities. CORP regional funding can assist First Nation communities and/or their economic development corporations with exploring economic development and business expansion opportunities. Project funding up to $250,000 is available to assist Nations with financial feasibility studies, business plans, environmental assessments/reviews, pre-construction design and other planning costs. First intake deadline is March 31, 2023. For an application, please email email@example.com.
Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (SSDIC) program call for proposals
Sport Canada is currently accepting proposals for projects under Stream Three of the SSDIC program. The deadline to apply is March 22, 2023. The SSDIC program was announced in 2021 to expand the use of sport and physical activity programming as a means to improve outcomes for Indigenous communities. Stream Three allocates $2.5 million annually to ensure that Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people have access to meaningful sports activities. The stream is open to Indigenous governments, communities, and organizations, including delivery organizations working in authentic partnership with Indigenous communities.
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.
Recent Changes to ISC Programs & Services
Funding Services Officers community assignments
Recently, ISC BC Region began using a Regional Team Approach with Funding Services Officers (FSO). Five regions have been created to support this initiative: North East, North West, South West, Vancouver Island, and Central/South East. Please see the attachment to see which FSOs your community will be working with. The Regional Team Approach was created to ensure communities have two to four FSOs providing support, which will result in improved service levels, better speed of service, and a continuity of knowledge. FSOs will reach out to First Nation communities as a team for introductions and ensure that the change is conducted seamlessly.
New Digital Application Services for Secure Certificate of Indian Status
The BC Regional Office is proud to be the first office nationwide to implement a faster tool to intake and process applications for the Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) for registered individuals. Technological advances have now made it possible to intake SCIS applications with the Digital Application Solution at our service counter at 1138 Melville Street in Vancouver. This allows for seamless and quicker service and will reduce processing time to receive your SCIS. For more information on how to book an appointment at the Vancouver office, please call (236) 330-9961.
Upcoming important Dates
February 13 to 17, 2023
Mobile Status Card Services in Prince Rupert
ISC will be piloting a status card issuance event in Prince Rupert during the All-Native Basketball Tournament. A mobile status team will issue paper-laminated Certificate of Indian Status (CIS) and intake applications for the Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS).
- Location: Crest Hotel (BC Room), 222 1st Avenue West, Prince Rupert
- Date: February 13 to 17, 2023
- Time: February 13: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Open to Elders only); February 14 to 17: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Open to everyone)
For more information, please contact (604) 376-4011 or BCIRBL@sac-isc.gc.ca.
May 16 to 18, 2023
Our Gathering, kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct
ISC BC Region is pleased to announce that Our Gathering, kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct will be held May 16 to 18 in Vancouver. This annual event, available to attend both in-person and virtually, is designed to facilitate collaboration and learning between First Nation communities, Indigenous organizations and government officials. More details about the agenda and registration will be released soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions or ideas you would like to discuss, please direct them to the Our Gathering team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information from our partners
Second chance to apply for provincial connectivity funding closes February 16 (Please note: deadline to apply next week)
The second intake of the provincial connectivity funding program, Connecting Communities BC, closes for applications on February 16, 2022. The program supports expanding high-speed internet services to under-served rural, remote and Indigenous communities in BC.
National Winter Home Fire Safety Campaign
The First Nations’ Emergency Services Society (FNESS) has partnered with ISC to deliver a National Winter Home Fire Safety Campaign to First Nations across Canada. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness among First Nations community members about fire hazards that exist within the home, especially during the winter months, and to mitigate those risks to keep families safe. Visit the FNESS Facebook page to view the campaign poster and learn more about fire safety.
Applications open for Homelessness Community Action Grants
Indigenous organizations and other groups that work with people facing homelessness throughout BC are encouraged to apply for the Province’s Homelessness Community Action Grants. BC Budget 2022 provides $6 million to the Homelessness Community Action Grant program. The program, administered by the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC), awards grants for as much as $50,000 to help communities and organizations better understand and respond to homelessness.
Reclaiming My Language Course
First Nations communities in BC and Indigenous organizations are eligible to apply for the Reclaiming My Language course, which is designed to assist silent speakers to reclaim their language. Silent speakers are people who have a good understanding of their language but do not speak it. The First Peoples’ Cultural Council provides training for program facilitators and ongoing support as well as course materials, videos, workbooks and up to $35,000 in funding. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2023.
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.
Settlement agreement reached for Band class litigation
On January 21, 2023, the Government of Canada signed an agreement with Representative Plaintiffs who represent 325 bands that opted into the Band class litigation. Through this settlement, Canada is committed to addressing the collective harm caused by the residential schools system. Canada will provide $2.8 billion to be placed in a not-for-profit trust to support healing, wellness, education, heritage, language, and commemoration activities.
Jordan’s Principle group request guide now available: apply for group request 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.
- Communities can submit a group request for funding to provide needed products, services and supports to a group of First Nations children from multiple families or guardians.
- A guide to requesting funding for Jordan’s Principle group requests is now available.
- A Jordan’s Principle group or community managed request can be submitted by:
- a parent or guardian of First Nations or Indigenous children who ordinarily reside on reserve;
- a community or Tribal Council;
- a community organization or institution; or,
- a service coordinator, navigator or case manager.
- For help with group requests, please contact a Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator in your region. For a regional contact list or to download a copy of the BC Region Group Request Package, please visit: https://www.jordansprinciplehubbc.ca.
- To submit a request under Jordan’s Principle in BC, or for more information, please contact Indigenous Services Canada-Jordan’s Principle BC Region by telephone at 778-951-0716 or by fax at 604-775-7149. Completed requests can also be submitted to: email@example.com.
Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) Six Mile/Bradley & Irish Creek/Head of the Lake Water Systems improvement project
Check out this video from OKIB highlighting their newly completed water project which resulted in a targeted water quality advisory being lifted. It also increased water storage capacity in the community to provide for sufficient firefighting supply. The use of an Integrated Project Delivery model enabled OKIB, ISC and other project partners to complete this project at a guaranteed cost and a year faster than compared to the traditional “design-bid-build” approach. Contact Ted Molyneux, Senior Engineer, with ISC’s Community Infrastructure Branch to find out if your next project could also benefit from this approach.
If you have any success stories or best practices from your community that you would like to see highlighted in this ISC BC Region Update, please send them to Hazel Desharnais, Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grants and Contribution Information Management Systems
Did you know First Nations can submit proposals and reporting submissions directly to ISC through the Grants and Contribution Information Management Systems (GCIMS), and that it is the recommended submission method for all non-Education reports? GCIMS provides access to funding agreements for up-to-date financial information and reporting requirements. It can also be used to generate system reports for program and budget analysis.
Contact your Funding Services Officer for GCIMS access or training anytime between April and November 2023. Please see the attachment to see which FSO your community is working with.
More people are now entitled to register under the Indian Act
If you have a parent, grandparent or ancestor who was affected by sex-based inequities in the Indian Act, you may now be entitled to register. When an entitled woman married a non-entitled man before 1985, she lost her right to registration. That loss also affected her descendants’ rights to registration. Bill S-3 was introduced in an effort to address the impacts of this loss of status for all affected descendants. Please share this poster with your community to help increase awareness of the changes. More information is also available on the ISC website or by emailing email@example.com.
2023 National First Nations Water Leadership Award
Nominations for the 2023 National First Nations Water Leadership Award are now open until March 31, 2023. The annual National First Nations Water Leadership Award recognizes First Nations individuals or organizations that have demonstrated leadership and outstanding dedication to the advancement of clean and safe drinking water in First Nations communities. The winner will receive a trophy and a $500 art piece. Also, $10,000 in bursaries will be awarded in the winner's name to First Nation applicants who are pursuing or furthering their careers in the water and wastewater industry.
For eligibility requirements, the nomination form, or more information on the Award, including last year’s nominees, please visit the National First Nations Water Leadership Award webpage.
Professional Lands Management Certification Program 2023-24
Training to become a certified First Nations land manager or officer is available through the Professional Lands Management Certification Program (PLMCP). The PLMCP is a two-year program that includes post-secondary courses and specialized technical training modules delivered by the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA). For information about ISC funding and the 2023-24 spring intake, please contact the ISC regional office at 1-800-665-9320 or email RLEMP@sac-isc.gc.ca.
Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative
The Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative provides $103.8 million over 5 years to assist First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and partners, both on and off-reserve, to implement Indigenous-designed projects to improve community safety and well-being. This initiative supports projects which: recognize the importance of traditional knowledge and practices to contributing to greater community safety and well-being, recognize holistic models of community safety and well-being, and address existing and emerging needs relating to the safety and well-being of Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. There is no deadline for this funding.
Canada Cultural Spaces Fund
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF) supports the improvement of physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation. The Fund supports renovation and construction projects, the acquisition of specialized equipment and feasibility studies related to cultural spaces. The CCSF annual grants and contributions budget is $54 million for the period 2018-2028. The CCSF receives applications on an ongoing basis.
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, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Walk-ins are also welcome and are served between appointments.
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
Comments & Suggestions
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