ISC BC Region Updates – June 2023

iscjune2023

The ISC BC Region Update is published by Indigenous Services Canada on approximately a bi-monthly basis. It is intended to provide First Nation leadership and administrations with timely information that focuses on funding announcements, program and service changes, as well as relevant initiatives from other federal departments, the provincial government and community partners. We welcome your feedback at the link at the bottom of this page.

New Funding Opportunities from ISC & the Government of Canada

2023-24 Comprehensive Community Planning funding available

Funding is available to First Nations in BC to develop or update Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) in the 2023-24 fiscal year. CCP is a priority for many First Nations who see it as an effective tool to build healthy and sustainable communities. CCP is an ongoing process that enables a community to plan its development, both present and future, in a way that meets community needs and aspirations. It is comprehensive because it addresses all aspects of community life such as governance, land and resources, health, infrastructure development, culture, social issues and economy. For more information, please reach out to the Community Initiatives Unit at bc-ccp@sac-isc.gc.ca.

Lands and Economic Development Expressions of Interest

ISC BC Region is calling for Expressions of Interest for the Lands and Economic Development Services Program (LEDSP) Targeted and the Community Opportunity Readiness Program (CORP). There is no deadline to apply. All Expressions of Interest will be assessed for eligibility and an ISC Officer will be in contact to discuss the next steps in the application process. To obtain a copy of the Expressions of Interest form, please email bcecdev@sac-isc.gc.ca.

Inflation relief funding

ISC is providing inflation relief funding to income assistance clients in 2023-24 due to rising inflation, as well as pandemic related hardships. This will help First Nations individuals and families who rely on income assistance to cover their essential living expenses during these uncertain times.

Options for eligible expenses include bulk food purchases, wage subsidies, and purchase of appliances for income assistance clients. Please note that the terms and conditions for the Income Assistance Program will continue to apply for this funding along with existing reporting requirements.

For more information, please contact the Band Social Development Worker (BSDW) Policy Support Line by toll-free phone: 1-888-440-4080 or by email: tsdbsoutien-bsdwsupport-bc@sac-isc.gc.ca

Opportunity for First Nations or Indigenous organizations in BC to apply for additional Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP) funding

The Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP) funds the operations of emergency shelters and transitional (second stage) housing to improve the safety and security of Indigenous women, children, families and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people across Canada, including in the North and in urban centers. The FVPP also provides funding for community-driven proposals for family violence prevention projects.

ISC BC Region has prevention project funding set aside to support projects that:

  • address a specific and urgent need such as a rise in domestic violence, youth violence, suicide/suicidal pacts, or other responses to trauma
  • links to a community plan or prioritized and identified need
  • has a strong community participation (such as a large event)

Requests will be assessed for eligibility and prioritized on a case-by-case basis. The number of approved requests will depend on a variety of factors including the number of requests received and total available funding. Projects must be completed by March 31, 2024. Please contact Mercy Mura, Regional Program Development Advisor by email: mercy.mura@sac-isc.gc.ca to discuss the FVPP Prevention Project Proposal if interested in this opportunity.

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 ISC staff. The information contained in the 2022-23 Program Guide remains valid for fiscal year 2023-24. For your convenience, it is housed on the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC website here.

Recent Changes to ISC Programs & Services

First Nations Child and Family Services Program

On December 31, 2021, Canada and the parties to the complaint before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) signed an Agreement-in-Principle on the long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Program and Jordan’s Principle. The Agreement-in-Principle commits approximately $20 billion over five years dedicated to the long-term reform of the program.

In the past year, significant progress has been made towards long-term reform, including:

  • Immediate Measures: New funding for Prevention, First Nations Representative Services, and Post-Majority Support Services.
  • Capital: 2021 CHRT 41 orders funding for the purchase or construction of capital assets to support the delivery of the FNCFS Program and services under Jordan’s Principle.

Negotiations are continuing in 2023 with a view to implementing long-term reform in 2023-24. Until a final settlement agreement is reached, current FNCFS Program funding activities and models will continue. More information is available on ISC’s website and by contacting BC Region’s FNCFS team at bccfs@sac-isc.gc.ca.

The Assembly of First Nations and the Government of Canada announce updates to school design standards for schools on-reserve

On June 2, 2023, the Government of Canada shared details of co-developed updates to the School Space Accommodation Standards (SSAS) policy. The SSAS outlines the service standards for the construction and major renovation of First Nations schools that are funded by ISC through its Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program. The SSAS takes into consideration planning that is specific to First Nation communities, and helps to guide the development of First Nation learning environments that will support individual communities’ culture, language, and ways of knowing.

 

Information from our partners

Emergency Management Seasonal Preparedness

If your First Nation is experiencing a natural hazard or emergency, your first point of contact is the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness’ (EMCR) 24/7 emergency line at 1-800-663-3456 or the EMCR’s Regional Operations Center (PREOC) if activated. EMCR will issue a Task Number, which is associated with your emergency event and is used to track related expenses. It is also a good idea to get acquainted with your local EMCR regional office prior to any emergency event for technical advice, situational awareness, and maintenance of communication. For a list of EMCR regional offices, please visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-management/contact-us.

For health-related emergency services, please call the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) at 1-866-913-0033, and speak with the Environmental Health officer (EHO) assigned to your community.

Please also reach out to the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society (FNESS) for support and delivery of essential emergency and forest fuel management programs and services. The FNESS can be reached at 1-888-388-4431, or after hours at 1-888-822-3388.

Don’t forget to visit ISC’s new emergency evacuation webpage for info on how to prepare for an emergency evacuation in the event of a wildfire or flood. The website also contains resources for evacuees and info on what to do after an evacuation.

New funding supports First Nations participation implementing Declaration Act

The Province is reducing barriers for First Nations to fully participate in implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) and build a better future. The Declaration Act Engagement Fund will help support First Nations’ involvement in efforts to implement the Declaration Act Action Plan and align provincial laws with the UN Declaration, as required under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act). The one-time $200-million fund will be administered by the Indigenous-led New Relationship Trust and be available to all First Nations in BC.

Remote First Nations can breathe healthier air with reduced diesel use

More remote First Nations in BC can move toward clean energy to power their homes, economies and daily lives with a provincial investment in the Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) Program. New funding of $30 million will extend the CEDR program by three years. That means it can fund an estimated 96 projects over its six-year lifespan, including support for First Nations to replace diesel power generation with cleaner options, including hydro-electric, solar, biomass and wind.

British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) – Support for Indigenous Students Learning Program (SISLP) extended to March 2024

The Support for Indigenous Student Learning Program (SISLP) is a time-limited project for Indigenous students across Canada who have limited financial resources, including those students living with disabilities. The SISLP is accepting applications from students of any age enrolled in a formal educational institution (either online, remote, or through on-site learning) to be considered to receive a laptop and other technology/equipment supports necessary to assist with their continued education and success. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until March 15, 2024. For more information, visit http://www.bcands.bc.ca/isslp.

BC Community Climate Funding Guide

The BC Community Climate Funding Guide is a comprehensive list of funding opportunities from the provincial government for Indigenous communities and local governments to reach their climate action goals.

OF Interest

Elementary and Secondary School Program – Nominal Roll Report Policy and Joint Verification Process Virtual Training Sessions Webinars (Summer 2023)

In August and September 2023, ISC, the First Nations Education Steering Committee, and the BC Ministry of Education and Child Care will host virtual training webinars for First Nation Education Coordinators, Education Directors, and Education Managers who support the Elementary and Secondary School Program on reserve. These sessions will offer an opportunity for First Nations to address common questions, increase their understanding, and build capacity for completing the Nominal Roll report and the Joint Verification Process (JVP) in partnership with their local School Districts. The due date for submission of the Nominal Roll for the 2023-24 school year is October 15, 2023. Invitations for the webinars will be sent at the end of July 2023. To request an invitation to the webinars, or for questions regarding Education programs at ISC, please contact bceducation@sac-isc.gc.ca.

Our Gathering, kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct 2023

The First Nations Leadership Council, Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada held the first in-person Our Gathering, kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct since 2020 from May 16 to18, 2023. Across the three days, there were over 700 attendees in-person and 150 online, with 133 First Nation communities in BC represented at the event.

The event hosted various plenaries, breakout sessions and information booths on a wide range of topics. The program also included a recorded message from Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, Question and Answer with Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and a speech from RoseAnne Archibald, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations. Attendees also had an opportunity to witness the strength and perspectives from the youth delegation, along with Elders who shared their wisdom and knowledge at an Elders’ Tea and through a graphic recording by artist Tiaré Lani.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of co-hosting the event with our First Nations partners and ISC appreciates and values the opportunity to come together to engage in dialogue, share knowledge and collaborate to continue advancing First Nations interests.

Reference materials such as the BC Region Overview Report and Programs Reference Guide are attached. Additional reference materials and recordings of the sessions will be available on the Our Gathering 2023 Event Page in the coming weeks.

National Outcome-Based Framework

As part of the ongoing work between Canada and First Nations to build a new fiscal relationship, the Assembly of First Nations and ISC have been working towards the development of a National Outcome-Based Framework. The Framework will assist in ensuring there is continued progress toward improving living conditions and closing the socio-economic gaps between First Nations and non-Indigenous Canadians, as well as providing support for joint discussions and advocacy about the resources required to close these gaps. Engagements with First Nations leaders and organizations on the purpose and design of the Framework are underway, after which the draft Framework will be further developed and refined, and ultimately subject to validation by First Nations through a resolution of the First Nations-in-Assembly. We are looking for opportunities to hear from First Nations leaders in BC on the Framework. If you are interested in hearing more, please contact Jody Kaden, Director, Funding Services, who can organize a virtual presentation.

Inaugural First Nations First Responders Gathering held in Ottawa, First Nations Fire Protection Strategy updated

In May 2023, an inaugural First Nations First Responders Gathering was held in Ottawa. The event brought together Indigenous fire protection and emergency responder leadership to explore how best to address increasing fire dangers faced by First Nations. The Gathering also saw the release of a First Nations Fire Protection Strategy for 2023 to 2028—the first such strategy jointly developed by the AFN and ISC.

Minister Sajjan announces $5.9M for Indigenous clean energy projects and digital skills training

On June 1, 2023, the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced an investment of over $5.9 million for two organizations supporting Indigenous economic growth in clean energy projects and digital skills training. Over $3.9 million in funding is being provided to the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative (BCICEI), which will support 14 Indigenous communities to develop new clean energy projects. PacifiCan is also investing more than $2 million to support the Digital Horizons technology employment training program that will be delivered by the First Nations Technology Council.

Increased support for families of missing and murdered Indigenous people and Indigenous victims and survivors of crime

On May 29, 2023, the Government of Canada announced $95.8 million over five years and $20.4 million ongoing, starting in 2023-24 to support families of missing and murdered Indigenous people and Indigenous victims of crime. This funding will increase access to culturally safe supports for victims and their families to assist them with their grief and healing journey by providing dignified and responsive supports for Indigenous victims and survivors of crime (or violence) and the families of MMIWG2S+, men and boys.

There is a national, toll-free 24/7 crisis call line providing mental health support for anyone who requires emotional assistance related to missing and murdered Indigenous people. For assistance, call 1-844-413-6649. Supports are also available through the MMIWG2S+ health and cultural support services. Support could include professional counselling with a focus on healing, emotional supports such as listening and referrals to additional services, and culturally specific help centred around traditional healing methods and Elder services.

Jordan’s Principle BC – simple to access

To submit a Jordan’s Principle request, only 3 items are needed:

  1. Eligibility
  2. Consent
  3. Letter of Recommendation

Jordan’s Principle ensures that eligible First Nations children who reside in Canada and are under the age of majority in their province or territory of residence can access the products, services and supports they need.

Request forms, as well as eligibility information, can be found on the ISC website or the Jordan’s Principle Hub website. Each request must include written or oral consent from the child’s parent or guardian. Requests must include a letter of recommendation from a professional in the child(ren)’s circle of care or an authorized Elder or Knowledge Keeper that links the unmet need of the child(ren) to the product, service or support requested.

Funding can help with a wide range of health, social and educational needs, including the unique needs that First Nations Two-Spirit and LGBTQQIA children and youth and those with disabilities may have.

For more information, please contact:

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.

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.

Contact information

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.

For Residential Schools information and inquiries, you can contact the following:

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LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER!

Join us for another Webinar Wednesday!

In this webinar, Scott McCann, Joshua Sutherland, and Abigail Owen will discuss various important employee issues that arise at the end of the fiscal year, including the non-renewal of funding, the expiry of funding agreements, the impact on employment agreements, and related layoffs. Recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code will also be discussed to help you prepare for the new year, including the recent amendments to reasonable notice requirements, employment statements, employment expenses, and more. Finally, health and safety obligations and end of year reporting requirements will be covered to ensure understanding of, and compliance with, various legal obligations.

Register now: ow.ly/teWf50QHKzu
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LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER!

Join us for another Webinar Wednesday!

In this webinar, Scott McCann, Joshua Sutherland, and Abigail Owen will discuss various important employee issues that arise at the end of the fiscal year, including the non-renewal of funding, the expiry of funding agreements, the impact on employment agreements, and related layoffs. Recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code will also be discussed to help you prepare for the new year, including the recent amendments to reasonable notice requirements, employment statements, employment expenses, and more. Finally, health and safety obligations and end of year reporting requirements will be covered to ensure understanding of, and compliance with, various legal obligations.

Register now: https://ow.ly/teWf50QHKzu

Join us for another Webinar Wednesday!

In this webinar, Scott McCann, Joshua Sutherland, and Abigail Owen will discuss various important employee issues that arise at the end of the fiscal year, including the non-renewal of funding, the expiry of funding agreements, the impact on employment agreements, and related layoffs. Recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code will also be discussed to help you prepare for the new year, including the recent amendments to reasonable notice requirements, employment statements, employment expenses, and more. Finally, health and safety obligations and end of year reporting requirements will be covered to ensure understanding of, and compliance with, various legal obligations.

Register now: ow.ly/teWf50QHKzu
... See MoreSee Less

Join us for another Webinar Wednesday!

In this webinar, Scott McCann, Joshua Sutherland, and Abigail Owen will discuss various important employee issues that arise at the end of the fiscal year, including the non-renewal of funding, the expiry of funding agreements, the impact on employment agreements, and related layoffs. Recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code will also be discussed to help you prepare for the new year, including the recent amendments to reasonable notice requirements, employment statements, employment expenses, and more. Finally, health and safety obligations and end of year reporting requirements will be covered to ensure understanding of, and compliance with, various legal obligations.

Register now: https://ow.ly/teWf50QHKzu

Join us for another Webinar Wednesday!

In this webinar, employment lawyers Scott McCann, Partner, Joshua Sutherland, Counsel, and Abigail Owen, Associate, from Zacharias Vickers McCann LLP (zvmllp.com) will discuss various important employee issues that arise at the end of the fiscal year, including the non-renewal of funding, the expiry of funding agreements, the impact on employment agreements, and related layoffs. Recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code will also be discussed to help you prepare for the new year, including the recent amendments to reasonable notice requirements, employment statements, employment expenses, and more. Finally, health and safety obligations and end of year reporting requirements will be covered to ensure understanding of, and compliance with, various legal obligations.

Register now: ow.ly/teWf50QHKzu
... See MoreSee Less

Join us for another Webinar Wednesday!

In this webinar, employment lawyers Scott McCann, Partner, Joshua Sutherland, Counsel, and Abigail Owen, Associate, from Zacharias Vickers McCann LLP (https://zvmllp.com) will discuss various important employee issues that arise at the end of the fiscal year, including the non-renewal of funding, the expiry of funding agreements, the impact on employment agreements, and related layoffs. Recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code will also be discussed to help you prepare for the new year, including the recent amendments to reasonable notice requirements, employment statements, employment expenses, and more. Finally, health and safety obligations and end of year reporting requirements will be covered to ensure understanding of, and compliance with, various legal obligations.

Register now: https://ow.ly/teWf50QHKzu

Foundations for Professional Communications, an offering from the First Nations Public Service Secretariat and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, got off to a great start with our in-person week of learning in January. Pictured here is the incredible cohort of First Nations communicators, and our amazing instructor, Davis McKenzie of Toxw oxw (Becoming Clear) Communications.

The students were able to hone their skills in key areas of communications, and at the end of the week were joined by Howard Grant, Executive Director of the First Nations Summit, and Jehan Casey, Director of the First Nations Public Service Secretariat, who were in attendance as they presented their very own communications plans. All their hard work, commitment, and enthusiasm made this week a huge success, and we are so excited for them as they complete this course and continue their journeys in communications!

Foundations for Professional Communications is a fully accredited course, free of charge for First Nations communicators. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for the next offering, please email: ksposato@fnps.ca.
... See MoreSee Less

Foundations for Professional Communications, an offering from the First Nations Public Service Secretariat and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, got off to a great start with our in-person week of learning in January. Pictured here is the incredible cohort of First Nations communicators, and our amazing instructor, Davis McKenzie of Toxw oxw (Becoming Clear) Communications.

The students were able to hone their skills in key areas of communications, and at the end of the week were joined by Howard Grant, Executive Director of the First Nations Summit, and Jehan Casey, Director of the First Nations Public Service Secretariat, who were in attendance as they presented their very own communications plans. All their hard work, commitment, and enthusiasm made this week a huge success, and we are so excited for them as they complete this course and continue their journeys in communications!

Foundations for Professional Communications is a fully accredited course, free of charge for First Nations communicators. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for the next offering, please email: ksposato@fnps.ca.

1 CommentComment on Facebook

Awesome, mussi

In case you missed it!

We are pleased to share some of the plenary sessions from the First Nations Public Service Secretariat Conference 2023: Taking Root. Recordings are now available online. Check out the opening keynote from First Nations leadership, an inspiring panel from First Nations youth and crucial discussion around data governance and more.

Catch up now: ow.ly/6qU350QABv1
... See MoreSee Less

In case you missed it! 

We are pleased to share some of the plenary sessions from the First Nations Public Service Secretariat Conference 2023: Taking Root. Recordings are now available online. Check out the opening keynote from First Nations leadership, an inspiring panel from First Nations youth and crucial discussion around data governance and more.

Catch up now: https://ow.ly/6qU350QABv1
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