ISC BC Region Updates – May 2023

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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 email.

New Funding Opportunities from ISC & the Government of Canada

Call for proposals opened to support the Additions to Reserve Policy redesign

Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) has opened a call for proposals to support the redesign of the Additions to Reserve (ATR) Policy. Through this engagement process, CIRNAC seeks to remove long-standing issues relating to the policy. Funding is available for Indigenous-led engagement activities that will inform the ATR Policy redesign. The deadline to submit a proposal is May 19, 2023.

Capacity building funding for an Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families

An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Metis children, youth and families (the Act) came into force on January 1, 2020. This legislation seeks to change the way child and family services are provided to Indigenous children, with the goal of reducing the number of children in care.

ISC recognizes Indigenous groups, communities or peoples have different readiness and resources to exercise jurisdiction for child and family services under the act. Capacity building is a funding stream that supports activities such as research, the codification of Indigenous laws, development of child and family service models, and community consultation.

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. More information can be found on ISC’s website and by contacting BC Region’s Jurisdiction and Engagement team at bccfsjurisdiction-juridiction@sac-isc.gc.ca.

Indigenous Shelter and Transitional Housing initiative

The Indigenous Shelter and Transitional Housing initiative supports the construction of a minimum of 38 shelters and 50 transitional homes across Canada. It’s focused on Indigenous people escaping gender-based violence including Women and their children, and SLGBTQQIA+.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will allocate $420 million over five years to support the construction of new shelters and transitional housing. Visit CMHC’s Indigenous Shelter and Transitional Housing Initiative website to learn more. The submission window is open on a continual basis until March 2024.

ISC will also invest $304 million over five years, and $96 million annually, to support the operational costs of new shelters and transition homes, and expand funding for culturally-relevant violence prevention activities. For more information on eligible costs and prevention activities, please visit the Family Violence Prevention Program Terms and Conditions.

Non-Structural Mitigation and Preparedness funding

The ISC Non-Structural Mitigation and Preparedness (NSMP) funding stream under the Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP) prioritizes support for local efforts through small-scale projects that address emergency preparedness and mitigation against natural hazards risks. A call for proposals was shared with all communities in February 2023 with a request for proposals by March 31, 2023. Proposals received by the deadline will be considered first, but proposals are accepted throughout the year provided funding remains. The NSMP initiative includes:

  • Training opportunities
  • Emergency management plan development and testing
  • Tsunami preparedness
  • All-hazard risk assessments

For more information, visit the Emergency Management Non-Structural Mitigation and Preparedness program website.

2022-23 ISC BC Region Program Guide

The ISC 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:

https://afoabc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/2022-2023-BC-Region-Program-Guide.pdf

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 Jordan’s Principle.

Negotiations are continuing in 2023 with a view to implementing long-term reform in 2023-2024. 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.

Indigenous Business Navigator

The new Indigenous Business Navigator service is now available, providing a one-window approach to help Indigenous businesses, organizations and communities connect with services and programs from more than 20 Government of Canada departments and agencies. Through ISC, the requestor can simply email navigator@sac-isc.gc.ca with their information and the type of help needed, and a representative will respond and help connect the client with the appropriate service or program.

Upcoming important Dates

May 16 to 18, 2023

Our Gathering, kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct

Our Gathering, kexwkexwntsùt chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct, will be held in Vancouver from May 16 to 18, 2023. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore over 40 exhibitors and participate in sessions with an interactive space for leaders and representatives from First Nations and government to share and discuss a variety of topics.

In person registration has now closed, but if you wish to participate virtually, please visit Our Gathering Registration to reserve your spot today.

Questions regarding registration can be directed to Naut’sa mawt Event Management at events@nautsamawt.com.

May 26, 2023

Post-Secondary Education Protected/General Pool Applications due

The Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) and the University and College Entrance Preparation Program (UCEPP) provide Post-Secondary Education (PSE) funding to First Nations recipients to assist their First Nations student members attending eligible post-secondary institutions and programs. PSE allocations are based on a per-capita calculation using total population on- and off-reserve.

The PSE Protected/General Pool application process was developed for those First Nations that demonstrate a need for additional funding over and above their initial PSE allocation. Interested First Nations can access additional funding from their protected pool (if applicable) and/or the general pool by applying through this process. Please note, as the general pool represents the remaining unused funds from the protected pool, available funding may vary from year to year. A call package for the Protected/General Pool application process was sent out to First Nations in early April 2023. Applications are due back to ISC no later than May 26, 2023. Submission of an application is not mandatory. If an application is not submitted, First Nations will still receive their 2023-2024 PSE initial allocation.

Please reach out to the BC Education Programs team at bceducation@sac-isc.gc.ca if you have questions.

Information from our partners

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

Infrastructure Reform Engagement Launch

ISC is planning to reach out to rights holders in First Nations communities in May of 2023, to better understand the challenges faced in accessing federal funding for infrastructure planning and project delivery, and to explore alternative service delivery models to support community infrastructure priorities.

We are looking to discuss how ISC can:

  1. Improve existing infrastructure program funding;
  2. Support First Nations and aggregates with planning, capacity and infrastructure service transfer;
  3. Create flexible infrastructure funding options; and,
  4. Understand First Nations rights holders’ interest in taking on greater control over their infrastructure.

A special plenary session on Infrastructure Reform is currently being planned for the morning of May 17th at Our Gathering.  This session will provide an opportunity for participants to hear from Indigenous Services Canada as well as First Nations Partner Organizations and communities and provide feedback regarding opportunities to improve infrastructure programming.

In the interim, please reach out to your Capital Management Officer for further information or send a request to the capital inbox at projetsdimmobilisationscb-capitalprojectsbc@sac-isc.gc.ca.

Government of Canada improving Indigenous-led health care for First Nations in British Columbia

On April 14, 2023, the Government of Canada announced the signing of a renewed 10-year Canada Funding Agreement with the First Nations Health Authority to deliver better health care for First Nations in the province. Through the agreement, $8.2 billion in funding will support the FNHA as it continues to deliver and improve the health systems that serve and support over 200 First Nations communities in the province. This includes but is not limited to continuing to develop innovative supports for mental health and wellness needs, increasing access to quality, culturally safe care, and strengthening coordination between the FNHA and the provincial health care services to better meet the unique needs of First Nations communities.

Five First Nations reach settlement with B.C., federal governments on Treaty Land Entitlement claims

On April 15, 2023, five First Nations in BC announced settlement agreements of the Nations’ Treaty Land Entitlements claims. The settlements resolve long-standing claims that these First Nations did not receive all the lands owed to them under Treaty 8, which they signed in 1899. In addition to monetary compensation from the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia will provide approximately 44,266 hectares (109,385 acres) of Crown land to the First Nations.

Splatsin, Canada and British Columbia sign historic coordination agreement for First Nations children and families

On March 24, 2023, a coordination agreement was signed by Splatsin, Canada, and British Columbia during an in-person signing ceremony at Splatsin. This is the first signed coordination agreement in BC and fifth in Canada. Over the next 10 years, the agreement will transfer $136.2 million to Splatsin to support their ongoing delivery of child and family services grounded in their culture and family systems.

$12.5 million announced to build new healing house in Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc

On March 23, Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir of the Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Colleen Erickson, Board Chair of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), jointly announced $12.5 million in federal funding towards the construction of a new healing centre at Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc. This safe space will provide trauma-informed programs to support individuals and their families in their spiritual, mental, emotional and physical healing.

Modern Treaty partners and Canada launch co-developed policy to transform intergovernmental relationships

On February 28, 2023, Aluki Kotierk, President, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.; Eva Clayton, President, Nisga’a Nation; and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations; announced the release of Canada’s Collaborative Modern Treaty Implementation Policy. The Policy will support the full, effective, and timely implementation of all current and future Modern Treaties in Canada, with the specific goal of advancing a systemic shift in institutional culture.

Revised settlement agreement of $23B reached to compensate First Nations children and families

On April 5, 2023, a revised final settlement agreement now totaling more than $23 billion was reached by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Moushoom and Trout class actions plaintiffs, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and Canada to compensate those harmed by discriminatory underfunding of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and those impacted by the federal government's narrow definition of Jordan's Principle. This is a major milestone in advancing compensation; however, a few key steps remain. To find out more, please visit www.fnchildcompensation.ca.

What is a Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator and how can they help?

Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinators provide community-based support to First Nations children and families to navigate the full range of existing health, social and education services and supports. Service Coordinators can act as authorized representatives, to assist families, First Nations, and other organizations to prepare and submit individual and group requests to address the unmet needs of First Nations children and youth.

There are currently over 40 Service Coordinators hosted by over 30 partner organizations across BC. To connect with a local Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator please visit the BC Enhanced Service Coordination Hub website and consult the Service Coordination Directory.

For more information on Jordan’s Principle, please visit www.canada.ca/jordansprinciple.

To download a request form: Submitting Your Request in BC - Jordan’s Principle Enhanced Service Coordination Hub for BC

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.

Government of Canada releases Budget 2023

On March 28, the Government of Canada released Budget 2023. The federal budget is the government’s plan to build a stronger, more sustainable, and more secure Canadian economy for everyone. Visit the Budget 2023 website to view full details as well as related documents.

Government of Canada programs and initiatives to support Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people

The Government of Canada continues to collaborate with partners, including survivors and families, provinces, territories and grassroots organizations, to advance work to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people. This website lists programs and initiatives that have been put in place to address the federal pathway, national action plan and Calls for Justice.

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.

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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.

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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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