ISC BC Region Updates

iscupdate_march

The ISC BC Region Update is published by Indigenous Services Canada bi-monthly. It is intended to provide First Nations 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 through the link at the bottom of this email.

New Funding Opportunities from ISC & the Government of Canada

New funding to address the housing needs of First Nations Children and Families

In the Agreement-in-Principle on Long-Term Reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services Program and Jordan’s Principle, ISC committed to providing $2 billion over five years for First Nations to purchase, construct, and renovate housing units in their communities to meet the needs of children and families. First Nations in BC were provided a partial allocation of this funding for the 2023-24 fiscal year of $29.6 million. Funding can be spent on housing-related projects now or can be carried forward to use in future years. For more information, non-treaty and non-self-governing nations can email housingbc-logementcb@sac-isc.gc.ca . Treaty and self-governing nations can contact Dionne Savill at dionne.savill@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca.

The 2024-25 Lands and Economic Services Program (LEDSP) Call for Applications

ISC BC Region is accepting applications for funding support under the Lands and Economic Development Services Program (LEDSP). Funding support of up to $50,000 is available to assist communities in enhancing economic development, land and environment capacity.   Additional information can be found on the Lands and Economic Development Services Program: Project-based funding website. To meet with an ISC program representative for more information or to get an application, please email bcecdev@sac-isc.gc.ca. Applications are due April 8, 2024.

Child and Family Services Jurisdiction Capacity Development Funding

Capacity development funding to support child and family services jurisdiction planning under An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth and families is available for fiscal year 2024 to 2025 and applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Please submit your funding request complete with a work plan and budget, or any inquiries, to the BC Jurisdiction and Engagement team at bccfsjurisdiction-juridiction@sac-isc.gc.ca. For more information, please visit the Capacity-building funding for An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families website.

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, and will be updated for 2024-25. For your convenience, it can be found on the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC website: https://afoabc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/2022-2023-BC-Region-Program-Guide.pdf. For questions on the guide, please contact your Funding Services Officer or reach out through one of our regional mailboxes:

fso-northeast@sac-isc.gc.ca

fso-northwest@sac-isc.gc.ca

fso-vancouverisland@sac-isc.gc.ca

fso-southeast@sac-isc.gc.ca

fso-southwest@sac-isc.gc.ca

Recent Changes to ISC Programs & Services

Changes to the Signature Process for ISC Agreements and Amendments

As of February 15, 2025, the signature process for the approval of funding agreements and amendments will be changing back to pre-pandemic standards as required by the Chief Finances, Results and Delivery Officer. Wet signatures will now be required. The email acceptance from an authorized official to sign agreements or amendments, with a copy to Chief and Council, will no longer be permitted. Over the next year, Funding Services Officers will work collaboratively with their Indigenous partners to ensure reasonable alternatives are available prior to the deadline.

Upcoming Important Dates

March 31, 2024

National First Nations Water Leadership Award

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, today and for future generations. Nominations for the 2024 National First Nations Water Leadership Award are now being accepted. To submit a nomination, please fill out this online submission form or send an email to prixdeau-wateraward@sac-isc.gc.ca to request a PDF version. Nominations are due before March 31, 2024.

April 19, 2024

BC Tripartite Education Agreement (BCTEA) Annual Meeting on Transportation

Hosted by the Ministry of Education and Child Care, Indigenous Services Canada, and the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), this session is meant to be an important step toward building a strong, effective, and inclusive education system that supports the success of First Nation students in BC public schools. The meeting will take place on April 19, 2024, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. First Nations with students living on reserve and attending BC public schools are strongly encouraged to participate in this event. Stay tuned as more information will be sent by FNESC in the coming weeks.

April 22 to 24, 2024

Our Gathering, kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct

The BC Region offices of ISC, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and the First Nations Leadership Council are excited to announce that Our Gathering, kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct, will be held on April 22-24, 2024, on the unceded, traditional, ancestral territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations at the J.W Marriott Parq Hotel in Vancouver. This annual event is designed to facilitate collaboration and learning between First Nation communities, Indigenous organizations and government officials. Participants can attend both in person and virtually. To register, visit the event website. More details about the agenda will be released soon. If you have any questions, please contact ISC’s Our Gathering team at ourgathering@sac-isc.gc.ca.

May 31, 2024

Post-Secondary Education Protected/General Pool Applications

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 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. An application is not required for the 2024-25 PSE initial allocation

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, or the general pool by applying through this process.

Available funding may vary year to year. A call package for the protected/general pool application process will be sent out to eligible First Nations in early April 2024. Applications are due back to ISC no later than May 31, 2024.

August 31, 2024

Annual Register of Post-Secondary Education Students

The Annual Register of Post-Secondary Education Students report is due August 31 each year.  There are many First Nations with outstanding reporting. Without sufficient reports submitted, there is not enough data to support the need for ongoing or increased post-secondary education funding for BC First Nations. Please check on the status of this report for your First Nation. For questions about the report or access to the Education Information System (EIS), please email the ISC BC Region’s Education Programs team at bceducation@sac-isc.gc.ca.

Information from our Partners

Emergency Management: Towards a New Multilateral Emergency Management Agreement

The First Nations Leadership Council developed a discussion paper on Emergency Management to engage First Nations in BC in exploring a shift from the current bilateral service agreement to a multilateral agreement involving Canada, the Province of BC and First Nations. The objective of this paper is to present a collaboration model to Chiefs in BC for consideration, enabling First Nations, Indigenous Services Canada, and Emergency Management and Climate Readiness to work towards a new multilateral agreement on emergency management. For more information, please contact bcaandc.do@sac-isc.gc.ca.

Public Safety Engagement on First Nations Policing

The Indigenous Leadership Development Institute (ILDI) has received funding from Public Safety Canada to host engagement sessions to discuss future federal legislation that recognizes First Nations police services as essential services. A virtual session will be held on March 19, 2024, and an in person session will be held on March 21 in Vancouver. ILDI has sent out invitations for these engagements, and the Minister of Public Safety Canada has sent correspondence to modern treaty and self-governing First Nations. For more information about the engagement sessions, please visit the ILDI website or contact info@ildii.ca.

TELUS Indigenous Communities Fund

The TELUS Indigenous Communities Fund provides flexible grant funding up to $50,000 for Indigenous-led programs supporting Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Funding is available for projects focused on, but not limited to: health, mental health and well-being; access to education and resources; community building and enhancement; language and cultural revitalization; and inter-community sharing of cultural stories. The proposal intake opened on February 5, 2024, and will close on March 29, 2024. For more information, including how to apply, selection criteria, and eligibility, please visit the TELUS website.

First Peoples’ Cultural Council Heritage Stewardship Program

The Heritage Stewardship Program provides heritage funding to First Nations and First Nations organizations in BC to address climate change, safeguard cultural sites, digitize cultural resources and record oral histories. This program offers four funding streams combining existing and new grants, including Sense of Place, Climate Change, Oral Histories and Protocols, and Digitization and Archiving. Applicants can apply for up to three streams of heritage funding in one application, with a maximum of $25,000 for each stream. The application deadline is March 22, 2024.

First Peoples’ Cultural Council Heritage Infrastructure Program

The Heritage Infrastructure Program provides funding to support projects that conserve, repair or develop Indigenous heritage infrastructure. The program assists BC First Nations communities safeguard, revitalize and celebrate their heritage through heritage infrastructure projects. Projects include the conservation of structures, heritage sites, landscapes, buildings and trails that support public and community access to heritage resources. They also include historical and cultural places, archives and heritage collections that are of collective value to an Indigenous community. $100,000 to $250,000 in funding is available for First Nations and First Nations organizations in BC with a focus that includes Indigenous heritage. The application deadline is April 5, 2024.

BC Government 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

Circuit Rider Training Program (Five-Year Program Renewal)

ISC is currently in the process of a five year renewal of the Circuit Rider Training Program. Under this voluntary program, Circuit Rider Trainers (CRTs), who are experienced, certified operators in water and wastewater treatment, distribution, and collection, rotate through a circuit of First Nations communities who have requested this service. They provide hands-on training to the individuals responsible for operating, monitoring, and maintaining their drinking water and wastewater systems. Trainers are hired through a competitive bidding process for a five-year term. This enables water operators and CRTs to build a rapport with one another and provides a continuity in services. Feedback received from program participants regarding their current CRTs performance and the annual Client Satisfaction Survey play a role when reviewing bids for award. Successful CRTs will provide introduction letters by email to First Nations in their awarded circuit prior to April 1, 2024. For further information, please contact BC Region’s Community Infrastructure directorate toll-free at 1-800-665-9320.

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), which 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. If you would like to receive access or training for GCIMS, please contact 1-800-665-9320 to find out who your Funding Services Officer (FSO) is. Your FSO can arrange GCIMS access or training.

Indigenous Business Navigator Service

The Indigenous Business Navigator can help Indigenous businesses, organizations and communities connect with Government of Canada programs and services. Individuals can send an email to navigator@sac-isc.gc.ca with their business’s information and a representative will help you find what best fits their needs. Visit the Indigenous Business Navigator to learn more.

In-person Service for Registration and Status Cards

ISC BC Region’s Registration and Status Card Service Counter at 1138 Melville Street in Vancouver welcomes walk-in clients from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments can also be made by calling (236) 330-9961. For more information, please visit the ISC BC Region webpage.

Contact information

The contact information for our Executive Leadership Team is available below 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.

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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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