The Ontario government is investing $9.2 million in two programs to improve economic opportunities for Indigenous communities across the province.
The Indigenous Economic Development Fund (IEDF) and the Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program (ICCGP) provide grants and financing for Indigenous peoples to increase access to support for business, employment and training opportunities.
“Our government understands the important role programs like the Indigenous Economic Development Fund and the Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program play in developing and strengthening economic prosperity for First Nation communities, Indigenous organizations, and other key partners,” said Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford. “By improving access to these programs, we are providing the opportunity for Indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses, and communities to receive the funding they need to unlock their economic potential.”
The IEDF provides $3.2 million for access to skills training and other economic development initiatives, while the ICCGP provides $6 million for Indigenous infrastructure projects.
Interested and eligible applicants were able to apply for a grant or a funding stream through the IEDF for projects that diversify Indigenous economies, support skills training, and other economic development initiatives.
The ICCGP is open to community capital projects that support the planning, renovation, or construction of buildings in First Nations and Métis communities and Indigenous organizations on- and off-reserve.
The IEDF and ICCGP have previously funded various research projects, helped businesses hire more employees, and supported the development of new business ventures.
These programs are an example of Ontario’s commitment to meaningful and lasting reconciliation and to strengthening Indigenous economies. The Indigenous Economic The Indigenous Economic Development Fund allocated $3.2 million for the 2022 to 2023 competitive programs.
In partnership with the Chiefs of Ontario, the province has established a First Nations’ Economic Growth and Prosperity Table to support economic advancement. Findings from this table were used to inform an investment of $25 million between 2022 and 2025 to support Indigenous economic growth.