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COVID-19 Funding for Off-Reserve or Urban Indigenous Organizations and Communities

COVID-19 Funding for Off-Reserve or Urban Indigenous Organizations and Communities

April 7, 2020

Key Points

  • Deadline for submission is April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • Total funding amount received may depend on amount of proposals received and geographic representation.
  • Only 15% of the total project cost can be allocated to administrative or overhead costs.
  • Funding can be used for a wide variety of purposes from providing mental health services to food and care packages.


  • National, regional and local Indigenous service delivery organizations supporting Indigenous peoples living in urban centres (example: Friendship Centres).
  • National, regional and off-reserve Indigenous organizations supporting their members living away from their communities (example: Indigenous Representative Organizations and Tribal Councils).
  • Other Indigenous organizations or communities providing services to Indigenous peoples living off-reserve or in urban centres that are not eligible for funding under the distinctions-based streams of the Indigenous Community Support Fund (example: non-status groups and independent communities).

Examples of What Can Be Funded

  • Support for Elders, women, caregivers and vulnerable populations (example: individuals at an elevated medical risk, or people with disabilities).
  • Food bank or nutritional assistance for community members (example: care packages of food, water, cleaning products).
  • Learning packages for children (example: workbooks, school supplies, educational flashcards).
  • Emergency response services.
  • Childcare assistance for workers providing essential services.
  • Mental health services.
  • Assistance applying for government supports (example: Canada Child Benefit, Emergency Care Benefit, Emergency Support Benefit).
  • Development and distribution of information that can help individuals and communities more fully respond and access available services and supports.
  • Transportation costs for community members who can no longer use public transportation or need access to essential activities of daily life (example: grocery shopping, medical appointments).
  • Other activities related to supporting COVID-19 preparedness and response measures.

Eligible Costs

  • Overhead administrative costs (example: supplies, IT equipment, rent) cannot exceed 15% of the direct project costs:
    • For example, $50,000 in direct costs can request up to $7,500 in administration costs for a total project cost of $57,500.
  • Project expenses must be incurred by the project completion date, as set out in the approved project proposal, and no later than March 31, 2021:
    • For example, salaries can only be paid for the duration of the project and cannot be used for permanent positions.

How Will the Proposal Be Assessed

  • Population served: What is the reach of the proposed activities? Who are the participants for each activity (for example, community members, women, youth, Elders, homeless)? How many individuals are expected to be reached?
  • Activities and timelines: Will the proposed activities address urgent, immediate community needs to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak?
  • Budget: Does the budget reflect reasonable costs for the proposed activities, including administrative costs within the 15% maximum?
  • Impacts: Does the project offer direct, meaningful benefit to the recipients or anticipated number of individuals?

Meeting these criteria does not guarantee funding. Proposals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, depending on total available funding and the number of proposals submitted. They may also consider geographic representation.

How to Apply

  • Complete a proposal and budget using the Project or Work Plan Funding Application (PDF, 140KB, 1 page) or submit the same information in another format, such as Microsoft Word or Excel:
    • In the budget section, list all potential sources of funding from other sources to support your COVID-19 response, including any funding that has or will be received from the First Nations, Inuit or Métis Nation streams of the Indigenous Community Support Fund.
  • Make sure your application includes:
    • Organization type:
      • First Nation, Inuit or Métis community
      • Indigenous government or representative organization
      • Indigenous incorporated not-for-profit organization
      • other Indigenous association, group or organization
    • Who this proposed activity will reach and who will benefit (number of people and audience, such as community members, women, youth, Elders, homeless)?
  • If your proposal has multiple activities or sub-activities, provide a prioritized list, in case your proposal can only be partially funded.
  • Joint proposals must list all the partners and what their roles and activities will be.
  • National or regional organizations that will distribute the funding to service delivery organizations must list those organizations and how funding would be allocated.

Email your proposal to

If you have any questions about the application, you can contact Indigenous Services Canada by email: Full Release:

Download bulletin below:

NAN COVID-19 Funding for Off-Reserve…

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