Community Grant Program

Quarter 3 Grants are NOW OPEN!

The True North Aid Community Grant program is a multi-tiered funding program supporting Indigenous-led projects in northern and remote communities in Canada that aim to create positive and impactful community-centred change. At True North Aid, we believe that Indigenous self-determination and self-governance are key to addressing inequities and social justice initiatives. True North Aid will provide funding of up to $50,000 toward projects that empower communities with holistic and sustainable projects focused on, but not limited to:

  • The advancement of education, cultural revitalization, and community-building
  • Reclaiming plant/food sovereignty 
  • Addressing housing inequities
  • The promotion of holistic physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being
  • Equitable access to essential resources

Communities can apply for grant applications quarterly. An Indigenous Advisory Committee meets to collectively review and identify grant recipients and communities with capacity-building opportunities.


Funding Guidelines

Click here to download the Community Grant Guidelines. 

Eligibility

We provide grants to Indigenous-led community groups, organizations, and non-profits that are based in and/or partnering with northern and remote (please see description below) communities in Canada.

For the purposes of this program, True North Aid defines Indigenous as status and non-status First Nation, Inuit, and Métis peoples living in Canada, both on and off-reserve, urban and rural settings. 

Applications must demonstrate that a functioning Community Committee (please see description below) has (or will be) established to ensure equitable representation and guidance from a variety of community rights-holders.

Eligible Groups and Projects:

  • Indigenous-led groups and activities (or allies working with an Indigenous committee)
  • Unincorporated/grassroots groups
  • Incorporated non-profits
  • Projects that support Indigenous Peoples and communities
  • Projects that take place in north and remote regions of Canada
  • Projects that promote a tangible benefit to the public
  • Projects that fall within True North Aid’s Objects (please see True North Aid’s Objects below)

Ineligible Groups and Projects:

  • Individuals
  • Projects that are not Indigenous-led
  • Community groups outside of Canada and/ or True North Aid’s definition of north and remote
  • For-profit corporations
  • Projects that do not promote a tangible benefit to the public
  • Projects that fall outside of True North Aid’s Objects

    *True North Aid will not fund projects that are political or religious in nature, involve the distribution of substances, or discriminate based on any grounds prohibited by the Canadian Human Rights Act.

    Application

    Applicants may apply for community grants through the application portal on the True North Aid website. To improve an application success rate, please make sure to review the Community Grant Guidelines thoroughly and fill out the application with as much detail as possible. Once submitted, our Outreach Manager will be in touch with you regarding your application.

    Please allow four weeks following the quarterly application deadline to receive a final response regarding your application status. Please note that we are unable to discuss the status of your application during that time.

    Review Process

    All applications will be reviewed by our Outreach Manager and decided upon collectively by the Indigenous Advisory Committee. The Indigenous Advisory Committee prioritizes Indigenous membership, with members from diverse backgrounds in operating social justice, community-informed, development programs. Membership has been considered carefully with respect to regional diversity, as well as experience and/or educational background. Please see below to learn more about the Indigenous Advisory Committee.

    At the end of each quarter, the Indigenous Advisory Committee meets to review and identify successful grant recipients. All recipients will be notified shortly after the quarterly meeting as to the status of their application.

    Capacity Building

    All grant recipients will have the opportunity to receive mentorship opportunities from a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee that has been identified as a potential guide for a particular applicant group. In addition, our Outreach Manager will be available to provide ongoing support to community grant recipients throughout the duration of their application and implementation period. 

    Reporting and Evaluation

    If successful, grant recipients will be required to sign a written agreement outlining a description of their activities, deliverables, as well as the required fiscal reporting periods. Disbursement of funds will be contingent upon the signing of the agreement and the delivery of timely reporting. Reporting schedules will be agreed upon by the applicant in advance of the release of funds. Reporting outlines will be provided to community groups and will include a budget report, written evaluations, and feedback from partnering community members.

    As a charitable organization, True North Aid relies on donor funding that is often inspired by communicating the incredible work carried out by the Indigenous communities we partner in supporting. By applying, you agree that True North Aid can share your initiatives with our audiences. Please note, we will not share any private information such as location, names, or photos without expressed permission.

    Financial Disbursements and Release of Funds

    Funding will be disbursed in phases, with the first portion paid upon the signing of a written agreement, and the remaining funding phased throughout the project implementation process. Funding will be sent to grant recipients via bank transfer, direct deposit, or electronic funds transfer. Grant Funding must be kept separate from the personal finances of the recipient, either through a separate bank account or by accounting for them separately in books and records.

    Important Dates

    *Project End Dates are flexible

    Questions

    True North Aid would be happy to answer any questions you have about the Community Grants Program. We are here to assist you! Please email: [email protected], or call 613-305-2331 to speak with our Outreach Manager. If you require an alternate method of communication or any accommodation, please let us know and we will do our best to assist you.

    *True North Aid defines ‘north and remote’ as communities that are in the northern regions of Canada (north of 55° latitude, approximately), and/or more than two hours from a city or town with:

    • a hospital; 
    • access to specialized care and support services; 
    • big box stores and grocery stores;
    • other essential goods and/or services

    Please note, exceptional circumstances can be made based on need.


    *The purpose of a Community Committee is to ensure equitable representation from a variety of community members. As such, members should represent diverse rights-holders within the community. Members should include a minimum of three individuals, with at least one member being in a position of leadership which could include, if applicable:

    • A band council or band office staff
    • A member of an elder’s council
    • City/Community Council and/or its staff
    • Educators and Principals of Schools in the Community
    • Education Authority Members and Staff 
    • Health and Nursing Station Staff
    • Social and Community Services Directors and Staff

    Other committee members can be individuals from the community. 

    *True North Aid’s Charitable Objects are as follows:

    1. To advance education by providing books, equipment and educational aids to students in Northern Indigenous communities;
    2. To relieve poverty in Northern Indigenous communities by providing food, clothing, shelter, sustainable solutions and other basic necessities of life to individuals and families who are poor, of low income, or in need;
    3. To provide publicly available scholarships and educational programs for the benefit of Indigenous youth;
    4. To support reconciliation efforts through programs that promote meaningful cross-cultural exchanges, respect for diversity and inclusion, and national awareness about the ongoing impacts of Canada’s unique history for Indigenous people, particularly in the most northern and remote areas in the Country; and
    5. To undertake activities ancillary and incidental to the attainment of the above-mentioned charitable purposes.
    Funding Streams

    We provide community grants within four funding streams:

    • The Bear Funding Stream, providing of funding up to $5,000.
    • The Buffalo Funding Stream, providing of funding up to $15,000.
    • The Turtle Funding Stream, providing of funding up to $25,000.
    • The Eagle Funding Stream, providing of funding up to $50,000.
    Indigenous Advisory Committee

    The Advisory Committee is a collective of 6-10 members with Indigenous heritage being an asset to membership. Members possess varied backgrounds in diverse programs similar to the projects listed above. Membership diversity includes geographic region, identities, orientation(s), age, and education and/or lived experiences.

    Please check back soon for bios of the Indigenous Advisory Committee.

    Application Deadlines

    Quarter One

    • Applications Open: February 16th, 2022
    • Applications Close: March 18th, 2022

    Quarter Two

    • Applications Open: April 18th, 2022
    • Applications Close: June 17th, 2022

    Quarter Three

    • Applications Open: July 1st, 2022
    • Applications Close: September 16th, 2022

    Quarter Four

    • Applications Open: October 1st, 2022
    • Applications Close: December 16th, 2022