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Minister Anand Announces New Funding Opportunity for Indigenous Collaboration on Defence Matters

As Canada makes landmark investments to modernize the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), we are committed to ensuring that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples are able to provide input on defence issues, and that our institution respects and values the rights enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

To achieve these objectives, it is crucial that the Department of National Defence (DND) and CAF hear directly from Indigenous Peoples about the impacts that Defence projects and activities may have on them, and their communities. That is why we are taking real action to foster better collaboration with Indigenous partners.

As industry partners from around the world gather today at the CANSEC trade show, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence announced the launch of DND’s Indigenous Reconciliation Program (IRP), a program that funds opportunities for dialogue between Indigenous partners and National Defence.

Starting this year, and for the next four years, up to $1.5 million will be available annually, thanks to a $9.5 million investment made through Budget 2022. Indigenous people (First Nation, Inuit and Métis), Indigenous governments and organizations, including bands, tribal councils, Indigenous self-government entities, and local, regional and national representative organizations are all eligible for this funding.

Funding will be made available to eligible recipients in support of engagement, consultation, and information sharing projects and activities, on subjects such as:

• CAF exercises, their impacts on Indigenous Peoples, and opportunities for Indigenous involvement and benefits;

• infrastructure projects, including impacts on and opportunities for Indigenous communities, real property transactions;

• policy research, including on subjects related to the security of Indigenous and Northern communities.

The program is now accepting written applications in English, French, and Indigenous languages, and verbal applications in English and French.

The program seeks to enable National Defence and the CAF to better understand Indigenous perspectives and ensure that Indigenous priorities are considered in our activities and projects.

“As we invest to modernize the Canadian Armed Forces, we cannot leave anyone behind. Indigenous people are important to the defence of Canada, and the Indigenous Reconciliation Program that I announced today provides an important new funding opportunity to support better collaboration between Indigenous people and our institution. Reconciliation is at the core of our government’s agenda, and we will continue to make the necessary investments to collaborate meaningfully with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Our door is open, our minds are open, and together, we will continue to walk the path of meaningful reconciliation.” The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“Reconciliation is not the work of any one department – it necessitates a whole of government effort. National Defence’s Indigenous Reconciliation Program advances meaningful reconciliation by empowering Indigenous communities to fully participate in discussions of Canada’s defence policy, exercises, infrastructure and planning. First Nations, Inuit and Métis continue to serve in our armed forces and play an invaluable role in protecting Canada’s Arctic sovereignty. As the original stewards of this land, we engaged in consultations with Indigenous partners as part of the Defence Policy Update. This is an important step in the right direction in advancing the hard work of reconciliation.” The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services

“As stewards of the land, Indigenous Peoples are invested in the protection of their traditional territories in the North and Arctic to ensure a healthy and prosperous land for future generations. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis will have a seat at the table to help inform the modernization of the Canadian Armed Forces and ensure Indigenous knowledge is applied to our collective defence and security.” The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P. Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor

“For our institutions to be progressive and inclusive, we need to widen our conversations, to ensure Indigenous voices are included and respected. Through the Indigenous Reconciliation Program, Indigenous partners will have the opportunity to actively participate in decision-making processes that directly impact their lands and communities, which will help build a stronger Canada.” The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

 

ADDITIONAL INFO

• DND/CAF has worked directly with Indigenous community representatives in designing this program. Working together with Indigenous groups as the project develops will be an ongoing practice throughout the life of the program, meaning that the program will adapt and evolve as we receive feedback and consult further with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners following the launch.

• Requests for funding will be considered until March 1 of each fiscal year, at the latest, to allow sufficient time for processing or until the funds are exhausted. This funding will be available for up to four years, through 2027.

• Verbal submissions can also be made by phone or in person, in either French or English. To do so, please schedule a meeting by contacting IRP-PRPA@forces.gc.ca.

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