Frequently Asked Questions
Q. 6 Where do I apply?
Q. 1 What community economic development programs does Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) offer?
A. INAC delivers two community economic development programs, namely the Community Economic Development Program and the Community Economic Opportunities Program.
The Community Economic Development Program provides core financial support for First Nation and Inuit communities for public services in economic development. The financial support is intended for community economic development planning and capacity development initiatives, development of proposals and leveraging financial resources, and carrying out economic development activities.
The Community Economic Opportunities Program provides project-based support to those First Nation and Inuit communities that have the best opportunities for public services in economic development.
Q. 2 What is the purpose of INAC's community economic development programs?
A. INAC's community economic development programs are expected to lead to community economic benefits. These include more community employment, greater use of land and resources under community control, better access to opportunities from land and resources beyond community control, enhanced community economic infrastructure, more and larger community businesses, more business opportunities, and a better climate and environment for community economic development.
Q. 3 How does our community know which program to apply for?
A. The Community Economic Development Program provides core funding to First Nation and Inuit communities. The amount of funding for a particular community is determined through an allocation process. First Nation and Inuit communities may mandate or designate other organizations to receive their core funding. To access funding in any year, the First Nation or Inuit community or their mandated or designated organizations must submit an annual Operational Plan. The Operational Plan describes the activities to be undertaken and the expected results.
If First Nation or Inuit communities, or their mandated or designated organizations, wish to undertake additional economic development activities beyond the core funding provided under the Community Economic Development Program, they may submit a proposal to the Community Economic Opportunities Program.
Q. 4 Who or what organizations are eligible for INAC's community economic development programs?
A. The Community Economic Opportunities Program and the Community Economic Development Program are available to First Nation and Inuit communities, or organizations they mandate or designate.
Q. 5 Is there a maximum level of funding?
A. The level of core funding under the Community Economic Development Program is determined by a process which allocates funds to communities. On average, First Nation or Inuit communities will receive approximately $70,000, although some communities will receive more and others less.
The maximum level of assistance for project-based funding under the Community Economic Opportunities Program is $3 million.
Q. 6 Where do I apply?
A. To apply, contact an INAC regional office, or regional First Nation or Inuit organization that has been designated to receive and manage applications.
Q. 7 What type of information is needed to apply for funding?
A. Under the Community Economic Development Program, all First Nation and Inuit communities are allocated a specified amount of funding for a fiscal year. To access the funding, potential recipients must submit an annual Operational Plan to the regional office by the date set by that office.
Operational Plans seek information necessary to identify the potential recipient, a brief description of economic development projects and activities to be undertaken during the year and the expected results, plans to submit proposals to other INAC economic development programs, and an annual cash utilization forecast.
Under the Community Economic Opportunities Program, First Nation and Inuit communities, or organizations they designate or mandate, may submit applications to an INAC regional office, or to other First Nation and Inuit organizations designated to receive applications in the region.
Applications must include contact information, as well as information on the proponent communities, project context, project description, key activities in the project and expected completion dates, sources and uses of funds, a description of how the project will be managed and administered, community economic benefits, and land and environmental and regulatory issues.
Q. 8 If our community is to receive funding under the Community Economic Development Program, what will be expected of us?
A. Your organization will be expected to enter into a funding arrangement or amendment which requires, among other things, that your community carry out your Operational Plan and submit a report (the Community Economic Development Report) after the year-end on activities and results.
A. Your organization will be expected to enter into a funding arrangement or amendment which requires, among other things, that your community carry out the approved work plan and submit a report (the Project Status Report) after the year-end on activities and results.
Q. 10 If our community has an economic development project proposal, what is the next step?
A. Project proposals will be addressed through the Community Economic Opportunities Program. Project proponents must submit a complete application to secure funding. Prior to the submission of a complete application, they may wish to submit a brief Statement of Intent. INAC officials will review the Statement of Intent, and provide advice on the eligibility of the project for funding, environmental assessment requirements if any, and any specific issues that will need to be addressed in the completed application.
Q. 11 How long will it take for our community's project to be reviewed?
A. In 2004-2005, projects with complete applications seeking funding under $100,000 took on average of 23 weeks to approve. For projects seeking over $100,000, 80 percent of the projects were approved within 36 weeks.
Q. 12 What other sources of financial assistance are available to our community?
A. The ability to obtain funding from other sources will depend on a variety of factors, including the potential benefits of the project for other parties (including neighbouring communities) and related partnership opportunities, the location of the community, and the nature of the project.
Q. 13 Who can I contact if I have questions?
A. Contact your local INAC office for assistance (Regional Contacts).
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