ARCHIVED - Horizontal Initiatives: Aboriginal Economic Development Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI)


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Name of Lead Department(s):

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

Lead Department Program:

Under AANDC's Program Alignment Architecture, the Strategic Partnerships Initiative is categorized under the Strategic Outcome entitled "The Land and Economy". The Program for the initiative is entitled "Aboriginal Economic Development".

Start date of the Horizontal Initiative:

June 17, 2010

End date of the Horizontal Initiative:


Total federal funding allocation (start to end date):

$85.5 million over five years – total Grants and Contributions (G&C) and Operations and Maintenance (O&M)

Description of the Horizontal Initiative (including funding agreement):

The Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI) supports Aboriginal participation in the economy, with a particular focus on the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy and the agriculture sectors. A key component of the new Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, SPI enables more than a dozen partnering federal departments and agencies to provide a co-ordinated federal response to existing and emerging Aboriginal economic development opportunities.

SPI builds partnerships among federal departments, Aboriginal communities, provincial and territorial governments and the private sector to help Aboriginal Canadians take advantage of complex market-driven opportunities in key sectors of the economy. The initiative's funding is intended to fill gaps that cannot be addressed by existing programs. There are 13 signatories to the Treasury Board Submission for the Aboriginal Economic Development Strategic Partnerships Initiative:

SPI fosters a whole-of-government approach to Aboriginal economic development by enabling federal partners to align investments and resources around shared objectives. The program helps eliminate funding gaps in existing federal programming that could otherwise limit or exclude Aboriginal involvement in emerging economic development opportunities.

The initiative also helps to build closer partnerships with non-federal partners, including provincial and territorial governments, the private sector and Aboriginal individuals, organizations, businesses and communities. These partnerships help bring together the people and the resources required for Aboriginal communities to take advantage of opportunities.

Shared Outcome(s):

The SPI allows for a horizontal approach to federal investments that: ensures that federal investments are aligned and targeted toward market-driven opportunities; the Government of Canada is able to anticipate, plan for, and engage in opportunities; and that the Government of Canada is able to maximize the results of federal investments and be better positioned to lever funds from non-federal sources. Additionally, the SPI creates a single-window approach (shared application, monitoring and reporting) to federal investments in shared priorities and addresses program gaps that might preclude Aboriginal participation in economic opportunities.

Governance Structure(s):

Central to the governance structure of the SPI is the Federal Coordination Committee (FCC) for Aboriginal Economic Development. The FCC validates and prioritizes investment opportunities from a whole-of-government perspective. The FCC also monitors and ensures that all relevant federal departments and agencies work together with Aboriginal groups to advance these opportunities.

Performance Highlights:

For 2013–2014 the 12 initiatives supported under the SPI resulted in 56 partnerships are in place of which 40 were newly established in fiscal 2013-2014. More than $5.4 million in federal funding and $25.2 million in non-federal funding was leveraged. The Department approved the addition of Environment Canada and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency as partners to the Strategic Partnerships Initiative. The addition of these key organizations as signatories to the program will help further the goal of implementing a whole-of-government approach to Aboriginal economic development. In February, a proposed response to the Eyford Report was brought forward to Cabinet with the objective of building Aboriginal support for energy projects. Measures were approved to support engagement activities, economic and business development, land-use planning, and fish habitat restoration under SPI.

Federal Partners PAA Programs Contributing activities/programs Total Allocation (from start date to end date)
($ millions)
2013–2014 ($ millions)
* Performance indicators are defined in the Performance Measurement Strategies and/or Performance Measurement Frameworks (PMF) of each federal partner.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Aboriginal Economic Development Not applicable 85.5 Planned Spending: 17.3

Actual Spending: 15.2

Expected Results: The objective of the SPI is to increase economic development opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians by stimulating partnerships between federal and non-federal partners. This is intended to lead to greater participation by Aboriginal peoples in the Canadian economy.

SPI will result in partnerships and strategic investments in economic and resource development opportunities. Other outcomes identified for SPI include:

  • Capacity for Aboriginal stakeholders;
  • Co-operation and collaboration between federal and Aboriginal partners;
  • Simplified government application, monitoring and reporting requirements;
  • Aboriginal business development; and
  • Strategic federal approach to Aboriginal economic development.

Contributing activity/program results (using specific indicators)*: Twelve initiatives supported under the SPI resulted in 56 partnerships in place of which 40 were newly established in fiscal 2013–2014.

During 2013–2014, more than $5.4 million in federal funding and $25.2 million in non-federal funding was leveraged.

Total 85.5 over five years Total Planned Spending: 17.3

Total Actual Spending: 15.2

Comments on Variances:

The variance on planned spending and actual was due to two initiatives declaring surplus funding too late in the fiscal year to reprofile the money.

Results Achieved by Non-Federal Partners (if applicable):

Not Applicable

Contact Information

Jennifer Cairnie
Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships Directorate
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Telephone: 819-994-7219

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