Aboriginal Economic Development Strategic Partnerships Initiative


This website will change as a result of the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, and the creation of Indigenous Services Canada and the eventual creation of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. During this transformation, you may also wish to consult the updated Indigenous and Northern Affairs home page.

Name of lead department: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

Federal partner organizations: Parks Canada, Industry Canada, Environment Canada, Status of Women Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Employment and Social Development Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Start date: June 17, 2010

End date: Ongoing

Total federal funding allocated (start to end date): $85,500,000 over five years — total Grants and Contributions and Operations and Maintenance. In addition, $61,000,000 have been made available over five years commencing in 2014–2015 in Grants and Contributions for West Coast Energy.

Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Description: With a focus on community readiness, the Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI) supports Aboriginal participation in the economy, with a particular emphasis on the resource development sectors, including forestry, fisheries, mining, energy and agriculture. The Program also supports other key economic development opportunities in areas such as shipbuilding, tourism and potash.

A key component of the new Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, SPI provides a coordinated federal response to existing and emerging Aboriginal economic development opportunities. The Program builds partnerships among participating federal departments and agencies, Aboriginal communities, provincial and territorial governments and the private sector to help Aboriginal Canadians take advantage of complex market-driven opportunities in key and emerging economic sectors. The initiative's funding is designed to fill gaps that cannot be addressed by existing programs.

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

Shared outcome: SPI supports a horizontal approach to federal investments that ensures that these investments align with and target market-driven opportunities. It also ensures that the Government of Canada is able to anticipate, plan for, and engage in opportunities; is able to maximize the results of federal investments; and is better positioned to lever funds from non-federal sources. SPI uses a single-window approach (shared application, monitoring and reporting) to federal investments in identified priorities and addresses program gaps that might preclude Aboriginal participation in economic opportunities. This process also allows funds to flow from multiple programs and departments through one federal lead department in support of the initiative.

Governance structure: Central to the governance structure of SPI is the Director General Investment Committee (DGIC), comprised of representatives from four SPI partners, as well as a representative from the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board. The DGIC validates and prioritizes opportunities taking a whole-of-government approach to investments under the Program. The DGIC also identifies relevant federal government departments that have a role to play in supporting any given initiative and ensures that they work together with Aboriginal groups to advance these opportunities. The DGIC reviews and approves detailed proposals from federal departments on opportunities for consideration under the Program.

Performance highlights: In 2014–2015, the SPI supported more than 57 partnerships between multiple levels of government, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and the private sector. These partnerships have resulted in over $24 million leveraged from other federal partners, provincial/territorial government and the private sector. The completion of several multi-year investments at the end of fiscal year 2014–2015 provided an opportunity to increase support to ongoing successful initiatives and provide new investments for emerging opportunities.

In 2014–2015, AANDC continued investments in the Ring of Fire and Labrador Trough mining developments to ensure that Aboriginal communities located near these major projects continued engaging with partners and pursuing economic, employment, and business opportunities. Support was also provided to a number of new initiatives, which focused on supporting West Coast Energy, Northern Biomass, Ontario Electrification and major opportunities related to forestry. In addition, support was provided to other complex developments including shipbuilding and Aboriginal tourism, which required significant coordination and enhanced Aboriginal readiness to pursue employment and business development opportunities related to these projects.

Performance Information
Federal organizations Link to Program Alignment Architectures Contributing programs and activities Total allocation (from start to end date) 2014–2015
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Aboriginal Economic Development Not applicable $85,500,000 for all federal partners Planned Spending: $14,450,000
Actual Spending: $24,183,109
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 and leveraging investments from other levels of government and the private sector. This is intended to lead to greater participation by Aboriginal peoples in the Canadian economy.
SPI will result in partnerships and investments in economic and resource development opportunities. Other outcomes identified for SPI include the following:
  • capacity for Aboriginal stakeholders;
  • co-operation and collaboration between federal and Aboriginal partners;
  • simplified government application, monitoring and reporting requirements; and
  • strategic federal approach to Aboriginal economic development.
Actual results against targetsa: SPI supported 19 initiatives and 125 projects totaling $24.18 million. Of these 11 were delivered by AANDC regional offices and 8 were delivered by SPI's other government department partners.
During 2014–2015, 57 partnerships were created, while 247 communities participated in SPI-funded initiatives. SPI leveraged $24 million from federal funding and other partners in 2014–2015.
Total for all federal organizations $85,500,000 over five years for all federal partners Total planned spending: $14,450,000
Total actual spending: $24,183,109
a Performance indicators are defined in the Performance Measurement Strategies and/or Performance Measurement Frameworks of each federal partner.

Comments on variances: In 2014, the SPI was allocated an additional $61,000,000 over five years to support the West Coast Energy Initiative. The ongoing SPI grants and contributions budget remains $14,450,000 per year or $85,500,000 over five years (and ongoing).

In the total allocation column, the $85,500,000 figure does not take into consideration the additional $61,000,000 allocated to SPI for the West Coast Energy Initiative provided through a supplementary estimate.

In 2014–2015, planned spending was $14,450,000 accounting for the regular SPI allocation. The actual spending of $24,183,109 includes an additional $10.50 million provided through a supplementary estimate for the West Coast Energy Initiative.

The governance structure of SPI was amended in 2014–2015 to authorize the new DGIC to approve SPI investment priorities.

Results achieved by non-federal partners and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

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

Date modified: