First Nations Enhanced Education Infrastructure Fund
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) works with First Nations through the Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program to provide financial and advisory assistance to First Nations in the development of their basic public infrastructure, including education facilities. The Enhanced Education Infrastructure Fund is part of the Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program.
Budget 2016 announced an investment of $969.4 million over five years, starting in 2016-2017, for the construction, repair and maintenance of First Nations education facilities.This commitment enhances the existing Education Infrastructure Fund by increasing its available funding and is part of a long-term strategy to improve First Nations education infrastructure.
About education infrastructure
First Nations own and operate education facilities on reserve and are responsible for managing projects to renovate or build new facilities. The Government of Canada provides funding to First Nations to build new schools, renovate and expand existing facilities, and operate and maintain existing education infrastructure. Education infrastructure can include school facilities such as classrooms, gyms, science labs, sports fields, home economics and shop facilities.
Between 2008 and 2014, the Government of Canada invested some $1.7 billion in school infrastructure including building new schools, major additions, renovations and the operation and maintenance of existing facilities.
As part of the $1.7 billion investment in school infrastructure, INAC has invested $175 million in the initial Education Infrastructure Fund (EIF) towards 15 projects across the country between 2012 and 2015 (projects are in various stages of completion).
Beginning in 2015-2016, INAC has also committed an additional $500 million into the initial EIF over seven years for education facilities, plus $175 million in additional departmental funding.
As part of the Enhanced Education Infrastructure Fund, INAC has also established an Innovation Fund to provide funding to First Nations communities to build school facilities that are innovative, promote education reform or achieve cost savings.
Who can apply?
First Nation communities
To be eligible to receive funding, First Nation communities must submit their First Nations Infrastructure Investment Plan every year to their INAC regional office by the following deadlines:
- Quebec and Saskatchewan – May 31
- Ontario – September 30
- Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon – October 15
- all other provinces – November 30
How to apply?
There is no application. Funding is determined based on information provided in the mandatory annual First Nations Infrastructure Investment Plan. This report details the First Nation's infrastructure plans over the next five years and alerts INAC of any proposed capital projects the community may require, including education facilities projects. An updated report must be provided each year before capital funds are released to First Nations. This report should only include eligible projects under the Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program.
Proposed projects are assessed by INAC regional officials and prioritized according to the School Priority Ranking Framework (SPRF). The results guide INAC's investment decisions about education facilities. The SPRF uses nationally established criteria that consider:
- condition of existing facility (with a focus on health and safety)
- accessibility to off-reserve schools
- design (grade distribution and amenities offered)
- cost-efficiency opportunities (external funding sources and aggregation)
Other factors taken into account include:
- state of project readiness
- cost-sharing opportunities
- opportunities to achieve efficiencies
- innovative solutions and financing
For more information, contact INAC by email at InfoPubs@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca or by telephone at 1-800-567-9604.
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