Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples

From: Indigenous Services Canada

Learn about funding available for organizations and projects that support urban Indigenous peoples.

In the 2017-2018 call for proposals, there was an overwhelming demand for funding to address urban Indigenous issues. As a result, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is not currently issuing a new call for proposals while we work with partners to target community defined priorities and how to best meet the needs of urban Indigenous peoples. Details on adjustments to UPIP will be available in the next few months. Lists of projects, initiatives and coalitions funded for one to five years through the 2017-2018 call will be posted online soon.

On this page

About the program

Infographic: Urban Programming
for Indigenous Peoples:
Funding streams

More than half of Indigenous peoples in Canada live in urban centres. Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples (UPIP ) was created in 2017, based on feedback received during the engagement on the Urban Aboriginal Strategy that took place in 2016.

UPIP is designed to assist First Nations (status and non-status), Inuit and Métis living in or transitioning to urban centres. An urban centre is considered to be an urban area having a population of at least 1,000 people and a population density of no fewer than 400 people per square kilometre. Funding is also available for organizations that serve rural and northern areas that act as hubs for those living on reserves or in smaller northern settlements.

Funding Streams

UPIP has four streams of funding:

  1. organizational capacity
  2. programs and services
  3. coalitions
  4. research and innovation

The Government of Canada will provide $53 million each year to UPIP, beginning in 2017-2018.

Organizational capacity

This stream offers core funding for up to five years to Indigenous organizations that deliver programs or services to urban Indigenous peoples. Core funding covers the day-to-day operating costs of an organization, like staffing of key positions, utilities, rent, etc.

Programs and services

This stream provides project funding for up to five years to organizations that deliver programs and services to Indigenous peoples in urban areas. Projects that focus on these six key areas will be considered for funding:

  1. women (such as projects to help women transition out of shelters)
  2. vulnerable populations (such as projects for persons with addictions, disabilities, seniors)
  3. youth (such as projects that provide land-based activities, mentoring)
  4. transition services (such as navigator services)
  5. outreach programs (such as cultural awareness training for non-Indigenous organizations)
  6. community wellness (such as housing plans or studies, anti-racism, pre-employment supports)


This stream supports local coalitions that bring together all levels of government and other stakeholders.

Under this stream, UPIP will connect organizations and all levels of government to:

  • identify key local priorities and needs
  • ensure efficient and coordinated delivery of urban Indigenous programs

The coalitions will:

  • promote local collaboration
  • identify local needs
  • develop local plans on how best to address the priorities

The funding for this stream will be delivered through targeted calls for proposals. For more details on who can apply and how to apply, contact your INAC regional office.

Research and innovation

This stream provides funding to academics, researchers and organizations in order to:

  • better understand the urban Indigenous reality
  • gather information on best practices, methodologies and programming approaches
  • pilot innovative programs and services to address systemic challenges in new ways

Funding allocations

Although UPIP funding is available through calls for proposals, a certain amount of funding has been allocated in advance to certain organizations. During the Urban Aboriginal Strategy Engagement, Inuit and Métis organizations identified a need for distinction-based funding. As a result, the Friendship Centre movement, the Métis Nation and Inuit have set allocations.

These organizations operate on a large scale and are able to reach their members across Canada. Funding is not limited to these organizations. All organizations (large and small) serving Indigenous peoples are encouraged to apply.

Who can apply?

Each stream of UPIP funding has its own eligibility requirements. Common requirements for all streams include:

In addition, all non-Indigenous organizations, including municipal governments, health and education authorities and institutions, require demonstrated support from Indigenous organizations or Indigenous community groups to be eligible for funding.

Consult the appropriate call for proposals page for more details or the eligibility section of the Terms and Conditions:


The deadline to submit a proposal for organizational capacity funding was extended to July 14, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

The deadline to submit a proposal for programs and services funding was extended to July 14, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

The deadlines were extended due to a technical issue with the online application. The technical issue has been resolved.

How to apply?

The 2017-2018 Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples calls for proposals under the organizational capacity funding stream and the programs and services stream are now closed.

Each stream of UPIP funding has its own application process. Consult the appropriate call for proposals page for more details.

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