Aboriginal Economic Development Strategic Partnerships Initiative

General information

Lead department: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Federal partner organizations: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency; Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec; Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario; Health Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Employment and Social Development Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, including FedNor; Natural Resources Canada; Parks Canada; Status of Women Canada; Western Economic Diversification Canada; Environment and Climate Change Canada; Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Start date: June 17, 2010

End date: Ongoing

Total federal funding allocated (start to end date):

Total federal planned spending to date: $175,500,000

Total federal actual spending to date: $155,601,595

Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners: Nil

Governance structures: Central to the governance structure of the Strategic Partnership Initiative is the Director General Investment Committee, which includes all core voting member departments. The committee validates and prioritizes opportunities, taking a whole-of-Government approach to investments under the program. It also identifies relevant federal government departments that have a role to play in supporting any given initiative, and ensures that they work with Indigenous groups to advance these opportunities. The committee completes a review of detailed proposals from federal departments on opportunities for consideration under the program, and makes final decisions on initiatives seeking funding.


Strategic Partnership Initiative (SPI)

With a focus on economic readiness, SPI supports Indigenous participation in the economy, with a particular emphasis on emerging opportunities in 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.

SPI provides a coordinated federal response to existing and emerging Indigenous economic development opportunities. The process-oriented program builds partnerships among participating federal departments and agencies, Indigenous communities, provincial and territorial governments and the private sector to help Indigenous peoples 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.

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

West Coast Energy

In June 2014, a coordinated government response was launched with the objective of building Indigenous support for energy projects. Part of the response included the expansion of the Strategic Partnerships Initiative, which will provide the Government of Canada with the resources needed to enhance Indigenous participation in West Coast Energy infrastructure development.

Funding is being used in four priority areas to help build Indigenous support for energy projects. These include:

Fiscal year of planned completion of next evaluation: An evaluation of SPI – West Coast Energy Initiative activities and funding covering the period 2014–2015 to 2017–2018 commenced in early 2017. The final evaluation report, together with the Management Response and Action Plan, will be presented to INAC's Performance Measurement and Review Committee in March 2018. This evaluation work will contribute to a Natural Resource Canada-led horizontal evaluation of the West Coast Energy Initiative in 2018–2019.

Shared outcome of federal partners: SPI supports a horizontal approach to federal investments that ensures 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 Indigenous 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.

Expected outcome or result of non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Performance highlights: SPI's horizontal approach to federal investment targets funding to large-scale market-driven opportunities like the Labrador Trough, Voisey's Bay, and British Columbia Aboriginal Clean Energy. This approach helps the Government of Canada anticipate, plan for and profit from these opportunities so its investments are better positioned to leverage funds from non-federal sources. In 2016–2017, SPI supported 19 initiatives across Canada and generated more than $38 million in further funding from federal and non-federal sources, surpassing its goal by more than $23 million and creating or maintaining more than 40 partnerships. Key partners like Health Canada are also using SPI's horizontal authority and flexibility to test a place-based management and single-window funding approach in Northern Ontario's Ring of Fire.

Performance information

Federal organizations Link to the Department's PAA Contributing programs and activities Total allocation (from start to end date) 2016–2017 Planned spending (dollars) 2016–2017 Actual spending (dollars)
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Program 3.3: Strategic Partnerships Not applicable $114,500,000
(General SPI)
$14,450,000 $16,790,000
(West Coast Energy Infrastructure)
$17,250,000 $18,811,595
Other federal partners Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable $4,262,576
Total for all federal organizations $175,500,000 $31,700,000 $39,864,171
Note: Total actual spending includes Grants and Contribution monies that were sourced by INAC's partners, and flowed using the umbrella Terms and Conditions for the Strategic Partnership Initiative to achieve single-window delivery.
2016–2017 Expected results 2016–2017 Performance indicators 2016–2017 Targets 2016–2017 Actual resultsa Data source and frequency of monitoring and reporting
Regional economic opportunities and large resource development projects impacting Indigenous communities are pursued in partnership with public and private sectors (PAA 3.3) Value of federal and non-federal investments leveraged under the community readiness phase of the Strategic Partnership Initiative 1:1.5 leveraging over three years (for every $1 Strategic Partnership Initiative investment an additional $1.50 is leveraged from other sources including private and other public sectors) by March 31, 2017 1:≈2.3 Source: Internal administrative database
Frequency: Quarterly
a Performance indicators are defined in the Performance Measurement Strategies and/or Performance Measurement Frameworks of each federal partner.

Note: In 2016–2017, this program supported 19 initiatives and leveraged over $38 million in additional funding from other sources, exceeding the performance target by over $23 million. Of the initiatives supported, thirteen were delivered by INAC regional offices, and six by other federal partners. In 2016–2017, over 40 partnerships were created or maintained, while over 213 communities participated — directly or indirectly — in funded projects.

Comments on variances: The difference between 2016–2017 planned spending and actual spending reflects additional resources reallocated to support this program, funds leveraged from other INAC programs that were flowed through SPI to achieve single-window delivery, and funds re-profiled from 2015–2016 for the West Coast Energy Initiative.

Contact information

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