Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program: Funding Guidelines 2019-2020

This program provides funding for long-term climate monitoring projects in Indigenous communities.

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Program overview

The social, cultural, ecological, and economic impacts of climate change are being felt across Canada.

Indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable to climate change due to their close relationship with the natural world, traditional lifestyles, and in some cases, geographic location. For instance, climate change can threaten safe access to land for harvesting plants and animals, endangering food security and cultural preservation.

Through development of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Indigenous partners identified 2 key needs:

To help address those needs this program provides funding to support design, implementation, or expansion of long-term, community-based climate monitoring projects.

These projects:

The program also facilitates access to tools and best practices, enhances collaboration and coordination among initiatives, and supports Indigenous participation in program oversight.

How the program works with Indigenous Peoples

In response to guidance from Indigenous partners, the program takes a distinctions-based approach and is working with Inuit, First Nations and the Métis Nation to develop unique governance and funding approaches that meet their priorities and needs.

The program is establishing Indigenous-led committees and partnering with them to support program implementation.

What is community-based climate monitoring?

In the context of this program, community-based monitoring means "monitoring by the community for the community" using Indigenous Knowledge and science.

Typically, climate and the environmental effects of climate change are monitored by observing and tracking certain qualitative and quantitative indicators over long periods of time.

To see how the environment is changing over time the data collected can be compared to:

  • a baseline measurement taken on a particular date
  • historical records
  • other reference conditions

The program supports 2 main types of climate monitoring within community boundaries and on traditional lands and waterways:

  • Collecting information on weather variables such as air temperature, rainfall, and wind
    • This can be done through observation and with scientific instruments
    • When using instruments, climate monitors can record the data manually or use an automated weather station
  • Tracking the effects of climate change on the environment
    • For example, Indigenous Peoples are reporting rapid changes to such indicators as:
      • water quality and quantity
      • thickness, quality, and timing of sea ice and inland ice
      • permafrost conditions
      • health and distribution of animals and plants
    • Monitoring these types of indicators can be done through qualitative and quantitative observations and by using scientific instruments or methods

All projects must demonstrate a strong link to tracking climate change or climate impacts. That said we acknowledge that ecosystems are complex and interconnected and the program may support projects that monitor the environment from a more holistic perspective.

Available funding

The program has $6 million in contribution funding for April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

About half of the funds for the 2019-2020 fiscal year are already committed to multi-year projects that began in 2018-2019.

The funding approaches for 2019-2020 are as follows:

The program will continue to work with its governance committees to refine the funding approaches for future years.

Who can apply

The program is now accepting proposals from Inuit communities and organizations in:

Eligible applicants include:

We recognize some applicants don't have experience monitoring climate and environmental change. Applicants can work with external partners to build this capacity.

External partners include:

Program requirements

Projects must:

In addition, projects must identify key climate indicators to be monitored such as:

We recognize climate change has effects unique to individual regions, communities, and groups. The program will also consider proposals to monitor climate indicators that are not listed above.

Activities the program supports

Examples of eligible activities include:

Expenses the program covers

The average yearly cost of a project is $150,000. Costs vary depending on the scope and nature of projects.

The program will consider funding arrangements lasting 1-3 years.

The program can support the following project expense categories:

Capital expenses, such as the purchase of buildings or vehicles, are not eligible for funding.

How to apply

Before you begin preparing an application, please contact us to discuss your project idea and to obtain a copy of the Guide for Applicants 2019-2020.

You can reach us by phone at 1-800-567-9604 or by email at

The guide provides details on what information to include for each element of your application including:

In addition, the program will share a Work Plan Sheet, a Budget Sheet, and a Sample Proposal Format.


Although there is no deadline to apply, potential applicants are urged to contact the program with their project ideas at their earliest convenience as funds are limited.

After you apply

We will forward applications from Inuit Nunangat to regional committees for their review and recommendation.

The program will notify both successful and unsuccessful applicants in writing.

We expect to begin developing funding arrangements with successful applicants that outline terms and conditions of funding as early as Spring 2019. This will depend on the timing of committee meetings.

Co-funding and other funding opportunities

The Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program collaborates with climate change adaptation programs provided by CIRNAC and Indigenous Services Canada:

If your monitoring project incorporates climate change adaptation measures, you may be eligible to receive support from more than one program.

Other federal funding opportunities may include:

The Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program will make every effort to refer applicants to additional or alternate funding sources where possible.

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