To pursue its commitment to economic and social development for Indigenous communities, the Government of Québec has created the Indigenous Initiatives Fund (AIF) III, with a total investment of $167.5 million over five years. The funds will be used to
support economic development initiatives,
invest in community infrastructure,
issue loan guarantees to help Indigenous project applicants fund their initiatives,
help community organizations,
encourage social development,
help pay for consultations with Indigenous communities, and
support Indigenous people in urban environments.
AIF III is made up of seven different components that are managed by the Minister responsible for Native Affairs. The goal of the fund is to support the economic, social, and community development of Indigenous people and to meet government requirements for consultation.
To this end, AIF III will financially support promising initiatives that show potential for significant positive spinoffs.
AIF III funding is in addition to other types of support from both the provincial and federal governments. It is important to note that AIF III is intended to supplement other government aid and thus allow Indigenous people to complete their projects.
AIF III will not fund projects that interfere with or duplicate existing responsibilities, programs, or services.
The first source of funding for projects submitted to AIF III must be existing programs offered by the federal government and Québec ministries and government agencies.
AIF III will only fund projects that cannot be supported by other programs and, as applicable, projects that need additional support beyond what is available through existing programs.
Therefore, for AIF III aid to be approved, in general the project must be funded jointly by the community, project applicant, federal government, or other partner.
The applicant must demonstrate financial need and submit all required documentation to Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones (SAA) and, as the case may be, to the relevant Indigenous authorities.
Lastly, to be eligible for AIF III funding, expenses must be incurred after the date on which the application for financial aid is submitted. The Minister responsible for Native Affairs will not approve projects until a financial plan has been drawn up. Such plans should include funding from the federal government, if applicable.
Projects are selected as follows:
Applications for funding are submitted.
SAA reviews the applications.
As necessary, applications are sent to the relevant ministries and government agencies for review in terms of suitability, feasibility, and funding.
SAA makes recommendations.
Acceptance or rejection letters are mailed to applicants.
If a project is approved, an acceptance letter is sent and/or a funding agreement is signed with the project applicant.
AIF III comes into effect on the date it is approved and ends on March 31, 2022.