Grants and contributions to support the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is committed to working collaboratively with Indigenous partners in transforming the way the department adapts and implements policy and program reform.

These terms and conditions have been discussed with and informed by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Inuit regions of Canada. In developing these terms and conditions, Inuit partners have asked that the following statements be included:

In order to renew the Inuit-Crown relationship, joint priorities must include establishing equity, boosting socio-economic prosperity, supporting culturally appropriate approaches to removing barriers, and improving the educational environment that will create opportunities for Inuit. Supporting Inuit self-determination is pivotal to strengthening the Inuit-Crown relationship and achieving reconciliation.

The educational gaps between Inuit and other Canadians remain significant. Raising Inuit education attainment rates will contribute to critical thinking, leadership and self-determination. Other benefits include economic prosperity and the development of innovative practices that will contribute to the overall well-being of Inuit individuals, families and communities. Other positive outcomes include increased income, improved labour-force participation, more jobs, and overall increased self-reliance for the Inuit economy. Investing in Inuit post-secondary education will benefit all of Canada and improve our national economy. Closing these systematic gaps and focusing on post-secondary education will dramatically change economic and social outcomes for Inuit students across Canada.

On this page

1. Introduction

1.1 Context

Post-secondary education is an important factor in closing the socio-economic gap between Inuit and non-Indigenous people in Canada. To support Inuit students pursuing post-secondary education and foster lifelong learning and skills development, the Government of Canada has committed to the creation of the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy. The strategy reflects the Government's commitment to a renewed relationship with Inuit, one that is framed by principles of reconciliation, including recognitions of rights, respect, cooperation, partnership, and self-determination. This transformational approach includes direct financial support for Inuit students, complementary programs and services, and regional institutional and governance capacity to support service delivery.

1.2 Scope of programming

The purpose of these terms and conditions is to establish provisions for making grants and contributions payments to Inuit recipients for the provision of post-secondary programming. This document provides the framework under which current and future ISC contribution programs can be administered to support post-secondary education attainment for Inuit students. They provide the flexibility for ISC to meet changing conditions and government priorities and to implement acceptable programs and initiatives in line with departmental policy and legislative authorities. As a result, new programs and initiatives may be added and others removed from time to time.

1.3 Spending authorities used under these terms and conditions

This strategy is delivered through 2 spending authorities: Grants to support the Inuit post-secondary education strategy and Contributions to support the Inuit post-secondary education strategy.

2. Legal and policy authority

3. Purpose, strategy objectives and expected results

3.1 Purpose and objectives

The Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy will help close the post-secondary education attainment gap between Inuit and non-Indigenous Canadians through distinctions-based and regionally delivered strategic support. The expected results are based on implementation strategies and objectives co-developed between ISC and Inuit partners.

The strategy contributes to the broader strategic outcomes of self-determination and control of education, strengthening education, social and economic outcomes and lifelong learning.

3.2 Expected results

Results of this strategy include an increase in post-secondary education enrolment and improved graduation rates for Inuit students.

3.3 Indicators

  • Number of students funded for post-secondary education
  • Percentage of eligible students who applied and received funding for post-secondary education
  • Number of students who access support services provided by Inuit organizations
  • Number of Inuit education organizations that have increased post-secondary education capacity in one more key areas of need
  • Number of partnerships established
  • Percentage of students who continue to be funded beyond the first year of their program of study
  • Percentage of funded Inuit students with a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree
  • Number of funded Inuit students who graduate with a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree
  • Percentage of Inuit students directly benefitting from increased capacity in any one of the key areas identified under the immediate outcome
  • Percentage difference between Inuit and non-Indigenous adults (between the age of 25 and 64) with a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree

4. Recipient eligibility

For sub-sections under eligibility, meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding.

There are 2 types of eligible recipients: initial recipients that may have a contribution agreement with ISC and ultimate recipients that may have agreements with the initial recipients and receive funding that is distributed by the initial recipients. Individual Inuit post-secondary students or post-secondary institutions (for the payment of student fees) may be eligible for grant funding provided directly by ISC.

4.1 Initial recipients contributions

The initial recipients that are eligible to have a contribution agreement with ISC are solely the following:

  • Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami: national Inuit organization
  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation: representing the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Northwest Territories
  • Kitikmeot Inuit Association: regional Inuit association representing the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut
  • Kivalliq Inuit Association: regional Inuit association representing the Kivalliq region of Nunavut
  • Qikiqtani Inuit Association: regional Inuit association representing the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut
  • Kakivak Association: Inuit economic development organization in Nunavut
  • Kativik Ilisarniliriniq: the school board of Nunavik in Quebec
  • Nunatsiavut Government: regional government of Nunatsiavut in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Makivik Corporation: the organization representing the Inuit of Nunavik in Quebec
  • Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated: the organization representing the Inuit of Nunavut
  • National Coordination Secretariat

Each Inuit initial recipient will determine the mechanisms through which funding will be distributed to eligible ultimate recipients. The National Coordination Secretariat shall be determined by consensus of all Inuit land-claim organizations or their designate.

4.2 Ultimate recipients

The ultimate recipients that may receive funding that is further distributed by the initial recipients may include:

  • Inuit who are beneficiaries of an Inuit land-claims agreement and who reside in Canada
  • community service providers (such as childcare services, employment programs, mental health supports), provincial service providers and education organizations
  • post-secondary institutions generally recognized through an accrediting body such as Universities Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada or other professional associations and certification boards

4.3 Out-of-territory Inuit: grants and contributions

Out-of-territory Inuit students are those who reside in Canada, but outside Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, Nunavut or the Inuvialuit Settlement Regions. Given that some Inuit students are currently funded through First Nations organizations, these new terms and conditions will allow for the continuation of funding. Student support could therefore be provided directly by ISC or through a contribution agreement between ISC and the following eligible recipients:

  • band councils of recognized First Nations bands
  • organizations designated by band councils(bands or settlements, tribal councils, education organizations, political or treaty organizations engaged by or on behalf of First Nations) or Inuit communities

Recipients are eligible for grant funding where student support is provided directly by Indigenous Services Canada. These may be students or a post-secondary institution, where warranted, for the direct payment of fees.

5. Eligible expenditures

There are 4 components eligible for funding:

Eligible expenditures must be directly related to and necessary for the eligible components.

5.1 Strategy expenditures

Actual administration costs proportional to resources used and not to exceed 15% of total expenditures that are required to directly administer the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy. These may include but are not limited to:

  • salaries and benefits of personnel
  • materials and resources for the management of funds
  • the collection, maintenance, safeguarding and reporting of data and information in accordance with strategy and financial reporting requirements
  • rent and utilities
  • communications costs, including printing and web presence
  • travel and accommodation

5.2 Student financial support

This category is for student grants that support academic and living expenses associated with pursuing a post-secondary education credential at an eligible post-secondary institution. These may include but not be limited to:

  • transcript and application fees
  • tuition and other student fees
  • initial professional certification and examination fees
  • books and supplies
  • supplemental tutorial, guidance and counseling services
  • living expenses, including for dependents, if applicable
  • transportation support, as needed
  • expenses associated with travel home, including for dependents, as applicable
  • child care, as needed

Recipients will provide funding directly to eligible students or to post-secondary institutions, as required. Retroactive funding is not permitted for studies in a previous fiscal or academic year.

5.3 Programs and services

Eligible expenses to provide programs and services may include, but are not limited to:

  • academic readiness and support
  • wraparound services to students and their families (such as mentorship or student-peer mentorship, Elder guidance, career counselling, student cultural support)
  • outreach and navigation services
  • cultural education and life-skills development
  • information technology and remote locations access to allow students the opportunity to complete distance education or online courses from their home communities

Recipients may carry out activities or contract out services.

5.4 Community engagement

Eligible expenses for community engagement activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • local sessions for prospective students about post-secondary opportunities, course offerings and program eligibility
  • facilitating peer-to-peer transitions between prospective Inuit post-secondary students and alumni
  • creating awareness, showcasing and celebrating success of alumni

5.5 Governance and national coordination

Eligible expenses to provide national coordination services include but are not limited to:

  • data collection and management
  • needs assessment and analysis
  • engagement and partnerships
  • management of processes and systems to support delivery
  • development of culturally relevant content (curricula, as required)

5.6 Ineligible expenditures

Capital and maintenance costs are ineligible under the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy.

6. Total Canadian government funding and stacking limits

Total maximum government assistance for the same purpose and eligible expenditures shall not exceed 100% of the eligible expenditures.

7. Method for determining the amount of funding

The method for determining the amount of funding to initial recipients is based on a funding formula that takes into account adult population, demographics, size or socio-economic conditions. This formula is determined based on methodology recommended by Inuit representatives and in accordance with program guidelines. Funding must remain within the maximum amount payable as outlined in section 8.

Once recipients receive funding allocations, they provide programs and services according to an established funding breakdown:

Direct financial assistance to students Recipients will provide direct funding to eligible students or provide funding to post-secondary institutions to cover a student's fees and expenses. 75%
Programs and services Recipients may carry out activities or contract out services. Support activities may be provided to a group and individual interventions may be determined, as required. 15%
Community engagement Recipients may carry out activities or contract out services. Support activities may be provided to a group and individual interventions may be determined, as required. 5%
Governance and
national coordination
Recipients may carry out activities or contract out services. 5%
Total   100%

8. Maximum amount payable

The maximum amount payable per full-time students under Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy cannot exceed $75,000 per year.

The maximum amount payable per student does not represent an entitlement. The actual amount of funding will depend on the overall amount of funding in the strategy and the number of recipients selected.

On an extraordinary and justified basis, full-time graduate students in an advanced professional degree program (such as dentistry or medicine) or a masters or doctoral program, may be awarded funding in excess of $75,000 up to a maximum of $100,000 per year. Such awards may be granted by special request on a case-by-case basis only and considered when a graduate student has extraordinary circumstances that warrant the setting aside of the standard policy on maximum amounts payable.

Part-time students, as defined by the post-secondary institution being attended, may receive assistance for tuition and fees and the cost of books and supplies. Part-time students may be awarded assistance for living allowances or travel, typically at a pro-rated amount.

The maximum amount payable per initial recipient for programs and services is $3,450,000 per year.

The maximum amount payable to per initial recipient for community engagement is $600,000 per year.

The maximum amount payable per initial recipient for national coordination is $1,150,000 per year.

9. Basis on which payments will be made

9.1 Contributions

Contribution progress payments and final payments will be made on the basis of one or a combination of the following:

  • reimbursement of eligible expenditures: payments to contribution recipients are made via regular progress payments based on reimbursement of eligible expenditures or via advance payments based on a cash-flow forecast
  • achievement of pre-determined performance expectations: certain progress payments and final payments are tied to the achievement of pre-determined performance expectations. The exact amount paid for each performance expectation achieved will be based on a pre-determined rate or percentage of total contribution amount to be negotiated prior to the development of the contribution agreement.

9.2 Grants

Grant payments for tuition, books, supplies and travel are typically one-time payments made at the beginning of each academic term, while living allowances are paid monthly. All payments will be made based on eligible expenditures or via advance payments made in accordance with local operating guidelines.

10. Monitoring and accountability

Funding recipients must deliver the activities in accordance with the provisions of their funding agreement and the program delivery requirements outlined in these terms and conditions, communicated through program guidelines, while also ensuring that the necessary management controls are in place to manage funding and monitor activities.

Funding recipients are required to exercise due diligence when approving expenditures and must ensure that such expenditures are in accordance with the eligible expenditures set out in these terms and conditions.

ISC is accountable to provide funding to Inuit recipients in a timely manner through grants and contributions payments under the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy. ISC will provide assistance to recipients in order for them to effectively carry out obligations under the relevant program guidelines and funding agreements. Departmental contacts are available to answer questions and to provide guidance related to programs and funding.

To ensure that program outcomes and objectives are being met and opportunities for continuous improvement are being identified, with a goal to improve results for Inuit people, activities, including audits, evaluations and targeted program reviews (such as desk and on-site review) may be conducted with funding recipients.

11. Application requirements and assessment criteria

The application requirements and assessment criteria are set out in the National program guidelines, updated and published annually.

For the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy, there is no application process required between ISC and initial recipients. It is rather based on the established allocation of resources. There is nonetheless a requirement for an application process for students applying to the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy to determine eligibility and to prioritize the allocation of resources.

Eligible Inuit students must be enrolled full time in a post-secondary program generally recognized through an accrediting body such as the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges or other professional associations and certification boards.

Meeting the application requirements and assessment criteria outlined in the program guidelines does not guarantee funding.

12. Due diligence and reporting

12.1 Contributions

At a minimum, contribution recipients are required to submit an annual financial report that accounts for the use of funding in accordance with the terms of the funding agreements. The frequency of reporting will be based on the recipient risk and departmental directives.

In addition, to support a reduction in the reporting burden, performance measurement data will be collected annually using various methods and sources aligned with the performance measurement strategy for the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy, reporting strategies that were co-developed with Inuit. Recipient performance reporting requirements will be set out in departmental recipient reporting documents and the frequency of reporting will be set out in each funding agreement.

12.2 Grants

ISC has procedures in place that enable it to observe due diligence in approving grant payments, in verifying recipients' eligibility for grants and in managing and administering programs.

Recipients may be required to report, as appropriate, to support the Departmental Results Framework and other departmental reporting.

13. Official languages

ISC will take into account the relevant official languages obligation and comply with all applicable official language requirements stipulated in the Official Languages Act and the related regulations, as well as any new or existing federal government legislation and policies in this regard.

14. Intellectual property

Ownership of Indigenous intellectual property remains with the respective organizations or individuals. Conditions for shared rights will be set out in the funding agreement as appropriate.

15. Repayable contributions

Provisions for repayable contributions do not apply. Any contributions made to private firms under these strategies, initiatives and projects are not intended to generate profits or to increase the value of a business.

16. Redistribution of contributions

Where a recipient delegates authority or further distributes contribution funding to agency third party (such as an authority, board, committee, or other entity authorized to act on behalf of the recipient), the recipient shall remain liable to the department for the performance of its obligations under the funding agreement. Neither the objectives of the programs and services nor the expectations of transparent, fair and equitable services shall be compromised by any delegation or redistribution of contribution funding.

Recipients have full independence in the selection of such third parties and will not be acting as an agent of the government in making distributions.

17. Other terms and conditions

National Program Guidelines: the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy holds a corresponding set of ISC program guidelines, which include specific criteria supporting these terms and conditions. Recipients must act in compliance with the provisions outlined in these terms and conditions and the program guidelines.

Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategy initial recipients may issue local program guidelines provided they are consistent with the terms and conditions set out in this document. These guidelines will include information on the application and funding process, including a formal appeals mechanism. All prospective applicants must have access to these local guidelines.

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