Sign-up for The Talon, our Biweekly Newsletter!

Indigenous Planning: Funding Your Land Use Plan


For many Indigenous nations, finding and securing the funding necessary to take on a task as large as a land use plan can seem like a big challenge. If own-sourced funding is not possible or desirable for developing your plan, there are a number of other options available to secure the funds necessary to hire and train staff, host community meetings, and bring in outside expertise when necessary. This list represents some of the funding that is available year-to-year throughout Canada. Make sure to read to the end for a bonus place to look...and one you won't want to miss as you consider your options (hint: it's not government funding).


Lands & Economic Development Services Program (Targeted Funding)

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)

Eligible Applicants:

  • Indigenous governments
  • Tribal councils
  • Organizations and associations controlled by Indigenous communities and governments, except those with charitable or religious purposes
  • Non-Indigenous organizations and associations, except for those with charitable or religious purposes

Program Details:

Project-based funding is available for the following:

  • Economic development, land management and environmental management activities, including (but not limited to)
    • Capacity development
    • Planning
    • Land designations that support economic development
    • Development of proposals to raise financial resources
  • Program management services pertaining to community economic development

Maximum Amount: 100% of eligible costs (first come, first served)

Application Deadline: The program is offered annually.

Read more 

Community Opportunity Readiness Program

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)

Eligible Applicants:

  • Indigenous governments and Tribal Councils
  • Organizations and associations controlled by Indigenous communities and governments, except those with charitable or religious purposes
  • Non-Indigenous organizations and associations (except those with charitable or religious purposes) that plan to provide economic development services for the benefit of Indigenous communities

Program Details: Intended to provide financial support to communities that are in pursuit of, or to participate in, an economic opportunity. Eligible activities include support to pursue economic opportunities and attract private sector funding, such as feasibility studies, marketing, advertising and promotion, planning, negotiations, legal, land surveys, and appraisals.


Maximum Amount: 80% of eligible costs up to $3.0M for planning for economic opportunities. 66.67% up to $3.0M for community economic infrastructure projects targeting multiple business opportunities. Projects under $250k are selected regionally, and over $250k must be selected at a national level.


Application Deadline: Program is offered annually.

Read more 

Land Code Communities (First Nations Land Management Regime)

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Eligible Applicants: First Nations


Program Details: Allows First Nations to opt out of 32 sections of the Indian Act. Gives First Nations the ability to develop their own laws about land use, the environment and natural resources.


Maximum Amount: Varies based on funding formula in each individual agreement. Funds are available for developmental stage (pre-land code), and operational stage (for five years following ratification).


Application Deadline: No deadline. Applications reviewed on ongoing basis.

Read more here and here 

Reserve Land Environment Management Program

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Eligible Applicants:

  • First Nations
  • Tribal Councils
  • Aboriginal organizations and corporations
  • Training institutions and professional development organizations
  • Other groups performing land management functions on behalf of First Nations

Program Details: This program provides funding to First Nations to develop the capacity needed to manage and exercise increased responsibility over their reserve land, resources and environment under the Indian Act. Requires a community member willing to be trained and serve as a Land Manager.


Maximum Amount: Varies depending on need. Level 1 provides funding for one land manager.

Application Deadline: No deadline. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Must meet certain requirements of eligibility.

Read more

First Nations Market Housing Fund

First Nations Market Housing Fund (FNMHF)

Eligible Applicants: First Nations who meet the Fund’s Access Criteria and who intend to move to or expand market-based housing.


Program Details: For eligible communities, the FNMHF provides capacity development support, which can include land use planning.


Maximum Amount: No maximum (depends on resources available)

Application Deadline: No deadline. Requests are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Read more 


Bonus: Your Creative Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) Negotiations!

Your Negotiating Team - Mining, Pipeline, Oil & Gas, Highway, Nuclear, etc. Projects


Creative Negotiation: Major projects in your territory create major impacts to on-reserve and off-reserve communities. To accommodate your labour force working on these projects, you may need to plan for additional housing, and the public works infrastructure to support that housing. You may also need to take part in regional planing for expanded healthcare, social services, policing, education, recreation, business services, and other necessary services. Your costs for advancing all of this planning can be accommodated by major project proponents - but first you have to add these planning costs to your negotiation agenda, and make sure your negotiation team understands the impact of not having these costs covered.


Indigenous Planning Blog Series

This is the tenth post in a series that explores ways Indigenous communities have used the planning process to create an exciting vision for their future and a realistic roadmap to get there – and some resources and ideas for you to do the same. We hope you join us for the rest of the ride.  And please get in touch if there’s a topic you’d like us to explore.


Read more posts in this series:


Looking for help with community engagement? Or other planning help?

If you are trying to figure out how to get started, do give us a shout. We’d be happy to discuss your options and help you weigh the pros and cons of your planning options. We’re a team of self-proclaimed planning geeks who love to talk about this stuff, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Looking for a quick overview of some planning options you might be considering?

Download Planning Cheat Sheet


Like what you're reading? Get future posts delivered right to your inbox:

Sign-up for The Talon!


About Us: Shared Value Solutions

We are a Canadian B Corp, and we assist Indigenous communities with support throughout regulatory processes surrounding major development projects like mines, hydroelectric facilities, transmission lines, highway expansions, oil and gas pipelines, natural resource transport applications and nuclear power. 


We have deep context and experience behind the recommendations we provide, having worked for our clients on almost every major project in Canada over the last 10 years. For us, it’s all about building long-term relationships with our clients. We want to get to know you and what you want to do so we can help you move your plans forward. 



Recent Posts