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Canadian Government Increases Research Funds For Indigenous Peoples

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Ottawa —The federal Liberal government has just announced additional funding to help strengthen Indigenous research and training. It has long been known by Researchers that too many researchers build careers without providing benefits to the people used in their studies. This new fund will allow Indigenous peoples to set their own research priorities, guiding how research is done and how data is used & ensure access to research and training opportunities. 

In 2017 the Canada Research Coordinating Committee undertook a consultation with Indigenous partners and communities across the country to hear their experiences with and insights on Indigenous research and training. The consultation report was released today. Setting new directions to support Indigenous research and research training in Canada: Strategic Plan 2019-2022 identifies strategic directions to guide the building of new models to support the future of Indigenous research and training.

Ry Moran the Director for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation said that we “celebrate the important work of the CRCC and the tri-agencies, in responding to Call to Action 65 and encourages ongoing efforts across all federal departments and agencies to uphold and advance the TRC Calls to Action and Principles of Reconciliation….This strategy, with its proactive affirmation of Indigenous organizations, qualifications and research methodologies, represents a significant step forward in ensuring all voices are heard in the search for new knowledge and understanding.”

The new funding represents the Government of Canada’s commitment to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action 65. This new research fund will better integrate and value ”traditional knowledge systems based on mutual respect” said a press release from the minister. 

The Minister of Industry Navdeep Bains said “First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples need to be able to set their own research priorities and to lead research projects that directly benefit their communities. The strategic directions in this report were developed in collaboration with Indigenous partners and reflect the Government of Canada’s commitment to improving research excellence in Canada while moving further towards reconciliation.”

Quick Facts:

  • Budget 2018 committed $3.8 million to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to develop (on behalf of the CRCC and in collaboration with the federal research funding agencies) a strategic research plan that identifies new ways of doing research with and by First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
  • In collaboration with Indigenous partners, the CRCC organized a series of 14 regional engagement events, including roundtables and workshops across Canada, between July 2018 and March 2019. 
  • In fall 2018, the Government of Canada awarded 116 Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation Connection Grants, each with a value up to $50,000, for a total value of $5.6 million. The majority were awarded to Indigenous not-for-profit organizations to organize engagement activities with their communities and to develop position papers.
  • A National Dialogue was held in Ottawa in March 2019 with Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation Connection Grant holders, Indigenous community members, and representatives from Canada’s federal research funding agencies, to discuss themes that emerged throughout the engagement process.
  • Budget 2019 committed $824 million over 10 years to support a distinctions-based approach to Indigenous postsecondary education.