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BC Capacity Initiative



September 2019

October 2019

Application Guidelines - BC Capacity Initiative

Recent Changes to the BC Capacity Initiative
Objective and Expected Results of the BC Capacity Initiative
Application Deadline
Who Can Apply
Eligible Projects
Eligible Expenses
New Funding Approaches
How to Apply
How Proposals Are Evaluated
Evaluation Criteria
How Funds Are Distributed
Contact Us

Recent Changes to the BC Capacity Initiative

Please pay careful attention to the revised funding guidelines, which now include the updated evaluation and eligibility criteria. These new additions are intended to help communities develop strong applications through a more transparent process. Please contact the program coordinator Alice Wong at (604) 396-6420 or aadnc.BCCDCapacity.aandc@canada.ca if you have any questions about these changes.

The following list summarizes some of the changes that are included in the funding guidelines:

  1. The BC Capacity Initiative proposal process is now a 1 phase application process, no longer a 2 phase, so a completed work plan and all detailed information is required with your application that is due on November 19, 2018.
  2. There is more flexibility in the types of projects that can be proposed as BC Capacity Initiative will now consider projects that build capacity to participate in reconciliation discussions (i.e. applications are not only restricted to preparing for comprehensive claims negotiations).
  3. Administrative costs maximum has been raised to 10%.
  4. Honoraria maximum has been removed. Amount must be justified.
  5. There are additional funding approaches that increase the flexibility of funding.

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Objective and Expected Results of the BC Capacity Initiative

The BC Capacity Initiative prepares First Nations groups to engage in reconciliation discussions by funding projects that enhance community capacities. The expected result for capacity development is that First Nations advance their readiness to participate in reconciliation discussions.

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Application Deadline

For the fiscal year running from April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, the deadline is November 19, 2018, end of day. Receipt of applications will be acknowledged within two weeks.

When an application deadline falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, it is extended to the following weekday.

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Who Can Apply

To be eligible for funding you must represent a First Nations group such as a band, tribal council, or an incorporated organization representing First Nations.

Applicants are not eligible if:

  • They are signatories to a modern treaty;
  • Indigenous Services Canada has not accepted their most recent audited financial statement; or
  • They have outstanding final reports from previous BC Capacity Initiative projects (contact Indigenous Services Canada office to inquire about reporting matters).

Only one application will be accepted per group except when that group is also involved in a separate regional project.

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Eligible Projects

Projects must demonstrate a strong connection between the capacity being built and the group’s long-term plan for self-determination, particularly as it relates to their lands and resources. Typically groups use funds for the following capacity sectors:

Project Sector Names Sector Description
Cultural Heritage Recording, survey and inventory of traditional land use (TUS), traditional ecological knowledge and archaeological heritage.
Community Vision/Strategic/ Comprehensive Community Plans Development of strategic/land use/community plans and/or consensus-based community vision in the area of, or directly linked to lands and resources.
Land & Resource Governance Land use planning and development of governance structures and regulatory frameworks that are directly linked to land and resources consultation, negotiation, implementation or management.
Land and Resource Professional Development Including, formal and practical training in writing, negotiation, conflict resolution and other developmental activities that directly support preparation for land and resource consultations or negotiations.

Typical activities include the following:

Project Activity Name Activities
Education, training and skills development Activities contributing to the enhancement of human resources capacity (i.e. courses, workshops, co-ops, mentorships, etc.).
Research, studies and database development Activities contributing to increased information capacity through an improved information base and new data management tools (i.e. inventories, databases, GIS, studies, etc.).
Development of decision-making frameworks, plans and strategies Activities contributing to the increased governance capacity through the development and documentation of decision-making frameworks, plans and strategies (i.e. land use plans, community vision, comprehensive community based plans, land stewardship plans, community consultations, organizational strategies, constitution, policies, procedures, etc.).
Operational or organizational development Activities contributing to increased management capacity through new or enhanced operational or organizational arrangements (i.e. positions, offices, partnerships, agreements, MOU’s, etc.).

There is flexibility for groups seeking to carry out activities that do not fit well into the projects, sectors, and activities. The BC Capacity Initiative will consider application in other areas that demonstrate a concrete connection to a community's plan for self-determination as long as they comply with all eligibility requirements.

The following projects are not eligible:

  • Proposal/Application Development
  • Operational Expenses
  • Economic Development Projects
  • Projects where funding is available through other government programs (e.g. First Nations Land Management Act, 1999)

Please pay close attention to the updated eligibility criteria as projects that are ineligible will not be considered.

For examples of past projects that received funding please visit http://bccapacity.org/documents_list.aspx, refer to "Lists of Approved Projects".

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Eligible Expenses

Proposals submitted must include a detailed budget that provides cost breakdowns by category. Only project-related expenses are eligible. These may include:

  • New! Administrative costs (maximum of 10% total requested funding)
  • Employee salaries and benefits
  • Honoraria
  • Course fees and training services
  • Information and software costs
  • Consulting fees
  • Supplies and materials
  • Capital expenditures (maximum 6% of total requested funding)

The following expenses are not eligible:

  • Fees incurred for the purposes of litigation
  • Fees related to a person obtaining a post-secondary degree or diploma

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New Funding Approaches

Please find a brief overview of the different Treasury Board Secretariat approved funding approaches that are now available for use by the BC Capacity Initiative. In support of expanding recipient access to carry over unexpended funding, the 'Set' Funding Approach is no longer the default option and Indigenous Services Canada has the ability to use 'Fixed' and 'Flexible' contribution funding. The summary below is not comprehensive so please visit http://bccapacity.org/documents_list.aspx under "Reference" for additional information on these funding options.

Fixed Funding Approach

  • Aboriginal recipient
  • No recipient capacity requirement
  • Requires a reliable estimate of the annual amount
  • Unexpended funds may, in some instances, be carried over at March 31 to continue work towards planned results
  • Primary objective is to incent cost efficiencies
  • Once planned results achieved, unexpended funding (i.e. cost savings) can be retained
  • Recipient responsible for cost overruns (some exceptions)

Flexible Funding Approach

  • Aboriginal recipient, long standing relationship, willing to enter a minimum two year agreement
  • Recipient capacity threshold: "demonstrated capacity"
  • Base premise is that in order to achieve planned results, the recipient may require flexibility (in terms of time or redirection of costs)
  • Can be used for any project or activity:
    • that begins in one fiscal year but may not be completed until the next fiscal year
    • whose objectives are a sub-component of a larger and longer term program
  • Carry over of unexpended funding is limited to:
    • furthering results towards program objectives
    • the earlier of end of program or expiry of the agreement

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How to Apply

Applicants should review these guidelines in their entirety before submitting an application as incomplete and ineligible applications will not be considered. Please note that there is no longer a two phased process, so detailed documentation is required in the initial application.

A complete application must have the following documents:

  • Completed BC Capacity Initiative proposal application;
  • Completed budget summary table;
  • New! A complete work plan including estimates from consultants and education services;
  • Band Council Resolution from a First Nations applicant; Tribal Council Resolution from a Tribal Council applicant; or a signed resolution from a First Nation organization’s board;
  • Plan or vision/mission statement that identifies the proposed project as a priority;
  • If applicable, letters of support from partners contributing to the project. These letters must identify the type of support (e.g. staff, equipment, money, etc.) and the value of the contribution (cash or in-kind) if any; and
  • First Nation organizations must include a current Certificate of Incorporation.

If you wish to discuss your project and application please contact the program coordinator Alice Wong at (604) 396-6420 or aadnc.BCCDCapacity.aandc@canada.ca .

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How Applications Are Evaluated

We fund projects that have clear objectives and measurable results. Your application will be evaluated based on the evaluation criteria below and compared with other applications and prioritize it in relation to the funds available. Failure to comply with any conditions of a previously funded project will be considered in the evaluation of your new application and could result in the rejection of your new application.

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Evaluation Criteria

The BC Capacity Initiative application evaluation process considers the following criteria:

  1. Strength of the connection between the project and preparation for reconciliation discussions.
  2. How well the project complements the stated planning objectives of the community.
  3. Where appropriate, evidence that the First Nation group is involved in the project development and implementation.
  4. When consultants are involved, a clear explanation for how the project will facilitate a transfer of knowledge into the administration, the community, or between community members.
  5. Indications that strong partnerships will be developed.
  6. The quality of the application (strong deliverables, complete work plan, and detailed budget).

The BC Capacity Initiative has an external council that assists in the development of evaluation criteria and in the selection of projects. BC Capacity Initiative Council meets annually to discuss the coming years funding. A list of the current members is available at http://www.bccapacity.org/council.aspx.

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How Funds Are Distributed

Once proposals are assessed, applicants will be notified of the results by early March. Cash flow will begin in May.

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Contact Us

For further information please contact us: BC Capacity Initiative 600-1138 Melville Street Vancouver BC V6E 4S8




Alice Wong (Project Coordinator): (604) 396-6420
Toll Free: 1 (800) 665-9230

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