Indigenous Reconciliation Initiative – Economic Stream

Funds Indigenous-led capacity and opportunity development projects that improve economic outcomes for communities.

Important dates

We are accepting applications through 2 intake periods:

  • April 30 to June 30, 2024
  • July 1 to October 31, 2024

Applications received before June 30, 2024, will be processed first.


The Indigenous Reconciliation Initiative – Economic Stream (IRI-ES) will help strengthen economic outcomes by funding capacity and opportunity development projects. The program is designed to provide flexible funding that supports Indigenous communities in pursuing priorities based on their unique needs.

Note: If you are looking for funding for Indigenous language, heritage, culture or arts projects, see the Cultural Stream.


IRI-ES applicants can receive a maximum of $100,000 to support an Indigenous-owned economic development project.

There is no requirement for the applicant to contribute financially. However, all sources of funding should be disclosed in the proposal.

The IRI-ES may be stacked with other government and industry funding sources. For the purpose of this grant, the grant stack funding level to a recipient from all government sources (including federal, provincial, and/or municipal) for any initiative can be up to 100% of eligible costs.


  • Eligible applicants

    Eligible applicants for IRI-ES are businesses that are owned by Indigenous communities located in Alberta, Indigenous communities and Indigenous organizations, including:

    • First Nations
    • Metis Settlements General Council and Metis Settlements
    • Métis Nation of Alberta
    • Aseniwuche Winewak Nation
    • Tribal councils and Treaty organizations
    • Indigenous not-for-profit organizations
    • Friendship Centres

    All applicants must comply with the terms and conditions of any previous Indigenous Relations funding. If an applicant is a corporate entity, it must be in good standing.

    Communities must own or control 51% or more of the proposed business or joint venture. 

    An Indigenous not-for-profit must include 51% Indigenous board membership at the time of application. The majority of staff must be Indigenous and the outcomes of the organization must support Indigenous initiatives. 

    Non-Indigenous organizations working in partnership with Indigenous people and communities where the initiative primarily benefits Indigenous people may be considered.

  • Eligible projects

    The intent of the IRI-ES program is to improve capacity and opportunity development with flexible funding that supports Indigenous communities in pursuing priorities based on their unique needs.

    Capacity projects strengthen organizational effectiveness, increase the program's impact, and address emerging issues and trends. Eligible projects may include (but are not limited to):

    • economic development strategic planning
    • governance development
    • corporate or community restructuring
    • human resources best practices development
    • training sessions that support communities to develop their own capacity projects

    Opportunity projects will allow communities to explore new opportunities or assess the viability of a proposed project. Eligible projects may include (but are not limited to):

    • environmental impact assessments
    • build surveys
    • feasibility studies
    • opportunity assessments
    • economic leakage studies
    • asset inventories
    • marketing strategies
    • business cases, plans, proposals
    • training sessions that support communities in developing their own opportunity projects
  • Ineligible costs

    The following costs are ineligible:

    • operational costs (including rent, salaries, or utilities)
    • studies related to labour market participation and employment
    • payments for services that would normally be provided without charge
    • capital expenditures
    • expenditures not related to economic development
    • costs incurred before the program was announced

How to apply

  • Step 1. Read the guidelines

    IRI-ES Application Guidelines will be published when the grant call opens.

  • Step 2. Fill out and sign the application form

    IRI-ES Grant Application Form

    Applications must include:

    • a date and signature
    • description of proposed activities
    • expected outcomes, results and community reconciliation benefit(s)
    • detailed timeline of the project activities and qualification of professionals, where applicable, and
    • a detailed budget
  • Step 3. Demonstrate community support

    You must demonstrate organizational support for your project by providing at least one of the following:

    • Band Council Resolution for a First Nation
    • Council Resolution for a Metis Settlement
    • Board Resolution from a community-owned company or development corporation
    • Board Resolution from a not-for-profit Indigenous organization
    • letter of support from an Indigenous community or organization
  • Step 4. Submit your application package

    Email your application package to [email protected].

After you apply

Once your application is received, the following will happen:

  1. We will do a preliminary assessment to ensure that your application provides enough information to undertake a full assessment.
  2. We will do a full assessment to confirm your eligibility and suitability with the IRI-ES.
  3. We may provide recommendations on how your proposal could be improved to better align with the funding stream.
  4. A grant manager will communicate the status of your application and a final decision will be sent through email.

Decisions are final and there is no appeal process.

Reporting and deliverables

  • If your project is approved, we will enter into a funding agreement with you. 
  • You are expected to report on the activities and results of the projects as detailed in the funding agreement and provide financial statements.

Grant recipients

See the list of recent IRI grant recipients.


Connect with the Indigenous Reconciliation Initiative program:
Email: [email protected]