The Litigation Fund will support Indigenous voices in legal actions that affect responsible resource development in Alberta and increased market access.
This $10 million fund will provide financial support to groups, coalitions, privately funded societies, or alliances that include Indigenous peoples businesses, communities or groups.
Legal actions must support Alberta’s natural resources development, including oil, natural gas, pipeline proposals and forestry for example.
Applicants must prove:
- Indigenous membership
- authority to proceed with planned litigation
- retention of council with relevant experience and expertise for the proposed action
They must also be one of the following:
- a registered non-profit under the laws of Alberta or Canada
- a registered corporation
- a First Nations, Metis Settlement or registered organization with authority to represent Indigenous peoples or communities such as a Treaty Organization, Indigenous Economic Development agency or research entity
- a member of a broad coalition registered in Canada
Applicants must have a bank account registered in the organization’s name. The account must be able to receive electronic transfers and issue statements in case of audit or verification.
There is $10 million in the Litigation Fund. The Litigation Fund Review Committee will recommend applications for the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Cabinet to approve, project-by-project.
Eligible proposals must support litigation or legal intervention in areas that demonstrate support for the efficient, safe, orderly and responsible development of Alberta’s natural resources and/or increased market access for Alberta’s resources.
Applicants need to show how their projects improve Alberta’s interests by:
- supporting Indigenous people in Alberta as they voice their interest in responsible resource development that benefits their communities and increases their participation in Alberta’s economy
- supporting efficient, safe, orderly and responsible development of Alberta’s natural resources and increased market access for our natural resources
- creating fair and effective policies, legislation and market systems that support development and export of Alberta’s natural resources
How to apply
Step 1: Read the criteria for funding
- Eligible proposals are for one of the following:
- litigation or legal intervention – joining or participating in litigation or regulatory processes
- seed funding to support the development of research to evaluate potential court challenges
- The litigation or legal intervention supports the efficient, safe, orderly and responsible development of Alberta’s natural resources or increased market access for Alberta’s resources.
- Applicants must explain how the group has a unique perspective to add that is in Alberta’s interests.
- Oil, oil sands, natural gas and pipeline proposals will be a priority. All natural resource proposals, including forestry, are eligible.
- Full or partial funding of an eligible proposal may be considered.
- All grants depend on the funds available, the likely benefit of the application to the province, the prudent use of the limited funding and any other factor deemed relevant in the context in which a proposal is received.
Step 2: Prepare an application letter
Applicants must send a letter outlining:
- how the legal action meets the stated purpose of the Litigation Fund
- a clear description of:
- what perspective, issue of concern you want the Litigation Review Committee to understand
- how it supports Alberta's interests
- what type of legal action you are seeking funding for
- your role in the legal action
- proof of a deliverable, which could be a legal decision or to report to a hearing as an intervener
- proof of being an eligible group, coalition, privately funded society or alliance that includes Indigenous representation
- proof that the group is a registered or incorporated legal entity that can receive funds
- a budget of estimated full costs for the litigation and the amount of funds requested detailing the proposed uses
- the grant amount requested with details about the proposed uses such as legal fees, travel costs, etc
If applicable, the letter must also include:
- what other sources of funding you have or are applying for
- if you have partners in the litigation
- demonstration of co-pay which may include a partner such as industry or coalition colleagues and identification of other funding sources
A group can submit more than one proposal for more than one litigation matter. The Litigation Fund Review Committee can recommend a maximum grant amount for a group or a specific legal action.
Step 3: Submit the application letter
Please send your completed application to:
20th Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4G8
You may also submit your application by email to IR.LitigationFund@gov.ab.ca.
After you apply
The Litigation Fund Review Committee will review your application letter and be in contact if members need more information.
Applicants will be notified of a decision within 120 days of the committee receiving the application letter.
Successful applicants will receive funds after the grants are approved. Grants will be delivered with a grant agreement that must be signed by the Minister of Indigenous Relations and the person authorized by the group applying for the grant before funds are transferred.
Financial reporting and requirements
Grant recipients must use the grant monies for legal fees, travel and preapproved general disbursements like expert witness fees and honoraria to Elder witnesses.
Use the government’s fee schedule and Government of Alberta travel and accommodation allowances (PDF, 145 KB) to determine travel and honoraria repayment. Counsel can be hired for a higher rate than the fee schedule.
Depending on funding availability and the merits of the application, an applicant may ask for more financial support if the litigation costs more or takes longer than originally planned. This would require a second application detailing the reasons and budget for additional money. The Litigation Fund Review Committee will only consider this option for special circumstances.
To contact the Litigation Fund