Indigenous Youth & Community Futures Fund

We are now accepting applications for the Indigenous Youth and Community Futures Fund. Projects must start on or after April 15, 2019.

Applications are due by 11:59 PM, February 11, 2019. If you’re interested in applying, we encourage you to contact the the Program Manager, Betul Keles.

Overview of the Fund 

Through the Indigenous Youth & Community Futures Fund (IYCFF), we invest in opportunities for Indigenous youth to connect with their land, languages and cultures, and strengthen and deepen their relationships within and across Indigenous communities. We also support the transmission of cultural practices and knowledge to future generations.

We believe that these processes support the cornerstones of reconciliation efforts: decolonization, nation building and cultural resurgence.

More specifically, the ICYFF grants are for Indigenous youth to develop and lead projects where they:

  • learn about and are immersed in their lands, languages, rights, laws and cultures
  • participate in everyday acts of resurgence, reclamation and wellbeing
  • build relationships within and across Indigenous communities
  • learn about and define for themselves what reconciliation means


This call is open to Indigenous youth-led groups that are based in traditional territories spanning Ontario. A youth-led group generally consists of young people between the ages of 14 to 29. However, we also welcome groups with younger members or adult allies, community members, elders or knowledge keepers playing supportive roles as long as young people, who self identify as Indigenous Peoples, come up with the project idea and lead the project.

Types of Activities

Projects could include:

  • Land-based learning opportunities and culture camps
  • Language immersion opportunities
  • Culture-based education that includes ceremonies, medicines, arts, sciences
  • Social justice, law and rights-based education
  • Healing, life promotion and community building
  • Other projects that communities deem important to support decolonization reconciliation, nation building and cultural resurgence

Grant Amount 

You can apply for up to $30,000 for small-scale projects that can last between 6 to 12 months. Please note that due to the number of applications we receive and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.

Eligible Expenses 

  • Administrative costs
  • Small equipment and technical costs or fees to carry out the proposed project
  • Transportation, food, and childcare expenses for project staff and participants
  • Salaries and honorariums for Elders and Knowledge Keepers

(Please contact us If you’re not sure whether the expenses you anticipate would be eligible for funding or not)

Ineligible Expenses

  • Ongoing operating expenses that are unrelated to the proposed project
  • Purchase of land or real estate
  • Capital expenses for immovable assets, i.e. buildings
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Endowments
  • Scholarship and bursaries
  • Cultural tourism and powwow competitions
  • Individual projects
  • Projects involving partisan political activities
  • Projects involving strictly religious purposes or activities. Please note that we do not consider Indigenous ceremonies to be religious purposes.

Application Deadline: February 11, 2019 by 11:59 PM. 

To Apply

Once you read the Indigenous Youth and Community Futures Fund Guidelines and determine that you meet the eligibility criteria, you’ll need to create an account on our online grant management portal to access the application form.

Applicants with Limited Internet Access

Applications are submitted in writing through our online portal; however, if submitting your application through the online portal is not a possibility due to inadequate internet access, you can request an offline application process by getting in touch with us at least two weeks before an application deadline

Oral Submissions

We recognize the significance of oral transmission of stories, histories, lessons and other knowledge to sustain identities for Indigenous communities. In keeping with this, we accept oral submissions. Please get in touch with us to request an oral application process.

You can download the application form here.


Who can apply for grants through the Indigenous Youth and Community Futures Fund? 

IYCFF supports Indigenous, youth-led groups that are based in traditional territories spanning Ontario.

What’s an Indigenous, youth-led group?

Young people, who self-identify as Indigenous Peoples, came up with the project idea and will lead the project with community mentors and/or Elders playing supportive roles as needed and defined by youth. Youth-led is intergenerational, as often there are members older or younger that play important roles in the work. The key thing is that Indigenous, young people between the ages of 14 to 29 are at the core of decision-making and leadership.

Can an unincorporated group apply for a grant?

We welcome applications from unincorporated groups. 

What are the IYCFF grants designed to support?

IYCFF grants are for projects that provide opportunities for Indigenous young people to increase or regain access to their culture, land and languages; strengthen and deepen relationships within and across Indigenous communities; and support the transmission of cultural practices and knowledge to future generations. Some examples include Indigenous language projects such as running language immersion classes in the community; land- and culture-based projects for Indigenous youth to increase their knowledge of and access to traditional skills and teachings, such as  culture camps organized by Indigenous youth with the support of their community members, Elders and knowledge keepers. 

What is the amount we can request? 

You can apply for up to $30,000 for small-scale, short-term projects that can last between 6 to 12 months.

We need funding to support our core activities, not a project. Can we apply to the IYCFF?

No. We do not provide core funding. However, we fund core operating costs associated with a project if they are directly related to the project.

We’ve already received funding from Laidlaw before. How does this affect our new grant application?

Every application is evaluated on its merits. Previous funding status has no bearing on your new application unless you have an active grant (your project is still going on), and you’re seeking support for the same project and activities. If that’s the case, you’ll be asked to communicate clearly how your new application will be building on your learnings from the previous project.

We understand that the Foundation will not fund capital expenditures. Are computer equipment considered to be capital expenditures?

We will not fund capital expenditures for immovable assets (i.e., buildings). Small equipment including computer equipment that’s relevant to the project could be included in the budget.  

How do we submit an application?

You can submit an application online or via email or paper mail if you have limited access to the internet. You can also request an oral application process. For online submissions, you have to create an account on Foundant, the Foundation’s online grant management portal. 

When using the online portal, can we leave the application unfinished and return to it later? 

Yes. Your application will remain in draft form until you hit submit. You can return to your draft application at any time.

What happens after we submit an application?

  • We’ll send you an email confirming receipt of your application.
  • We will review each application and create a shortlist.
  • Applications that meet the eligibility criteria and align well with the priorities of the Indigenous Youth and Community Futures Fund will be shared with Laidlaw’s Indigenous Advisory Committee.
  • If we and/or the Indigenous Advisors have follow-up questions about your application, we will let you know.
  • The Indigenous Advisors will first conduct individual reviews of the shortlisted applications and then meet in person to consider each application. The Advisors will decide together which projects should be recommended for funding and the amount of funding that should be provided.
  • Following the adjudication meeting, we will get in touch with you to share information about the decisions made about your application.

What is the decision making process? How do you decide which projects to fund?

The IYCFF grants are assessed by an advisory committee made up of Indigenous youth. After reading all grant applications that meet the eligibility criteria and align with the Fund’s priorities, the Indigenous Advisory Committee meets as a group to discuss, score and award grants with the support of Laidlaw Program Manager. Projects that are recommended for funding by the Advisory Committee are then forwarded to the Foundation’s Board of Directors for ratification.

How many advisors sit on the Committee?

The Indigenous Advisory Committee currently consists of eight individuals. You can read about their work here.

How many IYCFF grants does the Foundation intend to make through the current call for applications?

This depends on the number of eligible applications and the budget that potential grantees need to do this work. We’ve made 21 grants over the past two years. You can see the list of approved grants from 2018 here.

How do I learn about the outcome of my application?

After a decision is reached on your application, you will receive an email notification. We do not release results by phone unless you went through an offline application process.

Our grant application has been approved – what happens next?

Congratulations! You will be asked to review and sign an agreement, which may have special conditions attached that are specific to your grant. In general, the first instalment is paid soon after the receipt of the signed agreement and remaining instalments are paid in accordance with the payment schedule drawn up to suit your particular project.

What is a payment schedule?

A payment schedule outlines the dates and grant amounts made to you by the Foundation for your approved budget. It is developed by taking into consideration the information provided in the work plan, and often also in consultation with the grantee.

Our application did not get accepted. Is there somewhere where I can get feedback?

You can contact the Program Manager. S/he will provide you with feedback on your application based on the Advisory Committee deliberations.

We have some questions. Who can I contact?

For more information, please contact the Program Manager, Betul Keles, at or 416.964.3614 ext. 307

Resources (under development)

On language revitalization: