Indigenous Monitoring and Stewardship Fund

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We offer funding through our Indigenous Monitoring and Stewardship Fund to support projects that help to build an understanding of the waters and shorelines in Manitoba affected by hydroelectric development. This funding is specifically for Indigenous communities, Indigenous governments, regional Indigenous governance organizations, and tribal councils that have a connection to the waters and shorelines affected by hydroelectric development on the Churchill, Burntwood, Nelson, Saskatchewan, Laurie and Winnipeg River systems.

The Indigenous Monitoring and Stewardship Fund totals $1,000,000 and will be available in 2024/25 as a pilot program. Eligible projects may receive up to $125,000 for the 2024/25 funding year.


To be considered for funding, your project must be connected to waters and shorelines affected by hydroelectric development on the Churchill, Burntwood, Nelson, Saskatchewan, Laurie or Winnipeg River systems.

Your project must include one or more:

  • community-led environmental stewardship work;
  • Indigenous Knowledge and/or community-based environmental monitoring;
  • gathering and sharing of Indigenous laws, teachings, and/or knowledge;
  • capacity-building, outreach, and community-based training and/or sharing of Indigenous Knowledge or environmental monitoring expertise;
  • displays for communities related to environmental topics, community histories, and/or Indigenous Knowledge;
  • data collection and monitoring of waters and shorelines;
  • species and habitat identification, monitoring, and protection.

Projects that are ineligible include:

  • projects that replace, duplicate, or are projects we already fund in part;
  • energy resource or development projects;
  • scholarship programs intended to fund individual degree or accreditation programs (outside of short-term and community-based monitoring training initiatives);
  • projects located on Lake Winnipeg;
  • projects that include large capital purchases (exceptions are possible on a case-by-case basis – the purchases must be supported by a detailed business case);
  • fish stocking programs;
  • projects that subsidize individual or commercial resource harvesting activities or harvesters;
  • multi-year projects.

If your project is eligible, your application must:

  • be complete;
  • be received on or before June 30;
  • clearly demonstrate how the project is eligible for funding, according to the eligibility list above;
  • outline all project locations, objectives, methods, resources, and schedules, including backup plans in the event of delays;
  • show a clear connection to waters and shorelines that may be affected by hydroelectric development on the Churchill, Burntwood, Nelson, Saskatchewan, Laurie and/or Winnipeg River systems;
  • include a detailed project budget that shows the expected costs of all components of the project, including for contingency expenses;
  • include a date when the final report on the project will be submitted that includes explanations of how the project’s results will be shared with community members;
  • show how the project will support community objectives and maximize benefit to the community;
  • clearly identify any required approvals, including regulatory licencing or permitting, and a plan for satisfying those requirements.

We evaluate all applications.

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Ineligible costs

Some costs that are part of your project may not be eligible for funding.

Ineligible costs include:

  • the cost of developing a project proposal;
  • costs that have already been incurred; and
  • costs that are not directly related to the project, including general administration costs.

Applications must be received by June 30, 2024. Late applications will not be accepted. Decisions about funding are expected by October 15, 2024. Projects selected for funding will take place in 2025.


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If your project is chosen for funding

If your project is chosen for funding, we will work with you on a funding agreement. This agreement will outline your funding, explain your project activities, and detail reporting requirements. While reporting requirements are part of the funding agreement, you will own the Indigenous Knowledge and any other information produced by your project.

When the funding agreement is finalized and executed, we will provide 60 % of the approved funding. You must submit an interim report on or before September 15, 2025 to receive an additional 20 % of the funding. The final 20 % of funding will be provided following submission of a final project report.

If a funding agreement is executed by a First Nation, a band council resolution is required. If a funding agreement is executed by a community council, Manitoba Municipal and Northern Relations approval may also be required.

If you are selected for funding, you will be invited to participate in a workshop to share the outcomes of your project.

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Contact us

If you have questions about eligibility, applying for funding, implementing your project, or would like to provide feedback, contact us.

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