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Province doubles funds for Indigenous economic development projects

Application process now open for 2022-2023 cohort

The province has announced it’s doubling the amount of funds set aside for economic development projects in Indigenous communities.

Funds in the Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program for 2021-2022 have increased to $6 million from $3 million. That money is expected to fund 40 projects across the province.

“The positive economic impact that the Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program creates for Indigenous community infrastructure projects, both on and off-reserve, is immense,” Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford said in a Jan. 28 news release.

“We recognize that Indigenous communities are facing unique challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and we will continue to provide tailored supports that will help communities address these challenges by achieving meaningful, lasting results.”

Chapleau Cree First Nation (CCFN), whose traditional territory is located in northeastern Ontario, received program funds to develop an ecolodge.

Peggy Domingue, the community's economic development officer, said the lodge will provide programming for residents, while doubling as a vacation destination visiting tourists.

"The Ecolodge has the potential to become a staple for CCFN and the local region,” Domingue said in the release.

“It will play a critical role in creating much needed investment opportunities in the region."

The province said the Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program will continue in 2022-2023, and priority will be given to projects that have been funded in previous stages, business or training centres, shovel-ready projects, and initiatives that support COVID-19 related community needs.

Applicants can apply until Feb. 18.