Government of Canada supports Indigenous research capacity and reconciliation

116 new grants will help identify new ways of doing research with Indigenous communities

January 14, 2019—Saskatoon, Saskatchewan—Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

The Government of Canada is committed to renewing our relationship with Indigenous peoples—one based on the recognition of rights, respect, collaboration and partnership. When we recognize Indigenous rights and traditional knowledge, we are helping close the gaps in social, health, environmental and economic outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, minister of Science and Sport, awarded 116 winning recipients up to $50,000 to identify new ways of doing research with Indigenous communities. This announcement of the first Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation - Connection Grants represents a commitment by the Government of Canada to support interdisciplinary Indigenous research that helps advance our understanding of reconciliation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

This investment of $5.6 million announced at the Wanuskewin Heritage Park is designed to support community gatherings and workshops that will mobilize existing knowledge, facilitating dialogue and knowledge sharing. More than half of these grants are being awarded to Indigenous not-for-profit organizations. Ones like Indigenous Works, a Saskatoon-based Indigenous not-for-profit organization that is working with researchers from the University of Regina on research into Indigenous workplace inclusion strategies and corporate Indigenous engagement.


“First Nations, Métis and Inuit in Canada have been kept on the sidelines of Canadian research too long. That’s why we are working to ensure that Canada’s research funding and policies benefit everyone, including Indigenous peoples as full participants. Our government understands the value of Indigenous research and respects all the dimensions of knowledge about the connections between people, places and the natural environment.”

— The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“We were extremely pleased to see incredible interest in this new initiative as demonstrated through the high quantity and quality of grant proposals from Indigenous organizations and researchers. The federal granting agencies are proud to be at the forefront of the mission to grow the capacity of Indigenous communities to conduct research and partner with the broader research enterprise.”

— Ted Hewitt, Chair, Canada Research Coordinating Committee, and President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

“This new recognition and support will build Indigenous Works research capacity to accelerate our mandate to increase Indigenous engagement in the economy by supporting innovative, culturally relevant Indigenous-led research. By working together in Canada, we can create a new spirit of economic reconciliation resulting in more employment, business and social investments.”

— Kelly Lendsay, President and CEO of Indigenous Works

“This investment builds on our growing University of Saskatchewan hub of Indigenous research and engagement, providing new opportunities to conduct innovative and interdisciplinary Indigenous research in partnership with Indigenous communities. We look forward through these exciting projects to contributing to the national strategic plan for Indigenous research and training that will be transformative and contribute to reconciliation.”

— Peter Stoicheff, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Saskatchewan

Quick Facts

  • The new Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation Connection Grants were open to researchers at Indigenous and non-Indigenous not-for-profit organizations and postsecondary institutions.
  • The grants are designed to support the Canada Research Coordinating Committee’s resolve to drive a national dialogue to co-develop—with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities—an interdisciplinary, Indigenous training model that contributes to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
  • SSHRC is administering this initiative in collaboration with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
  • Over the past year, SSHRC has been engaging with Indigenous organizations and researchers through roundtables, workshops and online engagement.
  • These grants support these Indigenous organizations’ engagement activities and the development of position papers that will be shared at a national dialogue in spring 2019.

Associated links

Follow Canada’s three granting agencies on Twitter: @CIHR_IRSC, @NSERC_CRSNG, @SSHRC_CRSH

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Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport
Tel.: 343-291-4204

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Tel.: 343-291-1777

Alioune Camara
Media Relations Advisor
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-992-8930