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Help: Individual Applications

Discover how to apply as an individual, what kind of funding is available, what the screening process is like and more.

The NIB Trust Fund accepts applications for education programs aimed at healing, reconciliation and knowledge building. The funds in NIB Trust have been made available through the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement and are available to First Nations and Métis citizens and organizations to access through a competitive application process.  There are two funding types – group and individual.


Q1:      How do I access funding through NIB Trust?

There is a competitive application process to access funding through NIB Trust.  Funding is available to groups and individuals. There is a separate application process for each. The individual application is available on-line in April of each year, and the organization application is available on-line November or each year.


Q2:      What can individual applicants use the money for?

Payments from the NIB Trust Fund for education programs for individuals include, but are not limited to:

  • Scholarships, bursaries, or financial assistance for costs associated with attending post-secondary institutions;
  • Financial assistance to individuals to access opportunities in arts, science, or athletics;
  • Funding to applicants that will assist First Nations and Métis with job skills training;
  • Support for research of First Nations and Métis culture, history, and language to inform curriculum development and educate the public;
  • Support to foster personal development by providing access to programs that address harms resulting from Indian Residential schools, including access to counselling, family development and health promotion 

Eligible activities include but are not limited to:

  • Universities, colleges, cegep;
  • Trade or training schools;
  • Technical training for career advancement;
  • Programs which promote the preservation, reclamation, development or understanding of First Nations or Métis history, cultures or languages;
  • Cultural education-traditional, ceremony knowledge building;
  • Strengthen education and employment training; or
  • Foster community and personal development, including access to counselling and other programs to heal communities from harms caused by the Indian Residential Schools. 

 

Funds can be disbursed through scholarships, bursaries, and awards and can be used for a variety of educational expenses such as:

  • With respect to traditional education programs, Elder fees, guide fees, equipment, supplies, travel, fuel and other similar incidental costs;
  • Tuition and associated fees;
  • Transportation;
  • Accommodations;
  • Meals; and
  • Other living expenses incidental to the participation in educational programs.


Q3:      How will the funds be dispersed to successful individual applicants?

Funds will be dispersed to successful individual applicants by way of:

Scholarship for post-secondary education;

  • Scholarships are money awards you get for academic performance or other achievements to further your education. You do not need to give the money back.

Bursary for training/certification;

  • Bursaries are money awards you get based on your financial needs.  You do not need to give the money back.

Award for cultural/traditional/language knowledge building

  • Awards are set dollar amounts for individuals who wish to pursue healing, cultural, language, or traditional knowledge building. This could include life skills programs, learning a language or skill from an elder or expert, learning traditional ceremonies, or acquiring land-based skills, etc. The application can be found here.


Q4:      What is the maximum amount of money an individual can apply for through NIB Trust Fund?

Currently individuals can apply for a maximum of up to $20,000. However, in 2020-2021 Individual call the average awarded to a successful individual was $4,750.


Q5:      Do I need to be a former residential school student (or family member) to be eligible for funding?

Preference is given to former students of residential schools, but all First Nations and Métis over the age of 18, at the time of application, with a valid social insurance number are eligible for funding through a competitive application process.


Q6:      Will I be taxed on this funding?

Pursuant to subsection 200(2) of the Income Tax Regulations, every payer of a research grant, scholarship, fellowship, bursary or prize (other than a prescribed prize) is required to report the amount on a T4A Slip, Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity and Other Income.

For individuals who receive a scholarship, bursary, or tuition for post secondary education:

All successful applicants who receive a scholarship, bursary, or tuition for education will receive a T4A slip from the NIB Trust.

For all provinces and territories except Quebec, scholarship, bursary and award income is fully exempt from tax when the income is received in connection with a program for which the student will get an education amount tax credit and for which he is enrolled full-time.  The income is not reported on the tax return.

For part-time students who can claim the part-time education amount, the amount of the scholarship, bursary, or tuition that will be exempted will be to cover tuition fees and costs of program-related materials. The Canada Revenue Agency provides a calculator to determine what amount is not exempted and that will need to be reported on line 130 of your personal tax return.

If you are not eligible to claim the education amount, then only the first $500 of awards is tax free.  Amounts received in excess of $500 are reported on line 130 of your personal tax return. 

For Quebec students, the amount received will need to be included in the income, but a deduction for the full amount is allowed.  The scholarship, bursary or other financial assistance amount from box O of the RL-1 slip will be reported on Line 154 of the Quebec personal income tax return. It will also be reported on line 295, which deducts the amount from the taxable income.

For individuals who receive an award:

All successful applicants who receive an award will receive a T4A slip from the NIB Trust Fund. Since these amounts are not dedicated for formal education, recipients will be required to include this income on line 130 (Other income) on their personal tax return. For Québec recipients the amount will be included on line 154 (Other income) of the Québec personal income tax return.

The amount will be fully taxable, but no tax will be deducted at source when the award is distributed. The recipients will be required to pay tax when filing their personal income tax return.

NIB Trust Fund Not Liable

i)            The information in paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 pertaining to taxation is taken from the Canada's Income Tax Regulations which may be subject to change.  This taxation information is not legal advice or taxation advice and is only included here as general information to recipients.  All recipients of a scholarship, bursary, tuition, award or any other financial incentive from the NIB Trust are advised to consult the Income Tax Act and Regulations that may apply to him or her and/or consult with a taxation professional with respect to taxation reporting requirements. 

 

ii)           The NIB Trust shall not be liable for any errors of any kind of a recipient's taxation reporting including but not limited to under-reporting, over-reporting, errors in calculating income tax payments, tax refunds or income tax exemptions.


Q7:      Can I apply for funding for an education program that has finished?

No. All educational activities taking place between September 1, 2022 and August 31, 2023 will be considered for funding.


Q8:      Can I use this funding to start my own business?

No, NIB Trust Fund does not offer funding for personal businesses because it does not fit with the mandate outlined in the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement specific for these funds.


Q9:      Do you have to be a resident of Canada to access NIB Trust Fund?

First Nations or Métis individuals residing outside of Canada are eligible to apply for funding through the NIB Trust Fund provided they have a valid Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN).


Q10:    I did not receive my personal education credit. Can I get it now through the NIB Trust?

No. Personal credit payments and all other formal compensation packages (Common Experience Payment and Independent Assessment Payments) are complete.The NIB Trust Fund are a separate and new opportunity for former students, First Nations and Métis individuals and organizations to access funding for education programs aimed at healing, reconciliation and knowledge building.


Q11:    How long does the review process take?

The NIB Trust Fund receives many applications. Too ensure an adequate assessment and review of each, the screening and selection process for applications could take approximately six months. Individual funding decisions are usually released end of October. 


Q12:    How long will funding be available through NIB Trust Fund?

Plans are in place to ensure the longevity of the NIB Trust Fund, with the goal of offering funding for individuals and organization through a competitive application process for the next 20 years. 


Q13:    Where did the money in the NIB Trust come from?

The funds currently available in Trust were identified in the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement for education programs aimed at healing and reconciliation.  This is not a formal compensation package for former students for Indian residential schools. The Common Experience Payment, Independent Assessment Payment and Personal Education Credits are complete. The funds now in Trust are available to First Nation and Métis individuals, governments and organizations.  Preference will be given to former Indian Residential School students. 


Q14:    What constitutes an education program for the purposes of the NIB Trust application process?

Education programs refer to the advancement of an individual’s education and personal development which relate to literacy or trades, as well as programs which relate to the preservation, reclamation, development or understanding of First Nations or Métis history, cultures or languages.

 For the purposes of the NIB Trust Fund, educational programs are those provided by education institutions, cultural centers, organizations, communities and individuals/groups, whether short or long-term, informal or formal, or certified or non-certified.

 Educational Programs include, but are not limited to, those that:

  1. Strengthen education and employment training;
  2. Promote First Nations and the Métis languages and cultures; or,
  3. Foster community and personal development, including access to counselling and other programs to heal communities from harms caused by the Indian Residential Schools.


Q15:    What are the criteria for applications and what is the screening process?

Assessment of all applications comply with specific principles and guidelines set out by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and the NIB Trust Fund’s Terms and Conditions and Administration Plan.

Applications are screened to ensure they’ve been received by deadline and contain all necessary documentation, including eligibility. Only complete applications will be evaluated and forwarded to the Board of Trustees for consideration.

 Once an application is deemed to be complete it is forwarded to the Selection Committee for assessment and scoring. The Selection Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees on whether applications should be accepted or declined. The applicant will be informed by email or mail of the Board of Trustee’s decision.


Q16:    If I receive funding this year, can I apply next year as well?

Yes.  The application will be screened along with other applicants in the competitive process.


Q17:    If I receive funding as part of a group, can I also apply for individual funding?

Yes. The group and individual applications are separate processes and will be screened through a competitive process.


Q18:    Are there any restrictions to how the funds are used?

The funds cannot be used to pay debts.


Q19:    What won’t or can’t be funded?

The NIB Trust Fund cannot disburse or distribute funding for the following:

Supplementation or compensation of an individual’s Common Experience Payment or Personal Credits amount;

  • Claims for compensation;
  • Legal action;
  • Entrepreneurial activities
  • Capital costs,eg purchase of boats building of smoke house or camps, etc.
  • Activities outside the NIB Trust Fund’s objects;
  • Partisan and/or political activities;
  • Payments for past student loans or debts;
  • Example of activities that will not be funded: teaching traditional skills, building structures, writing curriculums.


Q20:    How are funding decisions made?

Assessments of all applications comply with specific principles, key criteria, priorities, and guidelines set out by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, Administration Plan and the NIB Trust Fund. The Board of Trustees appoints the Selection committee who will review all complete applications and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees for funding.

Applications are screened to ensure they’ve been received by the deadline and contain all requested documentation. Only complete applications will be evaluated and forwarded to the Trustees for consideration.


Q21 :   What are the application deadlines?

Application deadlines are at 5:00 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) on the date stated on the application form. 


Q22:    My individual proposal was denied funding by NIB Trust Fund.  Is there an appeal process?

Yes. The appeal process document can be found here. The appeal process does not guarantee funds.  Individuals who have not received funding are encouraged to apply again in the next round.


Q23:    I have been approved for funding from NIB Trust.  Will this affect my Treaty-based funding?

This would have to be answered by existing funders.  Funds received by NIB Trust cannot be used to reduce, replace or duplicate existing support available through federal, provincial, territorial or local governments, but may be used to augment and complement this funding.


Q24:    How can I apply?

All applications must be typed. Handwritten applications will not be accepted.

Faxed applications will not be accepted.

Late applications will not be accepted.

On-line at https://nibtrust-apply.smapply.io

Scholarship and Bursary applications must be completed through the on-line application system. https://nibtrust-apply.smapply.io

Award applications can be submitted on-line https://nibtrust-apply.smapply.io, email or mail. (PDF here)

Applications must use the 2022-2023 application template- the NIB Trust Fund will not accept previous year’s applications forms.


Q25:    Is it possible to see a copy of the application before applying?

No. The NIB Trust Fund application is only available to view once the application opens. The application round opens every year in April and closes in June.

View our new How To Apply Toolkit! The toolkit will help applicants understand the format of the application, provide insightful tips, and provide individual applicants with a general outline of what to expect when applying to the NIB Trust Fund 2022-2023 Call for Applications - Individuals


Q26:      What will the NIB Trust Fund accept in terms of the Confirmation of Enrollment?

For the Confirmation of Enrollment, the NIB Trust Fund will accept official documents from the institution such as:

  • Letter of acceptance
  • Letter of enrollment
  • Payment invoices related to registration of your program
  • Official letter from the institution regarding your enrollment or registration
  • Applicants’ transcripts to demonstrate they are actively enrolled in their program


Q27:      How long will my funding last? How will my funding be dispersed and when?

Applicants can apply for one academic year per application; meaning the programming must take place between September and August. The NIB Trust Fund aims to have funding dispersed by the end of September and successful applicants will receive 90% of their approved amount, the remaining 10% will be released once final grades or final reporting is submitted.


Q28:      Can I apply on behalf of my son/daughter/dependent?

No. the application is meant to be submitted by who ever is applying for funding.


Q29:      Can you apply for two programs, a scholarship, and an award? 

We encourage you not to. Any submitted applications are considered to be under one applicant and if there are multiple applications, they are considered in competition with each other.


Q30:      Is there a Section for Federal Indian Day School Survivors?

The funding that the NIB Trust Fund received from the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement is directly related to Indian Residential Schools. The Indian Day School Settlement is a separate class action lawsuit against Indian Day Schools. All day school survivors can apply to the NIB Trust Fund if they are a recognized member of a First Nation or Métis community.

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