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Help: Our History, Background & Other Questions

Learn more about how the NIB Trust was created, where the money in the NIB Trust Fund came from and other answers.

Q: How do I access funding through NIB Trust Fund?

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


Q: How long does the application process take?

NIB Trust Fund receives a large number of applications.  In order to ensure an adequate assessment and review of each, the screening and selection process for applications could take approximately four months.


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

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


Q: Where did the money in the NIB Trust Fund 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 of 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.


Q: If I receive funding as part of a group, can I also apply for individual funding and vice versa?

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


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

The funds 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. The funds cannot be used to pay debts.


Q: 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;
  • Activities outside the NIB Trust Fund’s objects;
  • Partisan and/or political activities;
  • Payments for past student loans or debts


Q: 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.


Q: What are the application deadlines?

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


Q: 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 that 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 counseling and other programs to heal communities from harms caused by the Indian Residential Schools.


Q: My group project or individual proposal was denied funding by NIB Trust. Is there an appeal process?

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