McConnell commits $30M in capital transfers to Indigenous-led foundations

Pink shape on white background: a left-to-right arrow points to three more arrows reaching out further to the right within a wider circle.In March 2023 the McConnell Foundation celebrated 20 years of work in reconciliation, collaborating with Indigenous partners. As we mark this milestone, McConnell is moving forward with a $30 M capital transfer to community-focused Indigenous-led foundations, beginning with a transfer of $10 M to the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund (IPRF). 

This decision is an opportunity to shift resources and decision-making into the hands of the people best placed to support Indigenous communities coast to coast to coast. The commitment we are announcing today builds on our learning from working with our partners and is part of our journey to make our work more transparent, accessible and equitable. 

The landscape of Indigenous-led philanthropy is evolving rapidly, and along with other foundations, we have heard the call to support this growth with meaningful action. Recognizing that Indigenous communities have the best knowledge of their own issues and solutions, Indigenous-led philanthropy can support the activation of self-determined solutions to enable the restoration of balance in community.  

The IPRF is seeking to build a $250 million Indigenous-led fund and we are happy to contribute to this goal. 

To date, IPRF has flowed over $9.6 million to 412 communities in all four directions (north, south, east and west), applying Indigenous ways of knowing to responsibly steward long-term relationships and resources. Bundles of support go to both qualified and non-qualified donees, and applicants can apply via an online portal, a mailed paper form, the phone, or a video. And while the impetus for IPRF was the pandemic, they are now turning from pandemic response to recovery, rebuilding, and long-term investment for the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities. 

Following the initial transfer to IPRF, we will begin work on additional transfers, with more news to come in early 2024.  

We will consider these transfers to be above and beyond our annual funding budget. The spirit is to transfer funds from our endowment, both a tangible and a symbolic gesture of shifting resources and decision-making into Indigenous hands.