Reconciliation

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Reconciliation focus area

We fund projects that advance a reconciliation economy where wealth and resources are equitably shared and sustainably stewarded for this generation and those yet to come, in relationship with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. On this page, you will find information about funding under our Reconciliation focus area and criteria for applicants.

Intentions

Thanks to the courage of Survivors of the residential school system, their families and their communities, and the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we can act for reconciliation. The significance or the reach of our work is only possible because of their courage. The living legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its 94 Calls to Action, as well as the Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action, inform the McConnell Foundation’s work with partners and communities to contribute to a reconciliation economy in relationship with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Reconciliation is a personal, organizational and systemic journey. Our learnings are grounded in wise practices, ceremonies and Elders & Knowledge Keepers’ teachings, for which we thank our Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners.

Principles

We place a high value on how we engage with existing and potential partners. We aim to co-create a respectful path to build relationships, whether the outcome is funding or not.

Our guiding principles in how we meet potential partners, assess a project, initiate a partnership or build relationships are:

  • Weaving Indigenous and Western knowledges.
  • Healing by recognizing that trauma underlines many Indigenous peoples’ lived experiences.
  • Ensuring that Indigenous cultures and values inform all aspects of an initiative or project.
  • Facilitating Indigenous solutions and innovation.

Approach

Our funding prioritizes partnering with Indigenous-led organizations and Indigenous communities. Our contributions aim to address – and redress – the socioeconomic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through building prosperity with and by Indigenous peoples.  

Our reconciliation funding is focused on the transition to a reconciliation economy, emphasizing the importance of building respectful relationships with partners and prioritizing Indigenous-led solutions. The purpose of these strategies is to build prosperity through prioritizing collaborative models with Indigenous-led organizations and Indigenous communities in a good way. We recognize that social, political and financial harms are profound and complex and have been enacted through systematic efforts to erase Indigenous peoples from these lands.  

Circle divided into four quadrants: finance in yellow, people in green, lands in orange, infrastructure in blue.

Prioritizing the reconciliation economy 

Reducing the socioeconomic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is a vital step to advance equitably shared and sustainably managed wealth and resources. In 2022, the National Indigenous Economic Strategy (NIES) published its 107 Calls to Prosperity. This provides powerful inspiration and a reference for our funding strategies and criteria.

$6.23M

in contributions

In 2022, we allocated over $6 million to our Reconciliation focus area and supported 45 organizations working to advance a reconciliation economy where wealth and resources are equitably shared and sustainably stewarded.

What we fund

A circle in varying shades of pink. In the middle of the circle is a line drawing of stick-figures leaning on each other back to back. Around the circle are our reconciliation funding strategies: Indigenous-led solutions to activate the NIES Calls to Economic Prosperity and Indigenous-led Collaborative Funding Projects.
A circle in varying shades of pink. In the middle of the circle is a line drawing of stick-figures leaning on each other back to back. Around the circle are our reconciliation funding strategies: Indigenous-led solutions to advance economic reconciliation, Indigenous-led collaborative funding models, financial solutions.

We want to help fund activities that support Indigenous-led solutions to activate the NIES Calls to Economic Prosperity and Indigenous-led collaborative funding projects that prioritize Indigenous ways of being and knowing. Learn more below.

Funding streams 

  • Indigenous-led solutions to activate the NIES Calls to Economic Prosperity: we seek to support Indigenous communities and organizations to lead efforts in advancing the National Indigenous Economic Strategy (NIES) Calls to Economic Prosperity (CEP). For your funding application, we will invite you to indicate specific CEP and explain how your project is linked. We will fund organizations implementing projects working to achieve one or many of the CEP. Additionally, some of the CEP require organizations to advocate for policies that encourage governments, institutions and corporations to fulfill their responsibilities. If your project advocates for policy change, please indicate this in your application. 
  • Indigenous-led collaborative funding projects that prioritize Indigenous ways of being and knowing, and work to redistribute power to Indigenous communities can create more effective, equitable, and sustainable outcomes. A funding collaborative can link smaller-scale local initiatives to funders without the funder having to assess small proposals one by one. We fund collaboratives that pool and redistribute resources to support projects led by Indigenous communities, prioritizing collaboratives that also have Indigenous leadership.

To learn more about the questions and criteria for all three focus areas, please read our sample application form. You can also learn about our updated strategy in our 2023 Reconciliation webinar, slides and summary of Q&A, detailing our approach.

Recent funding

Below are a few of our most recent Reconciliation funding partnerships. Explore our Funding database to view all our Reconciliation partners.

Funding will contribute to the Raven Indigenous Outcomes Fund (RIOF) and scaling this financial model.

$ 900,000 2023 - 2026

Funding will contribute to strengthening Indigenous leadership, self-determination and co-learning between Indigenous Nations.

$ 600,000 2023 - 2026

Funding will contribute to staffing needs in First Nation schools in the North, provide training for teachers, strengthen capacity and increase retention of educators.

$ 1,000,000 2023 - 2026

Funding will contribute to the NIEPI's work supporting the 107 Calls to Economic Prosperity with Indigenous & non-Indigenous organizations, institutions and governments.

$ 1,500,000 2023 - 2028

Funding will contribute to the Bringing It Home Project Accelerator, a major Indigenous-led energy efficiency program.

$ 1,000,000 2023 - 2027

Funding will contribute to the Indigenous Intern Leadership Program expanding to two new provinces and evaluating it.

$ 1,400,000 2023 - 2027

Learn more about how to apply for Reconciliation funding on our “For Applicants” page.