|First Nations, Métis and Inuit Co-operative Development Program
The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) has created the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Co-operative Development Program to help Aboriginal communities explore the potential of co-operatives to meet their needs. The five-year pilot program was developed in collaboration with national Aboriginal organizations.
The program is sponsored by Arctic Co-operatives Ltd. and grants are funded by the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada. The federal government's Rural and Co-operatives Secretariat supports the program through the Co-operative Development Initiative.
The program funds between five and ten projects a year with an average grant of $5,000 to $10,000 per project. Funding is available for a variety of purposes, including:
- Consultations between First Nations Métis and Inuit communities and existing co-operatives or co-op experts to discuss potential projects. This could include visits to existing co-ops or to bring co-op people to a reserve or community,
- Pre-feasibility and feasibility studies to examine a business idea.
- Training for new staff and/or board members.
Projects receiving funding are selected by a Steering Committee including representatives of Arctic Co-operatives Ltd., the Canadian Co-operative Associaton, the Assembly of First Nations, the National Association of Friendship Centres, and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
Next deadline for applications: December 13, 2013
Click here for the list of projects which received funding for 2013-2014.
Click here for the list of projects which received funding for 2012-2013.
Click here for the list of projects which received funding for 2011-2012.
Click here to download the application form (English).
Click here to download the application form (French).
Click here to download the application guide (English).
Click here to download the application guide (French)
For more information about the program, contact 238-6711, ext. 204 or FNMI@coopscanada.coop.
Aboriginal co-operatives in Canada
What are the advantages of co-operatives?
Co-operation is a value that is firmly rooted in the cultures of Canada's first peoples. Ideas like decision-making by consensus, respect for others and being in harmony with all things are all part of the Aboriginal way of life.
That is why the co-operative business model is an ideal economic development tool for Aboriginal communities.
A co-operative - or co-op - is a business owned by its members. Different types of co-ops have different kinds of members.
Types of co-operatives
- Consumer: In consumer co-ops, such as retail co-ops, housing co-ops or credit unions, the members are the co-op's customers.
- Producer: In producer co-ops, such as farmers' co-ops or artists' co-ops, the members produce the product and form a co-op to process or market it.
- Worker: In worker co-ops, the co-op's members are the employees.
Co-operatives are guided by seven internationally-recognized principles:
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic member control
- Member economic participation
- Autonomy and independence
- Education, training and information
- Co-operation among co-operatives
- Concern for community
To download our program brochure click click here.
To download our directory of co-operatives in Aboriginal communities, click here.