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Indigenous Cultural Heritage Program

Grants to Newfoundland and Labrador Aboriginal Groups,
Organizations, and Artisans for Cultural Preservation

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Government of Newfoundland and Labrador - Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation

Deadline Date:

05/20/20 Receipt


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Grants of up to $1,000 and grants of up to $15,000 to Newfoundland and Labrador Indigenous groups, organizations, and professional artisans for projects that involve the safeguarding of culture and tradition. This includes language; traditional skills and knowledge; music, storytelling, games, and other pastimes; knowledge of the landscape; customs, cultural practices and beliefs; food customs; and living off the land.

Program Background: What is "Intangible Cultural Heritage"?

Newfoundland and Labrador"s heritage consists of much more than the physical or "tangible" things like historic buildings, artifact collections and documents. It also embodies many intangible aspects of culture such as:

-Knowledge and skills
-Story-telling, music, games and other pastimes -Customs, cultural practices, and beliefs
-Living off the land

This heritage is held collectively by members of a community, and is passed down through generations. Each new generation shapes the knowledge according to their times. This knowledge is rarely documented, and is often lost or diminished by cultural change and mass media.

In the Provincial Cultural Strategy, Creative Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador outlined the need for a plan to safeguard intangible cultural heritage (ICH). In 2007 the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation appointed a Working Group to develop an ICH strategy. To receive a copy of the strategy, please contact Lucy Alway.

Indigenous Cultural Heritage Program:

This program supports Indigenous initiatives that involve the safeguarding of traditions and culture.

There has long been awareness among Indigenous groups of the increasingly urgent need to preserve their culture by passing along knowledge to the next generation. In some cases, this program may build on efforts already initiated by Indigenous organizations. These initiatives include: language programs that build pride and establish identity; traditional music programs for children; and events that encourage the interaction of elders and children through storytelling, craft, and going out on the land.

This program aims to build capacity among Indigenous groups in the areas of knowledge and skills development related to the safeguarding of ICH.

Eligible Project Types:
-Documenting and recording cultural knowledge through research, collecting oral histories, and inventorying aspects of cultural heritage
-Passing on cultural knowledge through teaching, demonstrations, publications, and websites
-Educating and raising awareness of cultural traditions
-Recognizing tradition-bearers through awards and special events
-Celebrating with festivals and events, or incorporating cultural activities into existing events
-Supporting cultural enterprises acquire knowledge (eg. through best practices missions)
-Professional development for Indigenous cultural workers, educators and knowledge holders

A project proposal may include a number of these components that will complement each other in the safeguarding of cultural heritage.

Component 1 - Documentation and Inventorying:

To ensure long term safeguarding, it is important to document the cultural heritage that exists in the community, and who possesses the knowledge to pass along. This could involve a research initiative to document the stories of elders or a project to inventory cultural beliefs, landscapes and traditional skills. To ensure the success of a project, it is recommended that the focus be on one specific area of cultural heritage, such as traditional medicine, culinary knowledge, etc.

Documentation involves specialized knowledge of collection methods, preservation, public access and related copyright issues. The aim of the program is to provide direction and training to Indigenous organizations who wish to engage in an oral history project. This will ensure that communities have control over the information they gather. It is encouraged that training for ICH documentation be included in proposals. For further information, contact Dale Jarvis.

Component 2 - Passing on Traditions:

This component involves education and raising awareness through workshops, demonstrations, publications and websites.

Component 3 - Recognition and Celebration:

Aspects of traditional culture as well as the people who hold special knowledge of these traditions should be recognized and celebrated. This may take the form of demonstrations or special celebrations.

National Aboriginal Day celebrations are not eligible for funding under this program.

Component 4 - Development of Cultural Enterprises:

This component will raise awareness of the opportunities for using traditional cultural knowledge in economic development, while remaining sensitive to existing community practices. Initiatives will be focused on the acquisition of knowledge (eg. through best practices missions). Cultural enterprises could include those that produce material for retail, or involve experiential adventure or nature-based tourism initiatives.

Component 5 - Professional Development:

Professionals can apply for skills development if they have a demonstrated background in culture. Professionals are defined as practicing artisans who are recognized by their community and make some income from their skill. Cultural workers, educators and knowledge holders may also be eligible, providing that they have the support of their community. Applicants must include letters of support from their community.

Eligible Project Costs:

The Committee will assess the applications and determine the eligible costs for a project. In general, “eligible costs” mean the operating costs linked directly to a project and without which the project could not proceed. Costs incurred or commitments made prior to the receipt of an application are not eligible for assistance.

Eligible costs could include:

Human Resources:
-Professional Services including Consultants, Researchers and Facilitators
-Project coordination costs
-Honorarium for consultations (eg. Elders sharing information)
-Training (oral history collection; specialized software for inventorying)

-Oral history related tools including recording equipment
-Inventorying tools including GPS systems, and database software

The applicant will be required to demonstrate that equipment is critical to the project and indicate the use of the equipment once the project is finished to show long-term benefits
Other administration costs:
-Materials and office supplies
-Printing and promotional costs
-Meeting costs

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167666

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum project funding available is $15,000. For projects that involve recognizing and celebrating traditional culture in events of short-term duration, the maximum funding is $1,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be completed by March 31.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:


Established Indigenous groups/organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador with a cultural focus are eligible to apply. While applicants may have non-Indigenous partners, the main proponent must be an Indigenous group.

When questions of eligibility arise, the Advisory Committee will make the final determination.

Professional Development:

Professionals can apply for professional skills development if they have a demonstrated background in culture. Professionals are defined as practicing artisans who are recognized by their community and make some income from their skill. Cultural workers, educators and knowledge holders may also be eligible, providing that they have the support of their community.

Professional applicants must demonstrate support from their community through letters of support.

Due to the limited funding available, eligibility does not imply an automatic right to assistance.

Pre-Application Information:

The annual deadline for the receipt of applications is May 20.

While projects can be funded up to 100% of eligible costs, applicants are strongly encouraged to show any other contributions, either financial or in-kind.

Groups are encouraged to discuss project ideas with Lucy Alway prior to completing the application. Dale Jarvis, as Provincial ICH Officer, is also available to give advice and direction on proposals.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Lucy Alway, Heritage Program Officer
Tel: 729-1409

Dale Jarvis, Provincial Intangible Cultural Heritage Officer
Tel: 739-1892

Submit applications to:
Lucy Alway, Program Officer
Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador;

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