Aboriginal Peoples' Program

Traditional Aboriginal ceremony

Service Delivery Standards for this funding program.


The terms "Aboriginal peoples" or "Aboriginal" used in this document refer to Inuit, Métis, Status and Non-status Indians.

Aboriginal Peoples, their cultures and their contributions lie at the heart of Canadian identity. The Aboriginal Peoples’ Program  (APP) works with Aboriginal Peoples, primarily off-reserve, to celebrate and strengthen their cultural distinctiveness as an integral part of Canadian society.

The APP focuses primarily on strengthening cultural identity, encouraging the full Aboriginal participation in Canadian life and supporting the continuation of Aboriginal cultures and languages as living elements of Canadian society. The APP supports community projects that incorporate Aboriginal values, cultures and traditional practices into community-driven activities designed to strengthen cultural identity and enable positive life choices.

The APP supports the efforts of Aboriginal communities to develop innovative and culturally appropriate approaches to their cultural and social aspirations that further their community and personal prospects. It focuses on the unique challenges faced by Aboriginal women, youth and urban communities.

The objectives of the APP are:

  • To strengthen Aboriginal cultural identity;
  • To encourage the full participation of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian life; and
  • To preserve and revitalize Aboriginal languages and cultures as living elements of Canadian society.

The APP offers the following funding elements to eligible Aboriginal organizations:

Aboriginal Women’s Programming Elements (AWPE)

  • Women’s Community Initiatives (WCI) – Supports Aboriginal women’s projects that address issues affecting them and their families, and that contribute to strengthening their cultural identity and traditions.
  • Family Violence Initiative (FVI) – Supports community-based culturally – appropriate approaches to addressing the issue of family and violence within Aboriginal families.
  • Women’s Self Government Participation Initiative (WSGP) – Supports Aboriginal women’s participation in self-government design and advancement.


As of April 1, 2015, the Department of Canadian Heritage will no longer be offering Aboriginal Women's Programming Elements. Funding for this component has been transferred to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's Family Violence Prevention Program.

The Department will continue to be responsible for the completion of projects covered by 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 agreements. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI)
Supports community – based projects that contribute to the preservation and revitalization of Aboriginal languages.

Northern Aboriginal Broadcasting (NAB)
Supports the production and distribution of Aboriginal audio and video content.

Through other funding arrangements, Canadian Heritage also supports Aboriginal Peoples through the following programming elements:

Scholarships and Youth Initiatives (SYI)
Provides support to the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF) to provide scholarships and career fairs for Aboriginal youth.

Territorial Language Accords (TLA)
Are partnerships with the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Government of Nunavut for the preservation, development and enhancement of Aboriginal languages.

National Aboriginal Day (NAD)
Supports activities that provide opportunities to become better acquainted with the cultural diversity of Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples, discover the unique accomplishments of Aboriginal peoples in fields as varied as agriculture, the environment and the arts, and celebrate their significant contribution to Canadian society.

National Aboriginal Achievement Awards (NAAA)
Supports the televising of the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.