Indigenous Innovation Demonstration Fund

The Indigenous Innovation Demonstration Fund (IIDF) provides support to organizations seeking to develop or expand their Indigenous social innovation and social enterprise projects with the goal of unlocking much-needed capital for these early-stage, high potential innovations. Learn more about the IIDF.

The IIDF is a direct outcome of the first Indigenous Innovation Summit, held in 2015 in Winnipeg. Since it was launched in July of this year, the IIDF received over 70 expressions of interest from across Canada, highlighting the incredible work Indigenous communities are doing and their significant need for support. Ideas ranged from food security solutions, reimagination of the child welfare system, Indigenous hotel and food enterprises and using modern technology to spread traditional Indigenous teachings.

To learn more about each of the recipients of the 2016 IIDF, click on their name below:

Cross Lake First Nation and Aki Energy

Wachiay Friendship Centre Society

Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre

Makoons Media Group

Sagitawa Friendship Society

Prince Albert Indian and Métis Friendship Centre

Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Skwachày’s Lodge

Our goal is to inspire systems change

Through IIDF, funded projects will not only have a positive impact on the socio-economic well being of Canada’s Indigenous population, but will inspire broader systems change that will benefit Canada as a whole.

Systems change grounded in Indigenous cultures and values

The IIDF is rooted in Indigenous cultures and values.  Indigenous innovation  acknowledges the trauma that has informed the histories of many Indigenous communities and focuses on creating environments that support the healing of individuals and communities.  Indigenous innovations are led by solutions oriented people and are grounded in:

  • Relationship – both within and between individuals, communities, partners and stakeholders
  • Respect – for communities, for individuals and for cultures.
  • Cooperation – with a focus on rebuilding and healing communities.
  • Generosity and Reciprocity – enabling Indigenous innovators to make a meaningful contribution to their communities, to the broader network of Indigenous communities, to communities in reconciliation spaces, and to Canada.
  • Harmony – encouraging and bringing together the sometimes disparate Indigenous innovation networks to work together to maximize collective impact.


  • Spiritual – ensuring that Indigenous cultures and values inform all aspects of the IIDF supported projects
  • Emotional – recognizing the trauma that underlies and informs many Indigenous communities and ensuring projects are rooted in healing and reconciliation
  • Mental – the knowledge-base and experience to support new ideas and problem solve, including both the traditional academic community and Indigenous knowledge
  • Physical – the necessary resources and capacity to enable and support Indigenous innovators

Funding Opportunities

1) Scaling Plan Development ($10,000- $20,000 in coaching and financial support): This funding is intended to help clarify the strategic approach being taken, help develop a scaling plan, and get projects ready to implement and grow their impact.

2) Impact Implementation Support (up to $100,000 in coaching and financial support): leading to implementation of scaling plans, understanding impact, and articulate next steps.


  1. Must be Indigenous led – that is to say led by an Indigenous community or organization within Canada.
  2. Be legally registered or incorporated in an eligible jurisdiction in Canada and capable of receiving and administering funding.

Apply Today!

We want to hear your big ideas for creating positive change in your community. The ideas we are looking for should be solutions-oriented, and grounded in Indigenous cultures and values.

Expressions of Interest are being accepted until September 16, 2016. Click here to download the form.


Step One: Apply – Share your great idea with us!
July 29, 2016- September 16, 2016

Step Two: Follow up – This is a great idea, we want to learn more.
October 2016

Step Three: Selection & Adjudication Process
Early November 2016

Step Four: Coaching & Scaling – Let’s work together.
November 2016 onwards

Step Five: Community Impact!

Key Documents

Our Partners

In March 2016, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC), Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation (McConnell) partnered to create the IIDF.  This partnership builds on conversations from the 2015 Indigenous Innovation Summit about the need for increased supports to help advance some of the innovations and ideas that emerged over the course of the Summit.

Ongoing Initiatives