The Declaration Act Engagement Fund
The Declaration Act Engagement Fund (DAEF) provides multi-year (4 year) non-repayable funding contributions to First Nations to support their capacity to engage with the Province of B.C. on the implementation of the Declaration Act Action Plan and alignment of Provincial laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples both of which must be done in consultation and co-operation with Indigenous Peoples in B.C.
On November 26, 2019, the Province of B.C. unanimously passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (the “Declaration Act”). An outcome of the Declaration Act was the development of the Declaration Act Action Plan 2022-2027 which outlines significant actions the Province will undertake over five years to achieve the objectives of the UN Declaration. The Declaration Act also requires the Province to take all measures necessary to ensure the provincial laws are consistent with the UN Declaration. This work must be done in consultation and co-operation with Indigenous Peoples in B.C.
To reduce barriers for First Nations to fully participate in implementing the UN Declaration, the Province has dedicated $200M in funding to establish the Declaration Act Engagement Fund (DAEF). The Province of B.C. has partnered with the New Relationship Trust (the “NRT”) to administer the Fund.
The primary purpose of the DAEF is to support the implementation of the Declaration Act Action Plan and commitments to align provincial legislation with the UN Declaration. Funding can also be used by First Nations to engage on a government-to-government basis with the Province on other strategic, policy, and legislative initiatives.
The fund will be administered by the New Relationship Trust (NRT). Any BC First Nation is eligible, including Treaty First Nations and self-governing First Nations. Application intake will open in May and close in December of each year. Applicants will only have to apply once to the program. The total funding available over 4 years per Nation is $1,040,000.
Eligible costs include:
- Staffing costs
- Professional fees – legal and technical support
- Capacity training – skills development, workshops, courses etc.
- Community engagement
- Travel costs (transportation, accommodation, and meals)
- Other reasonable administrative costs and incremental costs associated with eligible activities