Aboriginal Participation Fund


The Ministry’s Aboriginal Participation Fund (APF) supports Aboriginal consultation capacity, education and relationship-building activities as they relate to mineral exploration and development.

The Aboriginal Participation Fund (APF) is creating new opportunities to build and strengthen relationships among Aboriginal communities and organizations, government and industry.

Application information and instructions for the APF are available from the Grants Ontario website portal.

Program Streams

The program features three funding streams:

  1. Mineral Development Advisory Positions and Support Funding

    MDA Substream: This stream provides eligible Aboriginal communities and organizations, such as Tribal Councils, with additional resources to review exploration plan submissions, exploration permit applications, closure plans and closure plan amendments. It helps Aboriginal communities and organizations participate effectively in project-specific regulatory process under the Mining Act. This stream also helps provide Aboriginal communities and organizations with additional resources to increase community knowledge and understanding of the mining sequence, mining activities and the possible range of economic benefits arising from mineral development.

    Early Exploration Support Sub-stream and Advanced Exploration and Development Support Sub-stream: This support funding sub-stream is available to communities based on the volume of early exploration notices received, or to respond to advanced exploration and mine development project requests.
  2. Values Mapping and Related Projects: This stream supports projects that focus on values identification or related projects between Aboriginal communities, which will support the capacity of communities to effectively participate in and respond to specific information requests in regulatory processes under the Mining Act.

    Funding under this stream supports projects that build the capacity of communities to participate in and respond to specific information requests in consultation processes triggered under the Mining Act. While eligible projects under this stream may include:
    • Traditional knowledge and values mapping, which can be scoped to be one-year or multi-year proposals. The specifics are up to the applicant, and can include funding to enable the collection of oral histories, GIS training for project participants, the development of databases to help access and manage the information collected, and other related activities; or
    • Shared territory solutions and traditional knowledge/values-related issues, which enable two or more Aboriginal communities, applying jointly, to resolve overlapping territory or traditional knowledge/values-related issues to help bring clarity to consultation and engagement processes related to mineral exploration and development.
  3. Education and Relationship Building: This stream helps Aboriginal communities and organizations to enhance their understanding of mineral exploration and development processes as well as to support the development of relationships between Aboriginal communities, industry and government.

    The Mining Conferences Funding Sub-Stream will provide financial assistance for communities and member communities to attend mining conferences held in Canada. Aboriginal communities and organizations attend these conferences to improve relationships between Aboriginal communities/organizations, government and industry proponents, and to increase their knowledge and understanding of both the regulatory and economic activities associated with Ontario’s mineral sector.

    Aboriginal communities and organizations may apply to send up to two delegates, plus one student or elder from their community/organization to attend a mining conference.

    Applications for the PDAC Conference must be submitted at minimum, 90 days prior to the conference start date. Applications for all other conferences must be submitted at minimum, 30 days prior to the conference start date.

Program Guides

Before you fill out an application, review the program guides for instructions on how to complete each section of the application.

Information on eligibility requirements, program guides and applications is available on the Grants Ontario website under the headings ‘Available Grants’ of ‘List of Grants (A to Z)’.

Frequently Asked Questions

Review some of the most frequently asked questions about the APF.

Who To Contact

If you have any questions or comments about the Aboriginal Participation Fund, you should contact your Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines’ Senior Advisor or Mineral Exploration and Development Consultant (MEDC). For help related to the online application, please contact the Transfer Payment Coordinator. They can help connect you to the right information or the right person to assist you. You may access the Ontario government staff directory.

You may also email your question or comment to the Aboriginal Participation Fund.

Apply Now!

Click to be redirected to the Grants Ontario portal.