The Indigenous Food Systems and Agriculture Partnership Program (IFSAP) supports First Nations and Indigenous communities, businesses, and organizations in increasing food security and sovereignty over their food systems and strengthens Indigenous peoples’ success within the agriculture and food sector.

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Program Overview

This program funds activities involved in agriculture, food processing, and/or food systems planning, training and skills development, technological adoption, productivity and profitability improvements, and climate change adaptations.

The program provides up to $80,000 of funding per project. Program funding is available to successful applicants for projects beginning on or after January 1, 2023. Projects can be up to 24 months in duration and must complete no later than December 31, 2024.

BC farmland, Nicola River


Program Timeline

The program timeline will occur as follows:

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Applicants

To be considered eligible for this program, an applicant must be in the Province of British Columbia, and must be:

  • an Indigenous government, community, or Indigenous led non-profit organization (including a band or tribal council, government of a self-governing First Nation or Métis Nation Chartered Community, Society or Association, economic development corporation, not-for-profit other Indigenous organization, or association); or
  • an Indigenous business or entrepreneur engaged in food production and/or processing with a minimum of 2-years in operation (including a for-profit or social enterprise, cooperative or institution, or other Indigenous business, partnership or joint venture).

NOTE: An Indigenous led not-for-profit is defined as a not-for-profit organization where Indigenous persons have at least 51% decision making power. An Indigenous Business is defined as a business where an Indigenous person(s) has/have at least 51% ownership and control of the business. Indigenous entrepreneurs are defined as independent business owners, including sole proprietors and limited companies and partnerships owned by, or where the majority of shares are held by, an individual or family members, resident in the Province of British Columbia.

Eligible Projects

All projects and activities must align with the program goals of supporting First Nations and Indigenous communities, businesses, and organizations in increasing food security and sovereignty over their food systems and strengthening Indigenous peoples’ success within the agriculture and food sector. Projects should also show broad benefit and the potential to be self-sustaining.

Note: For this program, the term “broad benefits” means the benefit of the project activities extends beyond a single person or business. For example, the benefits extend to the community, environment, or towards increasing food security within their food system.

Eligible Activities and Costs

Eligible activities and costs include the activities involved in food systems planning, training and skills development, technological adoption, productivity and profitability improvements, and climate change adaptations.

A wide range of activity areas will be considered including:

Indigenous government agricultural and food systems planning:

  • surveying existing agricultural and food systems activities and land use,
  • identifying opportunities for agricultural and/or food system development, stewardship, and protection,
  • updating existing bylaws/policies/ Comprehensive Community Plans, review of current lease agreements to incorporate agriculture and food system considerations,
  • developing community farms/food systems initiatives or value-added processing facilities, and
  • implementation of projects identified in existing agricultural and food systems plans.

Training, skills development, and peer-to-peer learning to:

  • increase Indigenous participation in agriculture and food processing,
  • identify labor needs,
  • identify need for and/or develop Indigenous specific training, skills development and/or peer-to-peer learning programs and/or curriculum
  • transfer knowledge to address skill shortages,
  • support the revitalization of cultural and economic food harvesting and production and processing practices through training.

Revitalizing traditional production methods and knowledge, such as:

  • food harvesting,
  • food preservation, and
  • the production of culturally appropriate foods.

Adopting technologies or practices, such as:

  • greenhouse/controlled growing,
  • regenerative agriculture practices (new and existing technologies that aim to restore soils, water and biodiversity health to improve overall ecosystem services and make farmland more resilient to climate change), and
  • Agri-Tech (e.g. precision agriculture, automation, artificial intelligence, ‘Internet of Things’, new processing methods and equipment, customized software and machinery).

Scaling up production and profitability of producers and food processors by:

  • addressing barriers to growth/limitations identified within business plans,
  • supporting branding and e-commerce, and
  • investments in community or cooperatively owned farming, processing tools, and infrastructure.

Adapting to climate change, drought, and weather events through projects that build long-term resilience, such as:

  • assessing current/projected water availability and needs,
  • preparing and implementing risk management plans (including investments in community-owned irrigation supplies and systems, installing water storage tanks, etc.) and
  • identifying new crops, cultivars, and opportunities to transition to more sustainable production methods.

Ineligible Activities and Costs

The following activities and costs are not eligible for funding. For clarification on items not listed below, please contact IAF program staff.

  • Any costs not specifically required for the execution of the project,
  • direct income support,
  • export subsidies,
  • direct advertising / promotion,
  • core operational expenses,
  • staff wages not directly related to the implementation of project activities, and
  • costs related to activities that directly influence or lobby any level of government


Important Dates

Applications will be accepted through IAF’s online client portal from September 26 to October 31, 2022. If there is available funding, a second application window will open in the fall of 2023.

The deadlines for applications for the 2022-23 fiscal year are as follows:

  • Application Window: September 26, 2022 – October 31, 2022
  • Application Deadline: October 31, 2022, at 16:30 Pacific
  • Project Start Date: January 1, 2023

Application Process

Applicants can apply through the IAF Client Portal. The application process and required documents are specific to each funding stream. The application process will generally consist of:

REMINDER: Do not wait to start this process – it can take up to two business days to validate your organization!

Create a personal profile (name and email)

Provide organization information, including:

  • Name
  • Contact details
  • Type of organization
  • BC ID / CRA numbers
  • Primary contact
  • And more

Select Indigenous Food Systems & Agriculture from Funding Opportunities, and:

  • Select applicant type from eligibility list (an attestation and/or supporting documentation may be requested to confirm applicant eligibility)
  • Select project start & end dates
  • Select project activities from the eligible activities list or briefly describe activities if not listed
  • Explain how these activities align with or support their organizational goals
  • Describe project benefits (e.g. to their organization, community and/or more broadly)
  • Identify who will lead/undertake the project (Please list the names and qualifications of the people who will be carrying out the project activities. Identify whether they are employees or external resources (e.g. consultants, volunteers, partner organization).
  • Explain whether project benefits are sustainable and if they will extend beyond project
  • List project expenses and project funding required
  • List any communications/information sharing activities
  • Applicants may provide supplementary materials in support of their application (e.g. business plan, letter of support, CV’s, quotes). These appendices can be uploaded through IAF’s client portal as attachments to the application.

Applicants may be required to provide supplementary materials in support of their application (e.g., budget, water license, change approval). These documents can be uploaded through the IAF Client Portal as attachments to the application.

IAF staff are available to answer questions regarding eligible activities, costs and/or the application process. IAF may also contact applicants for additional information or clarification to assess their application. Applicants can contact ifsap(at) with any questions about the program or to receive support in developing their application.

Applicants are encouraged to include only activities they are confident will be completed on time and within budget limits.

Need help with IAF’s Client Portal?

We’ve created a number of tutorials and FAQs about the IAF Client Portal to help you navigate this resource successfully.

Review and Adjudication

After the application window has closed, the IAF will review all applications and make recommendations for funding decisions. The IAF team will consult with the Indigenous Advisory Council on Agriculture and Food (IACAF) on applications and funding decisions.

Notifications & Obligations

Funding Notifications & Contracts

If the project is approved, IAF will inform the applicant of the details of the decision and any associated terms and conditions. The applicant then enters into an agreement with IAF which outlines the obligations of each party.

Funding is application and project-specific and must be used for the approved project and related expenses. Funds are non-transferable. GST is not an eligible expense.

Project activities requiring financial resources cannot commence until the contribution agreement has been signed by both the applicant and IAF.

Communication materials being funded by the program need to be pre-approved by the IAF communications team. All communications materials must be sent to communications(at) Items not pre-approved by IAF Communications will not be funded.

Projects funded in the 2022 intake may begin on or after January 1, 2023 and must be completed by December 31, 2024. If the project is not approved, the applicant will receive a written response from IAF.

Reporting Requirements

Program participants are required to submit progress and financial reporting to IAF. Progress and financial reporting will be made available to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and to the Ministry’s Indigenous Advisory Council on Agriculture and Food. Reporting and supporting materials will be uploaded through the IAF’s online application portal.

Changes to Contracted Projects

Once the contract with IAF is in force, requests for changes to program activities must be made in writing to IAF. IAF must approve the changes for expenses to be deemed eligible.

The funding recipient may have opportunities or situations arise which make it difficult to proceed with a pre-approved project/activity. Should this happen, immediately contact your IAF program manager.

Funding Acknowledgement

This program is funded by the Government of BC and the Government of Canada, therefore; acknowledgment of funding is required when publicly communicating about a project and/or funding. To ensure appropriate acknowledgments, all communications and marketing materials, including public announcements or social media posts, must be pre-approved by the IAF Communications Team. Further details may be found on IFSAP’s Project Resource Hub.


IAF will review and assess all applications according to the program eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria:

Program Alignment

Is the applicant eligible to apply for funding?
Does the project align with the program goals?
Are proposed activities and expenses eligible for funding?

Project Benefits

Does the project address a current need or priority of the applicant or their community?
How will the project provide broad benefits?
Are project benefits sustainable and will they extend beyond project funding?

Project Plan

Are the project objectives realistic within the project’s timeline and budget?
Does the applicant have sufficient human resources (internal, partners, consultant) to undertake the project?

Ready to Apply?

Applications are now closed.

Already applied to IFSAP?

To learn the status of an existing application or report on your approved project, visit the IAF Client Portal.



Have a Question?

Our team is here to support you, contact us today!

Have a Current Project?

Please visit the program’s Project Resource Hub for more information.

IFSAP Program Guide

Download a PDF version of the Program Guide.

Note: All details are presented on this webpage

Funding Acknowledgement Requirements

Download a PDF of the funding acknowledgment requirements for the program here.

Funding provided by:

Province of BC Logo
Government of Canada Logo

Please note: the Government of BC may, from time to time, give instructions to IAF in relation to the delivery and administration of this program. IAF must and will comply with those instructions.