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Home > Financial Assistance Programs > Aboriginal Initiatives Fund (AIF) > General application framework of the Aboriginal Initiatives Fund

General application framework of the Aboriginal Initiatives Fund

The main objective of the Aboriginal Initiatives Fund (AIF) is to support those projects that may have major spin-offs on the development of Québec’s Aboriginal communities.

The AIF is made up of several different budgets, the management of which has been entrusted to the Minister for Native Affairs. The AIF complements and completes the other government assistance mechanisms, both at the Québec and federal levels, according to the needs and priorities expressed by each nation or community. However, the Fund is not used to finance those projects that would interfere with existing responsibilities, programs or services, or that would overlap them.

The role of the Government of Québec must be clearly seen as complementing that of the other government stakeholders in order to enable the Aboriginal peoples to give tangible form to their projects. From this vantage point, in order for projects to be approved by the Minister for Native Affairs, an important part of their funding must be assumed by the nation, the community, the federal government or any other partner.

The AIF may not be used to fund just any project. In principle, the regular programs of the departments and agencies of the Government of Québec apply to all citizens, including the Aboriginal peoples. Projects must therefore be funded on a priority basis by the existing programs of the federal government as well as those of Québec departments and agencies from their respective budgetary appropriations. The AIF is only used to fund those projects that no other program can cover and, as the case may be, those projects requiring additional financial assistance not available under existing programs.

The AIF may not be used to reimburse operating expenses or to cover the deficit of an organization or a business; nor may it be used to pay off an accumulated debt. Eligible expenses are limited to the expenses defined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. To be eligible, an expense must be incurred after the date on which the application for financial assistance is submitted. In order to meet the needs and priorities of each Aboriginal nation, community or organization, the AIF may, in certain explicitly stipulated cases, broaden its funding in a limited and temporary manner and apply this funding to operating expenses. Finally, a grant may not be used to replenish the working capital of a business.

A project may not go against established government policies, statutes and regulations and may not have a significant negative effect on Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal businesses active in an identical or related activity sector.

The AIF is a veritable development “toolbox” intended for the Aboriginal peoples of Québec. In order to ensure the effectiveness of this fund, a parity committee, made up of the SAA and Aboriginal representatives, will be created. The committee will see notably to the follow-up on the objectives to be achieved and, if necessary, will make recommendations concerning the achievement of result targets.

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Last update : January 18, 2007