Government of Canada Invests in Indigenous Research Projects

$695,000 for 28 research projects on the experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples

March 16, 2017, Ottawa, Ontario—Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

The Government of Canada is committed to renewing the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. An important step towards this goal is supporting dialogue between researchers and members of Canada’s Indigenous communities.

That’s why the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, today announced 28 social sciences and humanities research projects through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis Grants program, totaling $695,000 in funding. This initiative will contribute to a deeper understanding of the current and historical, cultural, social and economic experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

SSHRC launched this funding opportunity to support the continued engagement in research by and with Indigenous peoples, as well as to foster truth and reconciliation efforts through collective action. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is co-funding several of the projects.

The projects announced today will focus on a variety of topics related to the experiences and knowledge systems of Indigenous peoples. Exploring how endangered languages and cultures of Indigenous peoples contribute to global human heritage, how Canada can increase the capacity of Indigenous peoples to participate in and benefit from research, and the role digital technology can play in teaching and preserving heritage, memory and identity, are examples of a few of the projects. Several of these research projects have Indigenous partners, such as the Dene language and cultural revitalization initiative, whose co-applicants include the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board and the Deline Land Corporation.

One of the Knowledge Synthesis Grants recipients is the Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project at Ryerson University, which has partnered with the Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group. Their focus is on embedding Indigenous perspectives in early childhood education, care and intervention.

Valued at up to $25,000 each, the Knowledge Synthesis Grants are designed to combine existing research on key challenges facing Canada, while identifying knowledge gaps where future research is needed. These grants place a strong emphasis on ensuring that the outcome of these projects is accessible to a broad audience, including decision-makers across community, public and private sectors.

By supporting Indigenous focused research grants, the government is advancing its commitment to make Canada a better place for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and for all Canadians. Having a better understanding of the experiences and aspirations of Indigenous peoples is essential to building a successful shared future in Canada.


“Canadian social sciences and humanities researchers have a critical role in supporting reconciliation. It is our intention that these grants will facilitate dialogue between members of Indigenous communities, researchers and policy-makers, and that the knowledge gained will help our government develop policies, strategies and tools to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for and with Indigenous peoples.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“These Knowledge Synthesis Grants will enhance our ability to understand and respond to complex social, cultural and economic issues and experiences facing First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. This research will generate the insights and skills that Canada needs to understand our past, and to move forward to a better future for all.”

—Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Quick Facts

  • A summary report of the grants will be released in spring 2018.
  • SSHRC is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences.
  • SSHRC disburses more than $345 million in funding annually to support more than 8,300 research projects.
  • A shared future with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples is one of six Future Challenge Areas identified in SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative.

Associated links


Stefanie Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science
Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

Christopher Walters
Director of Communications
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada


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