The B.C. government announced in a press release on Sept. 26 an investment of $15 million to the First Nations Well Being Fund.

Implemented by the First Nations Public Service Secretariat, the fund supports First Nations in their efforts to promote well-being, improve the quality of life for members and reduce poverty at the community and national levels.

In the press release, Sheila Malcolmson, minister of social development and poverty reduction, said the provincial government is funding a “First-Nations-led service delivery, supported by Indigenous culture and teachings.”

“We want First Nations to be full partners in the inclusive and sustainable province we are building together,” she said.

According to the release, there are two streams available for application. The first stream is a maximum of $100,000 per community-led project that supports First Nations to improve the quality of life for its members.

The second stream is a maximum of $50,000 per project to support First Nations to develop a plan to promote well-being and reduce poverty at the community level through community engagement activities. 

Jehan Casey, director of the First Nations Public Service Secretariat, said in the release that the investment will allow First Nations across the province to continue projects that reduce poverty and achieve well-being.

“Through this fund, First Nations have completed food-security projects, engaged in cultural-based training, and delivered skills-building and development workshops,” she said. 

According to the release, applications for the fund are open. Both First Nations and Tribal Councils can submit their proposals until Dec. 31, 2023, as successful applicants will be announced in January 2024 and receive the grants right away.