Project Summary

Creation is a multi-level funding program that will support strengths-based, community-focused and youth-led projects taking place in communities across Canada. Funding is dispersed through themed streams, which focus on specific funding gaps and needs in communities.

The Youth and Community Wellness Grants, supported by Manulife funding Stream will provide small grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 to Indigenous youth-led initiatives. The focus of this stream is to fund projects that center around engaging youth in programming that focuses on wellness, health and the land. Projects must be led by two or more Indigenous youth aged 15-29. Youth leaders (grantees) will receive innovative mentorship, training, and capacity-building opportunities throughout the project.

Project must take place on one of the following communities:

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Kitchener and/or Waterloo Region, Ontario

If you have a great idea, but aren’t operating out of one of the above communities – please apply to the Youth Empowerment Stream!

Funding Stream Priorities

There is a priority in this stream to support:

  • Projects that are focused on land, health and wellness
  • New and emerging Indigenous youth-led grassroots groups and collectives
  • New groups who have never run a project before
  • Groups who have never received funding from Creation before

Project Focus Areas

Projects should focus on providing land and wellness-based programming for Indigenous youth. Successful projects will fall within the following areas:

Community Gardens and Food Knowledge Programming

Projects that focus on increasing Indigenous youth’s access to foods, knowledge about traditional and healthy foods and building skills around planting, growing and harvesting. Projects in this focus area can include: community gardens, initiatives to start family gardens, workshops about cooking, harvesting and preserving etc.

Climate Action and Land Advocacy

Projects will engage youth in initiatives related to climate action and justice, as well as to increase their knowledge of environmental protection, advocacy, and our responsibilities as Indigenous people to the land. Projects in this focus area could include climate action workshops, teaching circles, sessions on how to support environmental initiatives, water walks, advocacy initiatives, and other activities.

Land-based Programming

Projects will engage youth in participating in programming on the land. These can include overnight camps or workshop series. Projects will work to increase youth’s connection to the land and knowledge of food and land teachings. Projects in this focus area can include: medicine walks, ceremony, foraging activities, water-based projects (such as water walks), recreational land-based recreation activities (e.g., canoeing), language camps, traditional hunting and fishing and other activities.

All funded projects engage more youth other than just project leaders.


Funding in this stream will only fund grassroots Indigenous youth groups consisting of a minimum of 2 youth.

Please note: for the purpose of this program, IYR defines Indigenous as status and non-status First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada, living both on and off reserve.

Eligible groups and projects include:

  • Unincorporated/grassroots youth groups/collectives/councils comprised primarily of Indigenous youth
  • Projects run by incorporated groups/registered charities with strong youth leadership
  • Projects must serve primarily serve Indigenous youth
  • Projects must work to increase youth access to health, wellness and/or the land

Ineligible groups and projects:

  • Individuals and/or projects that are not led by 2+ Indigenous youth
  • Projects that are not youth-led (or where the majority of leadership is 30+)
  • Non-Indigenous groups and organizations
  • Projects taking place outside of Canada
  • For profit corporations
  • Projects not focused on increasing youth access to health, wellness and/or the land
  • Projects not occurring in Toronto, Kitchener, Waterloo, Montreal, Halifax or Vancouver

Ineligible Expenses

IYR will NOT fund projects that are political in nature, or that involve distributing substances (i.e. alcohol, non-traditional tobacco, marijuana, illicit substances, etc). IYR will also not fund projects or activities that are taking place outside of Canada.

Project leaders cannot receive honorariums of more than $500. 

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by a Youth Review Circle that includes Advisory Circle members, community members, Indigenous youth and other knowledge carriers. All members will have experience running programs and initiatives, overseeing projects and offering community supports. 100% of the review committee will be Indigenous, and a minimum of 75% will be youth.

Capacity Building

Youth will be invited to participate in IYR’s Capacity Building Program. This program is geared towards strengthening skill sets around program administration, facilitation, evaluation as well as providing opportunities to learn about program design, organizational governance and growth, personal development and youth leadership. Youth will have the opportunity to work toward a certificate in the program.

Reporting and Evaluation

Grantees will be asked to submit one report:

Final Report (2 month after project completion):  Grantees will submit an evaluation report that will include reporting on the final budget (how much money you spent), data on the number of participants reached in your project, data on time spent on the project and a narrative report on the project. The final report will likely take 3 – 7 hours to complete. Grantees will receive a copy of the evaluation report within the first month of their project start date.

Financial Oversight and Trusteeship

Groups/councils/collectives with members who are over the age of 18 do not require a trustee and, if successful, will receive the grant funds directly.

Successful applicant groups (with leaders aged 15-17) will require a local non-profit or trusted community member over age 18 to serve as their grant trustee. This trustee may be someone the applicants are already familiar with or IYR can support in connecting them with a willing organization or community member as well as with creating a trustee agreement that ensures youth will be supported.

You can view IYRs definition of Trustee >>HERE<<

Release of Funds

IYR does not issue cheques. Funding will be sent to grantees via a Plooto bank transfer/direct deposit. Grantees will receive funds within two weeks of submitting a signed funding agreement.


Stages Spring Intake
Applications Open April 1, 2024
Applications Deadline May 2, 2024
Decisions Released July 1, 2024
Project Start Date July 1, 2024
Project End Date December 31, 2024
Final Report Due February 28, 2025

Grant Contact Name and Pronouns

Gwen Hamilton


Administrative Assistant