Indigenous economic development in Northern Ontario

Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre

Lobby of hotel
Indigenous dancers perform for hotel guests on the deck

Indigenous businesses and organizations play a vital role in strengthening the economy of Northern Ontario and Canada as a whole.

Below, you will find information and links to funding programs offered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, other federal programs and initiatives, as well as additional supports that can help your business and community grow.

Each of these programs aim to help Indigenous communities grow their economies and create good jobs, so if you’re starting a new business or looking to grow your existing enterprise, or if you have a community-driven initiative in mind, get in touch to see how the Government of Canada can help.

FedNor Programs and Initiatives

Northern Ontario Development Program

Through its Northern Ontario Development Program, FedNor invests in projects led by municipalities, First Nations, and other organizations and institutions that support community economic development, diversification, job creation and self-reliant communities in Northern Ontario.

Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI)

If you’re an Indigenous entrepreneur, REGI can help you start and grow a business in Northern Ontario.

Community Futures Program

Through its Community Futures Program (CFP), FedNor supports 24 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) located in Northern Ontario.

Tourism Growth Program

The Tourism Growth Program (TGP) is a national program delivered by FedNor in Northern Ontario. The TGP contributes to the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy (FTGS), which charts a course for long-term growth, investment, and stability in Canada’s tourism sector, from coast to coast to coast.

Other Government of Canada support for Indigenous economic development

Indigenous Business Navigator

Explore available Government of Canada programs and services to best meet your needs.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

If you are an Indigenous entrepreneur looking to grow and succeed, the BDC can provide access to financing and advisory services.

Indigenous Services Canada

On this page, you’ll find support for businesses, as well as information on how to increase business skills or develop land in your community. Reach out to Indigenous Services Canada in Ontario to learn more or to apply for funding.

Indigenous business export support program

If you’re an Indigenous business or community looking to reach international markets, this program may be able to help. It offers export funding to businesses that are majority-owned and operated by Indigenous people or communities.

Export Development Canada (EDC)

Indigenous exporters can find small business solutions and seize opportunities abroad at Export Development Canada. See how EDC can help you reach international buyers.

Business Benefits Finder

Find the right programs and services for your business, whether you’re starting out or ready to grow. Get a curated list of support options by adding in a bit of information about your situation and your business needs.

Canada Business App  Your mobile business partner

Here’s an app that will make it even easier for you to find government programs and services to help your business start up, scale up and reach new markets.

Skills and Partnership Fund

As a complement to the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training program, the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) is a project-based fund that supports partnerships between Indigenous organizations and industry employers to provide skills training for Indigenous peoples linked to economic opportunities at the local, regional, and national level.

Additional support for Indigenous economic development in Northern Ontario

Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs)

Aboriginal Financial Institutions provide loans and business services to Indigenous entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario. They can also help Indigenous decision-makers improve skills in governance and financial management.

There are four Aboriginal Financial Institutions in Northern Ontario:

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)

The CCAB builds bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, businesses and communities through diverse programming, tools and training.

Please note that this list is not a complete inventory of all Government of Canada funding programs and initiatives or advisory support resources available to Indigenous businesses, groups and communities. For more information, please visit the Business and Industry page of the Government of Canada.

Contact Us:

For more information, please contact FedNor or call us toll-free at 1-877-333-6673.