Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) Grant

Government of Canada

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Grant amount: Up to C $100,000

Anticipated deadline: Dec 21, 2019

Applicant type: Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Project / Program, Research

Location of project: Canada

Location of residency: Canada

Exclusive to minorities: Yes

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Note:  The application package can be obtained by contacting your regional AFSAR coordinator.


The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) was established in 2004. This fund supports the development of Indigenous capacity to participate actively in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The protection of species at risk in Canada depends on a meaningful collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and organizations. The Act recognizes the important role that Indigenous Peoples play in wildlife conservation and the need to consider Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) in the assessment of which species may be at risk, as well as in the development and implementation of protection and recovery measures. Additionally, AFSAR supports projects that will proactively prevent species, other than species at risk, from becoming a conservation concern. 

Funding under AFSAR is separated into two streams:

  • AFSAR Species at Risk Stream focuses on projects addressing the recovery of species at risk listed on Schedule 1 of SARA; and
  • AFSAR Prevention Stream focuses on projects addressing other species, beyond those listed on SARA, to prevent them from becoming a conservation concern.

Environment and Climate Change Canada administers the AFSAR funding projects that support terrestrial stewardship projects and Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for administering AFSAR aquatic stewardship projects.


The overall program goals of AFSAR are to:

  • Support and promote the conservation, protection and recovery of target species and their habitats on Indigenous lands or traditionally used territories; and
  • Support the engagement and cooperation of Indigenous Peoples in the conservation and recovery of the target species, their habitats and SARA processes.

Expected results

The AFSAR Program’s expected results are:

  • Canada’s wildlife and habitat is conserved and protected;
  • Canada’s species at risk are recovered; and
  • Indigenous Peoples are engaged in conservation

Eligible projects

In order to be eligible, proposed projects must target the following species:

  • Species at Risk (SAR) stream:
    • Species listed as Endangered, Threatened and of Special Concern on Schedule 1 of SARA
  • Prevention (PRE) stream:
  • Species that have been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as endangered, threatened, or of special concern but have not yet been listed on Schedule 1 of SARA.

Activities eligible for funding include:

  • Habitat Protection and Securement
  • Habitat Improvement
  • Species and Habitat Threat Abatement
  • Conservation Planning
  • Surveys, Inventories and Monitoring
  • Project Evaluation
  • Collection and Gathering of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge
  • Outreach and Education
Note: Activities other than those listed above may be considered subject to approval.

The AFSAR program evaluates and funds proposals in the context of AFSAR program priorities, which are reviewed annually.

Range of funding

The minimum funding request suggested for new and multi-year projects is $10,000 and project funding usually ranges from $10,000 to $50,000 per project. Projects may extend over more than one year to a maximum of 3 years. The program requires a minimum of 1:0.20 leveraging on funds that it invests so that, for every $1 provided by AFSAR, at least $0.20 is raised by project recipients. This leveraging can take the form of either financial or in-kind resources (equipment loans, donations of building materials and volunteer labour).

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible applicants
    • Communities and organizations actively involved in the management of Indigenous lands across Canada are eligible for funding, including:
      • Indigenous associations/organizations
      • Territorially based Indigenous groups
      • District councils / chief and council
      • Traditional appointed advisory committees
      • Indigenous corporations
      • Tribal councils
      • Indigenous partnerships and groups
      • Indigenous research, academic, and educational institutions
      • Indigenous school authorities
      • Indigenous cultural education centres
      • Indigenous land/resource management authorities
      • Indigenous co-operatives
      • Indigenous societies
      • Indigenous boards and commissions, and
      • Other organizations (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) if mandated by eligible recipients.
      • Funding is Canada-wide. 
  • Geographic Location
    • Projects must take place on:
      • Reserves and Lands set apart for the use and benefit of Aboriginal Peoples under the Indian Act or under section 91 (24) of the Constitution Act,1867;
      • Other lands directly controlled by Indigenous Peoples (e.g., Métis Settlement lands, and land claim/treaty settlement lands), and lands set aside in the Yukon and Northwest Territories pursuant to Cabinet Directive, circular No.27; or
      • Lands where traditional activities (harvesting or other) are carried out.