Grants to Aboriginal Peoples: Creation Grants for Writers and Storytellers


Grant Amount

$5,000 - $10,000

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The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to equity and inclusion, and welcomes applications from diverse Aboriginal, cultural and regional communities, and from people with disabilities.

Please refer to the complete Program Guidelines [PDF, 307.6 KB].

Program Description

The Grants to Aboriginal Peoples program has two components:

  • Creation Grants for Writers and Storytellers
  • Publishers.

In addition, the Aboriginal Languages Supplement provides support to Aboriginal writers, storytellers and publishers by supporting expenses involving the translation or transcription of an English or French text into an Aboriginal language for oral or written literary projects.

The Creation Grants for Writers and Storytellers provide support to aspiring and professional writers and storytellers. Projects in the following fields are eligible: storytelling, novels, short stories, poetry, children’s and young adults’ literature, legends/mythology and literary non-fiction.

The Creation Grants component also supports programmed or self-directed professional literary arts residencies. It is divided in two categories:

  • Creation Grants for Writers support the creation of new literary works including novels, short stories, poetry, children’s and young adults’ literature, graphic novels and literary non-fiction (narrative text about real events, people or ideas where the writer’s voice and opinion are evident and the narrative is set within a context and a critical framework).
  • Creation Grants for Storytellers support the creation of literary projects based on oral expression for sharing or performance.
 The Publishers component has separate guidelines and forms.


Activities normally funded through this program will be eligible in the New Funding Model, starting 1 April, 2017. 

Grant Amount

  • Creation Grants for Writers
    Aspiring writer: a maximum of $5,000
    Professional writer: a maximum of $10,000
  • Creation Grants for Storytellers: a maximum of $10,000
  • Aboriginal Languages Supplement
    In addition to the amount above, a maximum of $5,000


Writers and storytellers must be First Nation, Inuit or Métis.

To apply to the Canada Council for the Arts, you must be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You do not need to be living in Canada when you apply.


Only aspiring and professional writers are eligible to apply to this component.

Aspiring writers are those who have not yet had a book professionally published, but show a dedication to writing and have a substantial body of literary written work and some publications to their credit including articles, short stories, excerpts, poems, essays, commentaries, etc. Aspiring writers must also show dedication to their craft by including a writing mentor or writing group/circle to assist in their proposed project.

Professional writers are those who have had one or more books published by an eligible publisher or the equivalent (for example, four texts of creative writing published in eligible literary magazines, periodicals or anthologies).

Note: Professional writers may apply to the Creative Grants component or to the Canada Council’s Grants for Professional Writers program.


Storytellers are those who show a commitment to storytelling. They must also have the recognition as a storyteller in writing, of their peers or from members of their artistic community.

They must also be able to provide a list of storytelling events or performances for which they have been paid, received honorariums, or were fulfilling a traditional role within their community.

Further Information

Noël Habel
Program Officer
Aboriginal Arts Office
1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 4178

TTY: 1-866-585-5559