1. Commitments
  2. Indigenous
Detail of a raven feather.


Our support for Indigenous creation centered on cultural self-determination and supported the renewal of the relationship between Indigenous artists and Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences.

Overall result

With its commitment to Indigenous creation, the Council supported work to renew the relationship between Indigenous artists and both Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences. This supported truth and reconciliation and decolonization and fostered a shared future free of discrimination. The Council’s overall funding to Indigenous artists, groups and arts organizations totalled $23.7 million in 2020–21. With this, the Council surpassed its goal to triple support for Indigenous creation to $18.9 million by 2020–21.

Targets and investments

The Canada Council for the Arts’ investment to support Indigenous creation


This infographic shows the Council’s planned and actual investment to support Indigenous creation towards reaching its target for 2020–21.

  • Baseline support for Indigenous creation in 2015–16: $6.3 million
  • Actual investment to support Indigenous creation as of 2020–21: $23.7 million
  • Target investment to support Indigenous creation by 2020–21: $18.9 million
  • Final status: Surpassed


Reaching future generations through the arts

The Council’s Creating, Knowing, and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples program supported the work of cultural carriers—Elders, knowledge keepers, traditional educators and language holders.

The Council funded 11 cultural carriers in 2019–20 to contribute to the invaluable retention and transmission of Indigenous cultural traditions and practices for future generations.

Indigenous artists on the world stage

The Canada Council hosted an Indigenous delegation at the 2019 edition of WOMEX (Worldwide Music Expo), one of the world’s most important international professional markets of world music. At the event—which took place in October 2019 in Tampere, Finland—members of the delegation performed in showcases, led a panel discussion and made important connections for ongoing collaboration and exchanges with the wider global network of Indigenous artists. The delegation consisted of ShoShona Kish, Raven Kanatakta, Leela Gilday, Matt Maw and Amanda Rheaume.

Improved access to Indigenous-made content

In 2019–20, the Council provided imagineNATIVE—the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content—with supplemental funding to enhance their accessibility measures. With this funding, they hired an accessibility coordinator to guide their work, revised their print and Web materials, provided closed captioning for their English-language films and undertook outreach activities to promote their screenings and newly implemented accessibility measures to Deaf and disability communities.

Learn more about our commitments