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Research on the Value of Public Funding for Indigenous Arts and Cultures

Last updated: June 20, 2023

Published: September 29, 2022

The Canada Council for the Arts, in collaboration with Archipel Research and Consulting Inc., undertook a research project grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing.

Research goal

This research aimed to understand the role of arts and cultures to Indigenous communities across Canada and the value of public funding for Indigenous arts and cultures.


This project was guided by Etuaptmumk, a Mi’kmaq methodology also known as Two-Eyed Seeing, which brings the strengths of both Indigenous and Western worldviews together to move forward in harmonious and sustainable relations.

An Indigenous advisory circle provided guidance on matters applicable to this research project for its duration.

Archipel conducted 124 interviews; 15 focus groups with 112 participants; and received 413 survey responses. Participants included Indigenous artists, cultural carriers, and Elders.


The research concluded that:

  • Arts and cultural practices are integral to Indigenous ways of being. Indigenous arts and cultures provide essential functions for cultural continuity and revitalization.
  • Public funding is integral to the success of Indigenous artists, arts, and cultures. Funding through the Council has supported the meaningful work of Indigenous artists, that they might not have been able to do otherwise.
  • Indigenous artists and organizations continue to face barriers to access the support they need.

Based on the research findings, Archipel prepared 26 recommendations for the Council and other arts funders to guide their path forward.

View a presentation of the research

This video, presented in English and ASL, provides an overview of the Research on the Value of Public Funding for Indigenous Arts and Cultures.

Read the transcript.

Moving Forward: June 2023

Former Canada Council Director and CEO Simon Brault and Director of the Creating, Knowing, and Sharing program Odile Joannette share their thoughts on work done further to the publishing of Research on the Value of Public Funding for Indigenous Arts and Cultures, 2022.  Read more

Read the Council’s response

Reflections from the Canada Council for the Arts on the Research on the Value of Public Funding for Indigenous Arts and Cultures available in English, French, Anishinaabemowin, and Inuktut.

Language acknowledgement

The Council recognizes and respects the many Indigenous languages spoken in Canada. The summary document and the Council’s response are currently available in Anishinaabemowin and Inuktut.

The Council is committed to ongoing translation of the resources created as part of this research to Indigenous languages. If you would like to have the resources from this research in another Indigenous language, please contact us at research@canadacouncil.ca.

Research team

Archipel team

Sabre Pictou Lee, MA, BFA (Mi’kmaq)

Monique Manatch, PhD (Cand.), MA (Algonquin)

Megan Julian, MA (Coast Salish)

Muna Osman, MA, PhD (Cand.), BA

Courtney Vaughan, MA, BA (Métis)

Aliqa Illauq (Inuk)

Jeremy Speller, MA, BA (Mi’kmaq)

Catherine Stockall, MA, BA

Jean-Marie Vianney Rurangwa, PhD (Cand.), MA, BA, BA

Advisory circle

Penny Couchie

Jennifer David

Jonathan Dewar

Stephen Foster

Heather Igloliorte


Please contact the Research, Measurement and Data Analytics Section at research@canadacouncil.ca