The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR), established in 2004-2005, supports the development of Indigenous capacity to participate actively in the implementation of Species at Risk Act (SARA). The protection of species at risk in Canada depends upon a meaningful collaboration with Indigenous People. 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. The overall 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.

The AFSAR program will allocate approximately $2.8 million in 2020/2021 to terrestrial projects on Indigenous lands.

Activities must take place in Canada on reserves, lands set apart for the use and benefit of Indigenous Peoples under the Indian Act, other lands directly controlled by Indigenous Peoples, lands where traditional activities are carried out.

Timelines and How to Apply

The annual call for proposals for 2019/2020 has now closed. Applications for the next call for proposals for 2020/2021 and onwards will be submitted through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s new online Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS). While this AFSAR online Tracking System will no longer be used to accept new applications, it will remain available for reporting purposes for previously approved multi-year projects until March 31, 2023.

For information on how to apply to AFSAR using GCEMS, specific deadlines and other information please see the Environment and Climate Change Canada Funding Programs page or contact your Regional Coordinator. Regional Coordinators are only available to answer questions during regular business hours, local time.

Applicants wishing to pursue aquatic AFSAR projects should contact the appropriate aquatic regional coordinator at DFO.