As part of Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking, Ontario has announced a call for applications for the new Indigenous-Led Initiatives Fund that will increase supports and protection for Indigenous survivors, as well as those at risk of human trafficking.
The Indigenous-Led Initiatives Fund will support community-focused anti-human trafficking services and supports designed for, and by, Indigenous people. The three-year fund will enhance services across Ontario, including:
- Meeting the complex needs of survivors by increasing access to services dedicated to helping those who have experienced the trauma of being trafficked, especially in urban, rural/remote, fly-in and Northern Indigenous communities
- Helping to prevent at-risk people from being trafficked with new innovative community initiatives and long term strategies
- Meaningfully engaging Indigenous survivors in the planning and implementation of supports
- Strengthening system coordination for survivor-centered services across sectors.
This call for applications follows consultations with 50 Indigenous organizations, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, to seek input and advice on how the Fund could support Indigenous survivors, their families and communities.
Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking is a part of the government’s vision to ensure that everyone in the province can live in safety — free from the threat, fear or experience of exploitation and violence.
“Our government is committed to being responsive to the needs of Indigenous survivors, and communities affected by human trafficking. The design of the Indigenous-Led Initiatives Fund is respectful of both tradition and culture while reflecting the contemporary realities of Indigenous peoples and their communities.”
— Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services
“It is an urgent government priority to support projects designed by Indigenous communities for Indigenous human trafficking survivors, many of whom are women and girls. This funding will enhance access to services that address the complexity of survivors’ needs, and reinforce the traditions and cultures that are vital to helping survivors rebuild their lives.”
— Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of the Status of Women
“Our government’s support for community-based solutions to human trafficking is an important part of our work with Indigenous partners and communities to support survivors, end human trafficking and advance reconciliation. The Indigenous-Led Initiatives Fund is one of the ways we are helping Indigenous organizations deliver supports to survivors and those most at risk in their communities.”
— David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
- The Indigenous-Led Initiatives Fund will provide up to $9.6 million over three years.
- Applications must be submitted by June 8, 2017, and successful applicants will be informed by early July.
- Individual grant sizes will depend on the type of project. Projects can be funded for a possible duration of up to three years to provide enough time for programs/services to demonstrate results.
- The Strategy to End Human Trafficking includes an investment of up to $72 million to increase awareness and coordination, enhance justice-sector initiatives and improve survivors’ access to services.
- Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, accounting for roughly 69 per cent of police-reported cases nationally in 2015.
- In Ontario, Indigenous women and girls are among the most targeted populations for human trafficking.
Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking and Progress Report
Progress Report on It’s Never Okay, An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment Walking Together: Ontario’s Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women