Indigenous Tourism Fund: Micro and Small Business Stream

Applications for the Micro and Small Business Stream are now being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

All activities must be completed by March 31, 2025.

The $10 million Micro and Small Business Stream (MSBS) is part of the $20 million Indigenous Tourism Fund announced in Budget 2022 to help the Indigenous tourism industry recover from the pandemic and position itself for long-term, sustainable growth.  The MSBS will be rolled out in partnership with Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and provincial and territorial Indigenous tourism organizations.

Indigenous tourism creates important jobs and opportunities across the country. The Government of Canada is working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis stakeholders to encourage its growth in a way that is culturally appropriate and socially responsible. Indigenous tourism differentiates Canada's tourism offerings on the world stage, and supporting it is a central part of our broader efforts to help the industry grow and thrive. Most importantly, Indigenous tourism plays a significant role in accelerating self-determination for communities and advancing reconciliation.

The MSBS will help Indigenous tourism businesses address barriers to business, visitor and export readiness so they can take advantage of a growing demand for leisure travel, particularly cultural tourism, better positioning Canada as a global tourism destination of choice.

Eligible recipients

To be eligible for funding under the MSBS, Canadian tourism businesses must be majority (greater than 50%) owned, operated and/or controlled by First Nations, Inuit or Métis individuals. Businesses must have been in operation for two years and must have fewer than 100 employees.

Eligible activities

Eligible activities must support one or more of the following:

  1. Effective community engagement and support
  2. Excellence in visitor experience
  3. Health, safety and comfort
  4. Sustainable Indigenous tourism
  5. Excellence in marketing and visitor services
  6. Good business acumen/practices

Eligible activities cannot have begun before September 1, 2023, and must be completed before March 31, 2025.

Additional eligibility details can be found on ITAC's website.

How to apply

To apply for funding under the MSBS in all provinces and territories, applicants must first complete an assessment under ITAC's The Original Original accreditation program to identify barriers to becoming business-, visitor- and export-ready. Applicants must then complete the application for funding.

Funding support

Contributions will be non-repayable up to a maximum of $25,000 per business/organization.  

Regional allocations have been developed to ensure equitable distribution of funding across the country.

Provincial and territorial Indigenous tourism organizations will make final funding decisions except in Ontario, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

For support in the application process, contact the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada or reach out to your provincial/territorial Indigenous tourism representative: