Indigenous Peoples’ Legal Needs

Indigenous Peoples’ Legal Needs

The Law Foundation of Ontario is approaching organizations we have worked with before to support projects that meet the legal needs of Indigenous peoples. Additionally, we are talking to organizations with relationships with other law foundations.

The Foundation regularly makes grants for projects and programs that address Indigenous peoples’ legal needs. Since 2010, the Foundation has awarded 27 grants focusing on access to justice for Indigenous peoples, for a total of over $3.3 million. The work we are undertaking now is part of the Access to Justice Fund (ATJF) and it constitutes a second round of ATJF grantmaking in this area.

As the Foundation prepared to launch this round of grantmaking, staff reviewed our experience to date, spoke with grantees, conducted research and learned about good practices. Consistently, we heard and read that long-term relationships are important to successful outcomes. For that reason, we are pleased to approach our existing and past grantees and those with relationships with other law foundations.

About the Access to Justice Fund (ATJF)

The Law Foundation of Ontario created the ATJF in 2009 after receiving a $14.6 million cy-près award in the class action Cassano v TD Bank. Since the launch of the ATJF in May 2010, the Foundation has made over 100 grants. Learn more about the ATJF.

With the receipt of new cy-près awards, the Foundation has the opportunity to re-open the ATJF.

 

Identified Areas of Need

While the Foundation has identified child protection and interaction with the criminal justice system as particular areas of priority, we remain open to other priorities identified by grantees, in particular those identified by Indigenous organizations and communities.

Grant Amounts

We expect that most grant applications will not exceed $100,000. Any applications for amounts of $100,000 or more will need to demonstrate significant benefit.

Application Process and Schedule

There is a four-stage application process:

Stage 1: Pre-identified organizations contacted by the Foundation
The Foundation is contacting organizations up to and including January 2016.

Stage 2: Letter of Intent – By invitation only
Organizations that are contacted can complete a Letter of Intent. The Letter of Intent must address the following questions:

1. What exactly do you propose to do and how?
2. What difference will it make, and to whom?
3. Why do you believe this is important?
4. Proposed budget amount.

Applicants are required to submit their Letter of Intent electronically to ATJF@lawfoundation.on.ca by the deadline established.
Download the application form (Word document).

Letters of Intent will be reviewed and presented to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and decisions will be communicated as they are made.

Stage 3: Full Application – By invitation only
Organizations that are invited to submit a full application will be contacted by the Foundation. Applicants will be required to submit their full application electronically to ATJF@lawfoundation.on.ca by the deadline established.

Download the application form (Word document).

Applications will be presented to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for consideration and decisions will be communicated as they are made.

Stage 4: Communicating and continuing our work
The Foundation will update our website with a list of funded projects and will share information about the work and our grantees.

 

Questions? Please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

For more information, please contact Kirsti Mathers McHenry, Director of Policy and Programs, at 416-598-1550 x 310 or kmathersmchenry@lawfoundation.on.ca. We encourage all applicants to contact us for advice on the application process.