Indigenous Research Fund

About the Indigenous Research Fund

The Indigenous Research Fund (IRF) began as a response to the 2015 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Specifically, calls 67 to 70) and is funded by the Friends of the BC Archives (FBCA) with support from the Royal BC Museum and Archives. The IRF is intended to increase access to the collections of the BC Archives for Indigenous peoples.

The IRF is open to any individuals (youth, student, adult, Elder) who self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) and organizations with a mandate to serve the interests of Indigenous peoples.

The fund may be used for any/all of the following purposes:

  • Travel to the BC Archives (including accommodation/meals)
  • Hiring a researcher for work done at the BC Archives
  • Other costs associated with work done at the BC Archives as identified by the applicant

This fund is open to Indigenous applicants/organizations only. Up to $1,000 is available. ***The 2023 application deadline has been extended to February 15, 2023.*** Funding will be awarded in Spring 2023. Send your questions about the application and fund to


We will do our best to assess applications in a timely manner. Please check this site for regular updates regarding the status of the fund. Applications should be submitted to in either PDF or .doc format.

  • Individuals

Individual applicants are encouraged to self identify and provide a short description (500 words) that describes their involvement and contributions to an Indigenous community/communities.

  • Organizations

Organizations are asked to provide an overview of their mandate as it pertains to the interests of Indigenous peoples. Organizations are asked to provide a short description (500 words) that generally describes their involvement and contributions to an Indigenous community/communities.

Applicant resources and adjudication information can be found in the application form below. Successful applicants are asked to submit a brief report to the FBCA outlining in general terms the work that the fund facilitated.

You can download the 2023 application form here:

2022 Recipient

  • Sdahl K’awaas, Lucy Bell: This project will conduct research at the BC Archives for documents connected to First Nation artifact collectors who visited Haida Gwaii and their informants. Research will also look at records of settler women such as Hanna Maynard which detail the photographing, selling, or donating of Haida collections left by their late husbands and fathers.

2021 Recipient

  • Kwantlen Lands, Resources and Stewardship Ltd. (Kwantlen First Nation): This project will send a community member to the Royal BC Museum and BC Archives to conduct research in support of repatriation efforts. This research will help determine where Kwantlen ancestral remains, cultural items, documents, and archaeological artefacts are being held. This project will begin once the public health situation allows. Information gathered will be shared with community members via virtual meetings and electronic correspondences.

2020 Recipients

  • Gabriola Island Sacred Sites Research (Steven Davies and Geraldine Manson): The Gabriola Island Sacred Sites Project will investigate BC Archives records related to Snuneymuxw sacred sites and villages on what is now known as Gabriola Island. These sacred areas have immense cultural and spiritual significance to Snuneymuxw. Working with Snuneymuxw Elder and cultural mentor C-tasi:a (Geraldine Manson) this historical research will assist repatriation, reconciliation, and cultural revitalization efforts in the community. 
  • Upper Similkameen Indian Band: This project from the Upper Similkameen Indian Band (USIB) will photograph and document a selection of artifacts from the Similkameen Valley held by the RBCM&A. The project will benefit community members by providing access to those who are not able to travel to Victoria. The project will also include a review of related documents to provide community members with information related to the artifact collections. This information will benefit USIB community members by being made available through the USIB library and archives for future research purposes.

2019 Recipient

  • Jenn Ashton: A writer and artist living in North Vancouver, Jenn is a descendent of one of the X̱wáýxway/Stanley Park families and she will use the funds to support research at the BC Archives for a non-fiction book that looks at her ancestors, the origins of the City of Vancouver, and the City’s impact on First Nations families.

2018 Recipients

  • Indigenous Perspectives Society (Vancouver): IPS will support one researcher from the society to attend the archives for four days to gather resources that contribute to learning about the history of Indigenous people in BC. The research will be used to support and enhance the society’s Cultural Perspectives Training and the Aboriginal Social Worker training.
  • Moccasin Footprint Society (Williams Lake): The grant will be used to explore documents in the archives relating the history of the Fraser River. This research is part of a film project that will  document the differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous uses of the river and take note of the health of the Fraser River today.
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