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Indigenous Intellectual Property Program grants applications are now open

Press Release

Canada’s IP Strategy supports the preservation and protection of Indigenous knowledge and cultural expressions

June 28, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canada celebrates and recognizes the importance of the unique achievements and cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The safeguarding of Indigenous intellectual property, including intellectual property based on their knowledge and cultural expressions, is integral to the social, cultural and economic interests of Indigenous peoples. The protection and preservation of Indigenous intellectual property benefits Indigenous communities, businesses, innovators and creators.

Today, the Honourable François-Phillipe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the opening of the 2021 Indigenous Intellectual Property Program grants application process to provide greater opportunities for Indigenous peoples, including community organizations and Indigenous businesses, to build their intellectual property (IP) awareness and capacity, encourage use and participate in the development and implementation of related policies and programs in Canada and abroad.

Launched in 2018 as a part of Canada’s first-ever IP Strategy, the Program promotes a more inclusive IP system that is reflective of the needs and interests of Indigenous peoples, starting with initiatives focused on education, awareness raising and capacity-building. The Program’s grants will support travel, initiatives and projects relating to the relationship between IP and the protection of Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous cultural expressions.

The application process for the 2021 Indigenous Intellectual Property Program grants will close on September 8, 2021.


“The Indigenous Intellectual Property Program supports our Government’s broader commitments towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and recognition of their rights. These grants will support Indigenous peoples’ efforts to develop, use, preserve and protect their intellectual property, including intellectual property based on their distinct knowledge and cultural expressions.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • The IP system can be used to protect certain expressions and uses of Indigenous knowledge, arts, and culture. However, given the differences in world views and approaches to protection, including Indigenous approaches to perpetual and collective ownership and oral transmission, the current IP system may not be the right means in some cases to effectively protect Indigenous knowledge and cultural expressions – other means may need to be considered.
  • Budget 2021 is renewing the Indigenous Community Business Fund for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities to continue providing services and support jobs for their members through collectively owned businesses and microbusinesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Budget 2021 is also proposing the expansion of the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program to directly support Indigenous-led businesses and help Indigenous communities generate wealth by improving access to capital and business opportunities.

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Associated links


John Power
Senior Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
[email protected]

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelati[email protected]


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