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Co-creating a community-centric grantmaking model for Indigenous innovation

Marissa Hill May 12, 2021

The Indigenous Innovation Initiative seeks to improve all life through Indigenous innovation. Through core values of inclusion, self-determination, sustainability and creativity, we use a gender-lens approach for investment to support First Nation, Inuit and Metis Peoples in Canada to develop and test innovative ideas that re-inspire healing, imagination and opportunity for their communities, while benefitting all people and the Land.

In 2020, we launched the first call for proposals for the inaugural Advancing Indigenous Gender Equality through Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program – the ultimate impact goal of this program is to advance Indigenous gender equality across health, economic and social dimensions through transformative innovation and large-scale systemic change that is by and for First Nation, Inuit and Metis women, Two Spirit, queer, trans and gender diverse people.

In collaboration with First Nation, Inuit and Metis Elders, Knowledge Keepers, industry leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and community members from across Turtle Island (North America), we have been co-creating a grantmaking model that meets Indigenous innovators where they are at. We have learned many lessons along the way, and would like to share back with the ecosystem what we have learned.



Meta Themes

  • Impact Investing

  • Equity & Inclusion

  • Social Entrepreneurship

  • Stakeholder Economics & Leadership


Indigenous innovation, Indigenous entrepreneurship, Indigenous social impact, Indigenous impact investing, inclusive grantmaking, decolonized grantmaking

Purpose and Desired Outcome

Addressing various themes, this action-oriented workshop will immerse participants in a grantmaking model that is inclusive, culturally rooted, gender-aware and that meets innovators where they are at so they can focus on the thing that matters most: developing and testing their innovation. The purpose in doing this is to create awareness and recognition for the need to engage in decolonized practices, create partnership opportunities for the Indigenous Innovation Initiative and inform implementation of similar approaches across First Nation, Inuit and Metis communities and the Indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem more broadly.


  • Asset Managers

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Service Providers

  • Accelerators & Incubators

  • Academia

  • Corporate & SME

  • Artists & Culture-makers

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Government

  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)


  • NameMarissa Hill
  • TitleKnowledge Management and Translation Associate
  • OrganizationIndigenous Innovation Initiative
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameSara Wolfe
  • TitleDirector
  • OrganizationIndigenous Innovation Initiative
  • StatusConfirmed
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