A Catholic Commitment to Healing & Reconciliation
Last updated December 2023
What is the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF)?
The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund, a national initiative, was established to accept donations from 73 Catholic entities across the country, and to advance healing and reconciliation initiatives, fulfilling the $30 million financial commitment made by Canada’s Bishops in September, 2021.
The fund seeks to support projects that are determined locally, in collaboration with First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners. The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund has established the following criteria for grant applications:
The fund has been designed to meet the highest standards of transparency and good governance and is overseen by a Board of Directors made up of Indigenous leaders. As of December 2023, the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund has raised $12,774,780, putting the fund on track for its five-year, $30 million commitment. To learn more about the National Indigenous Reconciliation Fund, visit their website at: www.irfund.ca
How is the Archdiocese of Toronto involved with the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund?
In February 2022, the archdiocese formally announced it would commit to the fund through a pledge of $6 million, over a five year period. In addition to raising awareness and offering opportunities to support the healing and reconciliation fund financially throughout the year, the archdiocese will invite the faithful to participate in an annual special collection held in the fall, near the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The archdiocese will also draw on funds in existing operations and assets, ensuring the $6 million pledge is fulfilled.
The first annual collection in the five-year cycle took place the weekend of October 1/2, 2022 with the 2023 collection scheduled for the weekend of September 30/October 1, 2023. Individuals can make an online donation anytime by clicking here.
How will my donation be utilized in working with the national Indigenous Reconciliation Fund?
Since the announcement of our financial commitment, the archdiocese has been working to nurture and strengthen relationships with local Indigenous partners. We have also established an Indigenous Reconciliation Fund Committee comprised of Indigenous community members along with others with experience in finance and community knowledge.
Our current efforts are focused on identifying and supporting projects, both at the local level and in under-resourced areas across the country. Project requests/proposals are reviewed at the local level through our archdiocesan committee to ensure they meet the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund criteria.
In short, we raise funds locally, identify projects through our archdiocesan committee and send both funds and proposals to the national body for swift approval that will allow money to flow quickly to approved projects. We also envision supporting a number of projects that will receive multi-year funding to help support stability and sustainability.
How can I learn more about the Archdiocese of Toronto supported projects that have been approved and funding associated with these initiatives?
In December 2023, the Archdiocese of Toronto announced the allocation of more than $2.7 million to fund 8 different projects that will assist in the healing and reconciliation journey with First Nation, Inuit and Métis people. To learn more about these projects, click here. The Archdiocese’s $2,768,000 allocation represents more than 45% of its $6 million commitment (over five years) announced in February 2022.
What if I have a project to submit for consideration?
If you have a project you wish to be considered or to discuss our efforts in greater detail, please contact the archdiocese here.
The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund provides an opportunity to follow the invitation of the Holy Father during his 2022 visit to Canada for each one of us to become engaged in the ongoing journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples of This Land. Thank you to all those who continue to share their time, talents and treasure to support the path ahead.