About the

Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Program


  • Indigenous and coastal communities have a long history of responding to marine incidents and are often the first and only responders in their surrounding waters arriving on-scene in time to make a difference in remote locations
  • The Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Program (ICBVP), funded by the Canadian Coast Guard, supports Indigenous communities to purchase a boat or equipment required to participate in the marine safety response system as active members of the CCGA. Once the program is established in the community, the members are supported by their regional auxiliary.
  • The program was launched in 2017 and is continuing with renewed funding recently announced, through renewal of the Oceans Protection Plan initiative


  • Funding provided through the ICBVP ensures that participating communities have the equipment and training required for membership in the CCGA


  • Increase Indigenous participation in Canada’s marine response system
  • Provide equipment to support Indigenous communities’ participation in the Auxiliary, where they receive marine emergency response training and ongoing support


  • Increases search and rescue capacity at a local level
  • Flexible funding arrangement with Indigenous communities provides 100% upfront funding
  • Program supports new Indigenous members as well as helping existing members
  • Program does not prescribe the type of boat that can be purchased, as the needs and environment of each community are unique
  • ICBVP funding supports communities to purchase or upgrade the equipment they require to join or enhance their membership in the CCGA. Specifically, funds can be used to:
    1. Purchase a search and rescue capable boat
    2. Retrofit or repair a search and rescue capable boat
    3. Purchase equipment including Transport Canada required safety equipment
    4. Purchase a boat shelter
    5. Purchase other related equipment

Please note: Program does not prescribe the type of boat that can be purchased, as the needs and environment of each community are unique, but all boats and equipment purchased must meet Transport Canada and CCGA requirements.


  • To be eligible for funding, the applicant group must be: First Nations / Inuit / Métis, Bands/Settlements (land, reserves, trusts), Indigenous governments referred to in a self-government or modern treaties, Indigenous Communities or groups, District Councils / Chiefs’ Councils / Tribal Councils, Organizations / Societies / Associations / Institutions that are Indigenous led and/or serve an Indigenous population, Corporations (major shareholder is Indigenous)
  • A CCGA letter of support is mandatory and must be included with the application in order to be considered for funding; this helps to ensure that resources are being deployed where there is an identified need for increased search and rescue capacity, and that the Auxiliary will be able to support the community boat and its volunteers
  • For non-Indigenous organizations who serve an Indigenous population, a letter from a Band council(s), Hamlet office, or community council is mandatory in order to demonstrate eligibility for the funding application


  • Applications are accepted annually and are typically due in the fall for the following fiscal year’s funding, which begins on April 1
  • There is an application form to be completed and submitted either electronically or on paper by the application deadline
  • Applications are assessed by a committee of search and rescue professionals, and funding is provided through a contribution agreement(1) between the Canadian Coast Guard and Indigenous communities
  • Local Auxiliary organizations are available to assist with the application process and a letter of support from the Auxiliary is required as part of the application
  • Applications for the 2024-25 funding year :
  • Deadline for the submisison of the Letter of Support from the Auxiliary: November 3, 2023
  • The application form can be requested through your local Auxiliary organizations who will be available to assist with the application process
  • Contact information for the local auxiliaries can be found below, and to determine which Auxiliary you should contact.

(1) A Contribution Agreement is a legal document that outlines the amount of funding the department will provide the organization for eligible project costs, as well as the recipient’s and the department’s responsibilities and obligations. Contribution agreements often outline the following:

  • Sum of contribution: the dollar amount and type of contribution
  • Date and length of the agreement
  • Description of the agreement including a brief summary of project activities, budget, timelines, and impacts
  • Organization name and details
  • Requirements and commitments of both the funding agency and applicant(s)


Community support and capacity

Are there already auxiliary members in the community? In the application form you will need to list the names of individuals who are already members in the Auxiliary and any additional individuals who may become members by the application deadline.

Storage requirements

Is there a safe place to store the boat and/or equipment? If not, funds can be requested to build, upgrade or purchase a storage shed in the application.


Will the community be able to provide routine maintenance on the boat and equipment?

Who will be completing the application form?

They will need to have financial and signing authority.

Receiving funding as part of this program is a commitment to be an active member in the Auxiliary: in the application there is a commitment to use the assets acquired through this funding for search and rescue as part of the Auxiliary for the lesser of the initial life cycle of the boat/equipment or 10 years.

Contact Us

Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary National
PO Box 44017
Ottawa RPO
Montreal Square
ON, K1K 4P8