Grant Writer Funding Partnership Will Benefit Central and Northern BC First Nation Communities

January 29, 2010

PRINCE GEORGE, BC – and the New Relationship Trust are partnering to further increase the capacity of First Nations in central and northern BC to access funding for priority projects within their communities through Northern Development’s Grant Writing Support program.

In 2009, twenty-seven First Nations accessed Northern Development’s Grant Writing Support Program to great success. The New Relationship Trust is investing $125,000 for the 2010 year to support additional expansion of the program to the eighty-five First Nation communities within the Northern Development Initiative Trust Region with the potential for further investment in the future.

"We are very pleased to partner with Northern Development on expanding access to the Grant Writing Support program to First Nations Communities," stated Cliff Fregin, Chief Executive Officer of the New Relationship Trust. "The additional funding will ensure that more of our First Nations communities will be able to hire a grant writer to access programs and dollars from any funding source to provide needed investments in community infrastructure and services."

The $125,000 will be added to the $405,000 available through Northern Development each year for communities and First Nations that hire a four month grant writer in the local area to write at least $200,000 in applications that will benefit community projects. "This program has the highest return on investment of any program offered by Northern Development," said Northern Development Chief Executive Officer Janine North.

Gordon Sebastian, Executive Director of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chief’s Society has seen their grant applications be successful with Northern Development. "This is a program ideally suited to the talented students that come back to our community in the summer on their break from studies at the University of Northern British Columbia and Northwest Community College. We have such high unemployment, and although this is only one job, it will make a tremendous difference in gaining funding for priority initiatives that the Chiefs want to undertake to provide many more jobs."

The Williams Lake Indian Band successfully utilized the grant writing support program for funding community projects in 2009. Zandra Wycotte-Ross is a member of the Williams Lake Indian Band and was hired through the program to write funding proposals on behalf of the community. Zandra’s efforts, in conjunction with Williams Lake Indian Band staff and community members, have garnered approximately $175,000 in funding so far. "The Grant Writing Support program funding provided by Northern Development has helped fill a gap that our community needed to fill," stated Marg Shelley, Williams Lake Indian Band Administrator. "It has allowed us to seek funding for projects that we had not dreamed of, to enhance our community well-being."

Zandra Wycotte-Ross, Grant Writer for the Williams Lake Indian Band was hired
through Northern Development’s Grant Writing Support Program

Many communities from across central and northern BC have achieved great success with the Grant Writer Support program. In 2007 and 2008, thirty-six communities utilized $270,000 in Northern Development grants to hire four month grant writers who applied for $24.1 million in grants for small communities and they are achieving success rates of up to 91%. For every $1 invested in the program, there is a potential of $90 to flow back to the community using the current program performance measurements. In June 2009, the program was expanded to First Nations communities across the Northern Development regions on a first come, first served basis. Several applications to the Grant Writing Support program have already been received from First Nations communities for the 2010 year.

About Northern Development Initiative Trust

Northern Development Initiative Trust is an independent regional economic development corporation, originally funded by the Province of British Columbia, and is focused on stimulating economic growth and job creation in central and northern British Columbia.

To learn more about Northern Development Initiative Trust, visit:

About the New Relationship Trust

The New Relationship Trust (NRT) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening First Nations in BC through capacity building.

NRT was created in 2006 as a response to the vision of a new relationship in the province, one based on "respect, recognition, and accommodation of aboriginal title and rights." This vision was jointly agreed to in the spring of 2005 by leaders from the First Nations Summit, the BC Assembly of First Nations, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the Province of BC.

Today, NRT supports Nation Building by assisting First Nations and their communities in five key areas: education, capacity, language & culture, youth & elders, and economic development.

To learn more about New Relationship Trust, visit:

Media Contacts

Janine North
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Development Initiative Trust

Telephone:  250.561.2525

Cliff Fregin
Chief Executive Officer
New Relationship Trust

Telephone:  604.925.3338
Toll-free:     1.877.922.3338