Northern Water Safety Fund

The Water Safety Fund (WSF) is for Northern Indigenous communities in Ontario. The program is intended to promote water safety and support increased participation in water-based sport and recreation activities. The WSF can be used to certify instruction such as swimming lessons and lifeguard training, and also for water programming equipment for safety and recreation purposes (i.e., life jackets, canoes, paddles, life saving devices, etc.).  Funding in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) is available for eligible projects and programs. 

What type of programs are eligible for the WSF?

The goal of the WSF funding is to provide northern Indigenous communities and organizations with support to utilize access to bodies of water (i.e., lakes, rivers, swimming pools, etc.) and promote participation in water sports and recreation, in a safe manner with the proper safety precautions and necessary equipment. 

Funds may be utilized for:

  • Programs teaching water safety.
  • Delivery of or participation in, water sport and recreation programs.
  • Waterfront management to increase access and safety for community members.
  • Programs to help certify lifeguards and swim instructors within the community.
  • Water safety, and water sport and recreation equipment.
  • Delivery of Learn to Programs (i.e., swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, etc.). with certified instructors.

The WSF aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action, which identifies four social development needs of Indigenous communities: 

  • Improved health;
  • Improved education;
  • Improved employability; and
  • Reduced at-risk behaviours.

Who can apply for the WSF?

    • Northern First Nation Communities located in Ontario; and
    • Established Indigenous Youth Groups within northern Ontario.

ISWO is responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, their project, and project expenses. Please note that the WSF is intended to support Northern communities located in the province of Ontario; all activities and programs related to the funding request must take place in Ontario.

What are the timelines for the Water Safety Fund?

We are currently accepting applications for the 2022-2023 Water Safety Fund. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2023 at 11:59PM EST