Canada Council – Research on the Value of Public Funding for Indigenous Arts and Cultures

“The Canada Council for the Arts, in collaboration with Archipel Research and Consulting Inc., undertook a research project grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing.

Research goal

This research aimed to understand the role of arts and cultures to Indigenous communities across Canada and the value of public funding for Indigenous arts and cultures.


This project was guided by Etuaptmumk, a Mi’kmaq methodology also known as Two-Eyed Seeing, which brings the strengths of both Indigenous and Western worldviews together to move forward in harmonious and sustainable relations.

An Indigenous advisory circle provided guidance on matters applicable to this research project for its duration.

Archipel conducted 124 interviews; 15 focus groups with 112 participants; and received 413 survey responses. Participants included Indigenous artists, cultural carriers, and Elders.


The research concluded that:

  • Arts and cultural practices are integral to Indigenous ways of being. Indigenous arts and cultures provide essential functions for cultural continuity and revitalization.
  • Public funding is integral to the success of Indigenous artists, arts, and cultures. Funding through the Council has supported the meaningful work of Indigenous artists, that they might not have been able to do otherwise.
  • Indigenous artists and organizations continue to face barriers to access the support they need.

Based on the research findings, Archipel prepared 26 recommendations for the Council and other arts funders to guide their path forward.”