April 24, 2024

2024 Intercultural Capacity Building Grants now open for applications

UCalgary seeks new projects that elevate intercultural capacity building on campus
One of the UCalgary tipis in front of MacEwan Hall on a sunny day.
Participants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with multiple faculties and offices to create a project that promotes Indigenous worldviews. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Calling all big-picture thinkers journeying towards meaningful reconciliation: Applications for the University of Calgary’s 2024 Intercultural Capacity Building Grants are now open. 

Students, faculty and staff can apply for a grant of up to $10,000 to bring their ideas to life. Participants have until June 14 to propose high-impact, not-for-credit intercultural capacity projects that align with and elevate ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the university’s Indigenous Strategy, and reflect Indigenous ways of knowing, being, doing, and connecting.

Administered by the Office of Indigenous Engagement, the grants will help fund innovative projects. Submissions must focus on intercultural capacity building and should demonstrate community impact and reciprocity during all stages. The resulting project should impact the campus community and beyond and reflect UCalgary’s institutional journey towards Truth and Reconciliation. The grant is open to current graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral scholars, academic and non-academic staff, business and service units, and faculties. 

The grant is supported by the Office of Indigenous Engagement, and Working Circle Three, an internal group focused on promoting intercultural capacity on an institutional level. Gerald Ratt, UCalgary’s Indigenous intercultural initiatives specialist and a part of Working Circle Three, says circle members wish to see stronger relationships built on a foundation of mutual understanding that mirrors UCalgary’s diverse community. “Intercultural capacity building is critical to gain different perspectives, expand a more flexible mindset, and understanding where others are coming from,” says Ratt, who has overseen previous Intercultural Capacity Building Grant cycles. He says the working circle hopes “cultural understandings can begin breaking down barriers, bias, ignorance and stereotypes.”

The 2023-2024 grant cycle supported multiple successful projects ranging from health and science to performance art. Examples include the Wagonstage Children’s Theatre, a learning initiative for UCalgary Drama students in collaboration with The City of Calgary’s Koko’Sinooniks program; and the Barrier Lake Field Station Landscape Plan led by the university’s Biogeoscience Institute, with the aim of blending Western and Indigenous perspectives in its development. 

Participants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with multiple faculties and offices to create a transdisciplinary not-for-credit project that reflects the university’s multifaceted approach to promoting Indigenous worldviews. For example, another previous proposal, the Healing Gardens project, united the Faculty of Nursing and the Indigenous, Local and Global Health Office in a project that emphasizes Indigenous perspectives in health and wellness education. Grant recipients with successful projects may request a one-year extension for their grant cycle. 

All projects must include Indigenous input in project development, delivery, leadership, evaluation and co-ordination to be eligible. Project proposals will undergo an adjudication process on alignment with the Indigenous Strategy, community impact and intercultural capacity building, along with budgeting, timelines, and other criteria. Up to five projects will be selected and recipients will participate in a pipe ceremony in October where they will provide a presentation on their proposals in keeping with Indigenous oral traditions and our parallel path. 

“The University of Calgary’s community is diverse, learning from each other and sharing what we have is important,” says Ratt. “Culture matters; our Indigenous cultures matter.”

To learn more about the grant guidelines, review the Intercultural Capacity Building Grants project regulation document and visit the grant webpage for a step-by-step guide on how to apply. Deadline for applications is June 14, 2024.

ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. Walking parallel paths together, “in a good way,” UCalgary is moving toward genuine reconciliation and Indigenization.

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