Program Guidelines 

Updated February 2021

Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund (NKDF) Society grants are designed to support sustainable economic activity in northern communities affected by the Kitimat-Kemano project and by the creation of the Nechako Reservoir. NKDF spends the income from its long-term investments on projects that meet each community’s economic development and community building goals and contribute to overall community health, development, and stability.

Background of the Fund

In 1997, as part of a resolution of legal issues surrounding the cancellation of the Kemano Completion Project in northwestern British Columbia, the government of British Columbia and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to create the BC-Alcan Northern Development Fund.  The BC-Alcan Northern Development Fund Act was passed in 1998.

Following advice from a regional advisory board, the NKDF Society was incorporated on August 18, 1999.  The Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation appoints Board members to represent the communities of the Nechako-Kitamaat area.

Who can apply to the Fund?

The investment area for NKDF is normally limited to those areas with evidence of impacts from Alcan’s (Rio Tinto) Nechako Reservoir and Kemano power project. We encourage applications from local governments, First Nations and legally incorporated non-profit organizations serving the following communities and nearby rural areas:

  • Kitamaat Village
  • Southside
  • Nee Tahi Buhn Band
  • Cheslatta Carrier Nation
  • Skin Tyee Band
  • Village of Burns Lake
  • Ts'il Kaz Koh (formerly know as Burns Lake Band)
  • Lake Babine Nation (Woyenne)
  • Stellat'en First Nation
  • Village of Fraser Lake
  • Nadleh Whut’en Band
  • Fort Fraser
  • District of Vanderhoof
  • Saik’uz First Nation

Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society Guiding Principles


The Fund will invest in community economic development projects and/or programs that are supported by the community, as long as they do not subsidize private business. 


 Creating new jobs and enhancing existing jobs are priorities of the Fund.


A priority of the Fund will be to support long term employment - both full time and seasonal.


The Fund recognizes the value of interrelationships between communities.  Consideration will be given to proposals from within the Nechako Region, Lakes District, and Kitamaat Village if they demonstrate a benefit to those areas.


NKDF will have policies and programs that are accessible with clearly defined evaluation criteria.


First Nations’ participation in the Fund will not prejudice the First Nation land claim process.


The majority of NKDF Directors will reside in the investment area.  The Board will determine the ongoing management of the Fund consistent with provincial government policy.
BENEFITTING FUND The Fund is intended to create benefits through sustainable community economic development. It is not intended to be compensation for those who believe themselves to have been negatively affected by the Kitimat-Kemano Project, the creation of the Nechako Reservoir, or the cancellation of the Kemano Completion Project.


The Fund can be utilized in cooperative ventures along with other funding sources.


The Fund will not duplicate but may augment existing economic development programs.

NKDF Criteria for Economic Development Grants

NKDF grants support projects that address one or more of the following key aspects of economic and community development in the NKDF investment area:


Infrastructure that strengthens the local and regional economy and increases the ability of local business to compete in the marketplace such as airports or communications infrastructure.

Infrastructure that contributes to a healthy and economically vibrant downtown including downtown revitalization and lighting.

Infrastructure that attracts tourism and/or resident attraction including cultural infrastructure, museums, heritage sites, and parks.

Recreational infrastructure that encourages resident attraction and retention, along with increased opportunities for recreation and sports tourism including trail networks, exhibition grounds, and sports fields.

Infrastructure projects that improve the condition of an asset that contributes to community development including community halls.

Note: Routine maintenance and municipal projects for infrastructure for which taxes are collected, such as sewer and water, are not eligible.

Planning and Research

Projects that provide the background information and pre-planning required to make decisions about future investments. Types of projects include feasibility studies, market research, needs assessments, surveys, strategic plans, and tourism plans.

Note: Normally the maximum granted for feasibility studies is $5,000.

Human Development

Projects that provide skills training that enables people and organizations to increase employment, economic activity, and capacity. Types of projects include job skills training and workshops and courses for volunteers and small business owners.

For job and skills training, applications must demonstrate there is demand in the region for the acquired skills.


Projects that support economic diversification and development of new markets, and serve to facilitate business attraction initiatives, investment attraction initiatives, resident recruitment initiatives, and visitor attraction initiatives. Types of projects include branding development, marketing campaigns, web-based strategies, digital strategies, and signage.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Fit in the context of long-term economic development goals.
  • Enable a community to acquire public or private investment.
  • Lead to long-term jobs in the region.
  • Contribute to COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.
  • Promote economic activity in the investment area.
  • Involve a collaboration among two or more organizations and benefit two or more communities within the NKDF investment area.
  • Include a connectivity component aimed at delivering high-speed internet to rural and remote areas.
  • Have community buy-in, demonstrated by support letters and donations from local government and other organizations within the local community.
  • Have benefits continuing after the funding is invested and the project complete.
  • Include a financial or in-kind contribution from the proponent toward the project.

Costs eligible for NKDF funding

The fund will not cover more than 50% of project costs. In-kind donations are acceptable at market rates and must be verifiable and documented by written commitments from donors.

  • Contracted goods and services.
  • Capital costs, materials and supplies, excluding the costs of land.
  • Incremental labour and related costs such as  travel.

Ineligible projects and costs

  • Grants cannot be used to subsidize or compete with private enterprise.
  • Grants cannot be used to pay wages of employees doing their regular jobs, including public works labour.
  • Grants will not be approved if funding is normally available from other sources.
  • Grants cannot be used for sponsorships, such as travel costs for teams and/or individuals to attend events or as prize money for festivals.
  • Grants cannot be used to pay GST. (Grant funds can be used to pay for PST, but not GST).
  • Projects that are already in progress.

Note: Ineligible costs cannot be used to leverage NKDF funds.


There are up to four deadlines per year. Please visit Application Deadlines for specific dates.

For grant requests under $5,000 applications are accepted on a continuous intake basis. More information on under $5,000 requests is available here.


Applicants should be aware that there are reporting requirements and be prepared to meet them.

A final project report is due one (1) month after the project is completed.

A project is considered complete when:

  • all work outlined in the project agreement is completed;
  • all related expenses have been invoiced;
  • recognition requirements have been met.

The Project Completion Reporting Form and Actual Project Expenses Table must be completed and all invoices for the project submitted.

Invoices and budget for the full project, not just the NKDF grant funds, must be submitted.

Final payment will be issued after the Project Completion Report is reviewed and approved.

For grants of $20,000 or more, a Project Annual Follow-Up Report is due one (1) year after the final payment is issued.

Applicants will be required to complete the Annual Follow-Up Report form and report on project economic benefits.

The Fraser Lake & Area Menshed Society we feel has been a great success, largely due to the grant for our shop addition from the NKDF. Without the grant we would not have had the courage to proceed with its...

~Fraser Lake & Area Menshed Society