Adult Education, Environment, Housing, Story

June 14, 2022

Spring 2022 grants support organizations in housing, the environment and adult education

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Spring 2022 grants support 22 organizations

June 14, 2022


As Canadians continue to struggle with an escalating climate emergency, a housing affordability crisis and cracks in our democratic traditions we remain confident in the ability of local advocates and community leaders to create new approaches, new coalitions and new solutions for what ails the world.

That’s why we were pleased to fund 22 initiatives in the areas of housing, the environment and adult education in the second quarter of 2022. During that period, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation granted $641,630 to innovators that are boldly working to create a more equitable and just society.

Together, our efforts are intended to promote joint action and networking by helping organizations work together and build on one another’s strengths to pursue radical systems change.

Grants were issued to organizations working in Atlantic and Central Canada, the Prairies, the West Coast and Canada’s North. Among the organizations funded are Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island’s Cooper Institute, whose Envisioning the Future program is focused on increasing migrant workers’ participation in policies, programs and decisions that have an impact on their lives, while Victoria, British Columbia’s VIDEA is collaborating with Indigenous youth to and develop climate-focused learning materials through their Our Land, Our Future – Beyond the Barriers initiative.

Advancing Indigenous-Led Housing Solutions in the Northwest Territories, a project of Calgary Alberta’s The National Right to Housing Network, will generate research on housing inadequacy and human rights violations in the Territories through culturally sensitive engagement with affected peoples and communities.

The work of these many organizations is a reminder of the urgent, creative, and collaborative response to individual and community needs. Together, we are building a just and sustainable future.

Find a complete list of Spring 2022 grants below.

The Catherine Donnelly Foundation opened its Spring 2022 grant round at the end of December 2021, with a deadline for letters of interest on Thursday, February 3rd, 2022, at midnight. Interested organizations are invited to apply to the Adult Education, Environment and Housing streams. For grant guidelines, please visit We are committed to reducing barriers to grant applications and willingly work with organizations to accept proposals if issues arise.


Women’s Economic Council • Open Doors • Burnaby, BC • $40,000

Open Doors adult education project is an immigrant women-focused community program with a gender justice lens. The project supports marginalized women move toward independence and a sustainable livelihood through non-hierarchical knowledge transfer.

Cooper Institute • Envisioning the Future: Migrant Workers on PEI • Charlottetown, PEI • $25,000

The project centres the expertise of migrant workers on Prince Edward Island as they work alongside allies. Cooper Institute will assess the learning goals and health and safety needs of migrant workers and host six facilitated meetings to document the challenges faced by migrant workers and the systemic issues at play. The goal is to increase migrant workers’ participation in policies, programs, and decisions that have an impact on their lives.

FoodShare Toronto • Mobilizing Communities for Social Change Through Food Justice Education and Engagement• Toronto • $37,500

FoodShare aims to connect a network of 90+ community organizations that provided emergency food relief work during COVID with their team of adult educators to provide community kitchen-style workshops and learning opportunities for adult learners. Mobilizing Communities for Social Change will review the issues that underpin food insecurity and explore pathways for community-led solutions and advocacy around food justice.

Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice • Listening to Indigenous Voices Education and Networking Project • Toronto • $32,83

This initiative aims to expand the use of the existing Listening to Indigenous Voices guide by hiring a network coordinator to provide training in its use and sponsor training events with the help of Indigenous Knowledge-keepers. The education and networking project also aims to improve online resources and build a database to encourage the exchange of information and develop professional contacts.

Hope in Shadows Society (Megaphone) • Climate Disaster Project • Vancouver, BC • $2,000

Megaphone will support people with lived experience of poverty, homelessness, and intersecting marginalizations to co-write an as-told-to profile of their experiences of climate disaster that will be published in Vancouver’s Megaphone magazine. Participants will receive support crafting their stories by working alongside journalism students from the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria.

The Ignatian Spirituality Project – Canada • Journeying Together for Recovery • Pierrefonds, QC • $27,600

This Montreal-based project will offer spiritual support to four groups of volunteer leaders- two English-speaking and two French-speaking – in recovery from homelessness and addiction. Volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including those formerly homeless and/or from racialized/marginalized communities, will train and mentor the leaders at overnight retreats and with ongoing support.

Two Wheel View – Calgary • Bridging the GAP • Calgary, AB • $20,000

The GAP Employability program works with vulnerable youth facing barriers to employment by building their skills with the hands-on exploration of bike mechanics, financial literacy, and community engagement. Funding will expand existing Adult Education program elements including integrating community-centred learning and teaching experiences, working with cohorts on a community project, and integrating diversity and inclusion education.

VIDEA • Our Land, Our Future – Beyond the Barriers • Victoria, BC • $33,300

In collaboration with Indigenous youth, this initiative aims to develop and implement a comprehensive leadership training program to facilitate workshops and training on climate justice within home communities and develop climate-focused learning materials. Popular education methodology principles shared by Women for Change (Zambia) and Indigenous trainers (Canada) will be embedded in the program.


Clean Energy Canada • Building out the Narrative on Affordability, Economic Security and a Fair Transition• Vancouver, BC • $25,000

Clean Energy Canada will work with a Canadian public opinion research firm to conduct focus groups in several Canadian communities asking questions that explore affordability, economic security and a fair transition. Results will be shared among other stakeholder allies and ensure Clean Energy Canada understands current Canadian attitudes on these issues and integrates them into future communications efforts.

Climate Justice Organizing HUB (Small Change Fund) • Climate Justice Organizing HUB • Montreal, PQ • $25,000

The goal of the Climate Justice Organizing HUB is to equip thousands of young leaders with the cultural, strategic, and tactical know-how to encourage a base of 1.3 million Canadian climate justice activists to engage in constant advocacy. The HUB delivers a mostly virtual system of coaching, mentorship and troubleshooting in both English and French and hosts rapid convenings and mass-training workshop programs in response to requests from organizers across the country.

East Coast Environmental Law Association • Revitalization of Mi’kmaw Ecological Laws in Nova Scotia • Halifax, NS • $25,000

East Coast Environmental Law will collaborate with Mi’kmaw organizations in Nova Scotia to identify a research topic related to ecological care and governance requiring a better understanding of Mi’kmaw laws. Once identified, community sessions will be organized to articulate those laws and legal principles addressing the issue. Work will be undertaken with members of Dalhousie University’s Lnuwey Tpludaqan Wikuom initiative which works to support Indigenous law revitalization in Atlantic Canada.

For Our Kids • For Our Kids • Duncan, BC • $25,000

For Our Kids is a Canadian national network of parent-led, community-based grassroots groups involved in climate action. Funding will be directed toward supporting and amplifying the voices and actions of Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour. The parent-led JEDI (Justice Equality Diversity and Inclusion) Committee will work with the For Our Kids’ Board, local teams and the BIPOC community, to ensure anti-racism and climate justice are embedded in behaviours, communications, education, training, and campaigns.

Foundation for Environmental Stewardship • The Youth Harbour • Toronto, ON • $25,000

The Youth Harbour project provides financial, technical, and networking support for projects that address climate justice, climate innovation, and amplify youth perspectives related to the climate crisis. The initiative further aims to be a place of convening and collaboration for Canada’s youth-led climate movement.

GreenPAC Future Fund (Sustainability Institute of Canada) • Parliamentary Internship for the Environment • Toronto, ON • $25,000

The Parliamentary Internship for the Environment program seeks to equip the next generation of environmental leaders with the skills, experience, and political know-how to enact change and provide support for environmental champions in office. Participants enter a ten-month internship with federal Members of Parliament while being supported by a GreenPAC-created curriculum. An Indigenous stream is being introduced to break down the systemic barriers Indigenous individuals face on Parliament Hill and encourage the development of Indigenous-led policy.

Mino Bimaadiziwin Collective (Foundation for Environmental Stewardship) • Leaders of Tomorrow • Cutler, ON • $25,000

The Mino Bimaadiziwin Collective is focused on building the first global Indigenous youth-led, Indigenous youth-serving, and Indigenous youth-governed network of activists working to create a just world with environmental projects. Leaders of Tomorrow will facilitate professional development opportunities and partnerships built on mutual respect and reciprocal collaboration for the next generation of Indigenous leaders.

R.A.V.E.N. • Home On Native Land • Victoria, BC • $15,000

Home on Native Land is a self-guided, Indigenous-led online legal education project consisting of ten learning modules and ten videos lasting 15-20 minutes each. The video education approach is light, easy to access, comedy-laced, and conversational while the modules challenge participants to analyze Canadian law and Indigenous legal issues. Funding supports the promotion of Home on Native Land.

Wellington Water Watchers (Small Change Fund) • Environmental Justice Campaign Organizer • Guelph, ON • $25,000

This project will provide funding for an Environmental Justice Campaign Organizer to engage women, members of Indigenous, immigrant and/or racialized communities as well as those experiencing poverty to identify intersections between root causes of social and racial injustice and the climate crisis. Wellington Water Watchers will develop campaigns with partner organizations in these communities to catalyze public support and advocacy for initiatives and solutions that address the ways in which people in these communities are impacted by the climate crisis. 


Aboriginal Peoples Alliance Northern Ontario • Developing a Framework for Decolonizing the Provision of Subsidized Housing and Emergency Shelters for Women • Cochrane, ON • $48,800

This project will support the development of an Indigenous-centred, gender-based analysis plus Framework for the provision of subsidized housing and emergency shelter in two Northern communities. (Gender-based analysis plus is an analytical process used to assess how different women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs, and initiatives.) This transformative Framework, developed by Indigenous women and elders, will provide a roadmap for shifting from a colonial approach to housing to one that is Indigenous-centred.

BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness (A Way Home Kamloops) • BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness Coordinator • Kamloops, BC • $39,600

Funding establishes a new BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness Coordinator position to provide administrative support for a group of more than 30 youth-serving organizations across the province that work together to amplify the voices of youth with lived expertise by developing research, reports, and actions.

SHARE and Columbia Institute • Investors for Affordable Cities • Vancouver, BC • $25,000

This project aims to raise awareness among institutional investors and capital market actors on the implications of financialization on housing affordability. Activities include developing principles, criteria, and practical applications to hold Real Estate Investment Trusts and other funds/managers accountable as well as the creation of guides and other tools to publicize that work. The goal is to activate investors to support investment strategies that contribute to housing affordability.

National Right to Housing Network (Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness) • Advancing Indigenous-Led Housing Solutions in the Northwest Territories • Calgary, AB • $50,000

This project’s key elements include Indigenous-led research on housing inadequacy and human rights violations in the Northwest Territories as well as culturally sensitive engagement with affected peoples and communities through on-the-ground data collection, data analysis, policy recommendations, report creation, advocacy, public education, knowledge mobilization, and submission to the Federal Housing Advocate on systemic housing issues.

The Shift (Canadian Urban Institute) • Transforming Policy and Practice: Homeless Encampments in Canada • Toronto, ON • $45,000

Homeless encampments represent an urgent human rights issue in Canada and this project will establish a National Working Group on Homeless Encampments to develop a step-by-step guide to assist municipalities in human rights compliant responses to alter their relationship with homeless people. One municipality will be chosen to trial the guide.