The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation envisions self-sufficient and sustainable First Nations with the capacity to deliver self-reliant technical services for future generations. The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation will support First Nations in accomplishing this through the provision of needs based, technical solutions.
The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation will influence impactful and measurable change, positioning and supporting First Nations to meet the contemporary and future challenges associated with their paths to self-reliance and self-sufficiency. We will strive to achieve our mission through the provision of technical services and professional advice to First Nations and through encouraging youth to become the technical leaders of tomorrow.
The Ontario First Nations’ Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) was established in 1995 to provide expert technical advisory services to the First Nations of Ontario. At that time, it was the first aboriginal organization in Canada mandated to provide professional technical and advisory services to First Nations’ communities and foster their technical self-reliance. The OFNTSC creates future capacity by encouraging youth to pursue careers in science and technology. The OFNTSC attends career fairs and encourages young people to enroll in science and technology related courses offering scholarships, often in partnership with the corporate sector.
The OFNTSC was established in February of 1995. Mandated by Ontario First Nations Chiefs-in-Assembly to provide advisory level technical services to Ontario’s Tribal Councils, Large First Nations, and Unaffiliated First Nations in the areas of:
- Capital Project Planning and Development
- Quality Assurance
- Operations and Maintenance
- Fire Protection
- Architectural Support Services
- Housing Inspections
- Housing Program
Its underlying objectives are to foster greater First Nation autonomy in the acquisition of capital facilities and infrastructure development. It also promotes the development of modern community health and safety practices.
Since its founding, the social, political and economic terrain in which OFNTSC operates has shifted dramatically. Changing demographics, competition from the private sector, the creation, replacement and maintenance of infrastructure, an enhanced recognition of unaddressed needs and reconfigured fiscal arrangements have created further challenges for OFNTSC as it endeavours to provide services in response to First Nation community needs. Thus, while OFNTSC continues to respond to First Nation requests, services vary according to individual community needs, levels of individual capacity, technical proficiency, management expertise and availability of funding. Consequently, the corporation provides services in a wide variety of areas:
- Energy and Climate Change
- Emergency Management
- Fire and Safety
- Fuel Systems Management
- Operation and Maintenance
- Water and Wastewater
- Water and Wastewater Specialist
Scope of Relationships
The OFNTSC client base consists of all 133 Ontario First Nations. It also includes 16 Tribal Councils, six Large First Nations and 18 Unaffiliated First Nations.
The OFNTSC maintains a collaborative partnership with Indigenous Services Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Health Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, NRCan and Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Ministry of Natural Resources. Furthermore, the OFNTSC pursues strategic alliances with other First Nation organizations, provincial and municipal governments, professional associations and the private sector.