An aerial view of a road with construction vehicles on it

NSTC FN Asset Management Project

October 27, 2020

Making decisive decisions about constructing, operating, maintaining and replacing community infrastructure is difficult. Choosing between competing and worthy initiatives to grow and build our communities against the investment needs of critical services such as roads, bridges, schools, arenas, water and wastewater systems is a challenging task.

To help address some of these challenges, OFNTSC, in partnership with Mamaweswen, The North Shore Tribal Council (NSTC) have started a multi-year, multi-phase project to develop Asset Management Plans for all (7) NSTC First Nations.  The two organizations have assembled a project team that includes key representatives from the Tribal Council, a subject matter expert from OFNTSC and industry leaders with knowledge on Asset Management (AM) best practices.

Phase 1, “Awareness,” and Phase 2, “Planning,” began in August 2020 and will conclude in June 2021. Phase 3 – “Implementation” is pending funding approval from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).  The project will utilize tools created by OFNTSC, such as the First Nation Infrastructure Resilience Toolkit, Asset Management Policy and the Asset Management Register.

Phase 1- Awareness: This phase is intended to increase awareness and understand the importance of sound asset management planning with the First Nations elected officials, administration and technical personnel. The project began with the creation of a First Nations Asset Management Self-Assessment Tool. This tool was used to survey all (7) communities and determine their level of awareness and understanding of asset management.  

From the self-assessment survey, a report was prepared which identified each community’s level of Asset Management knowledge. The report helped the project team structured the material to facilitate AM workshops. Each workshop was designed to improve the First Nations awareness & understanding of asset management.

Phase 2 Planning: This includes the collection of detailed information from all First Nations funded & non-funded infrastructure assets. This includes costing information and other sources of information that will be used in the development of each First Nations Asset Management Plan (AMP).

Phase 3 Implementation: Pending funding approval from ISC, phase 3 will identify activities required to continuing building capacity and competencies and how to fully benefit from implementing their AMP.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery of all FN AM self-assessment surveys, engagement sessions and workshops are done via the ZOOM platform.

Though the platform has its challenges, the First Nations Asset Management awareness has increased and is on target to deliver effective processes for long-term sustainability of community infrastructure.