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Enabling Sustainable Futures: Re-Structured OFNTSC Governance Structure Strengthens Representation and Fosters Efficiency


The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) has launched and implemented a new and improved governance structure to better meet the needs of their communities, partners, and clients.

For 25 years, OFNTSC has been providing the technical and capacity-building services Ontario First Nations need to create autonomous and prosperous communities. The restructured system was designed with input from stakeholders and expert advisors to incorporate industry best practices and First Nations culture and values. The new model is made up of:

  • A newly-elected skills and diversity-based Board of Directors (January 2021);
  • A Technical Advisory Committee composed of technical experts that work in First Nations infrastructure (February 2021);
  • A Leadership Advisory Committee composed of Ontario First Nations leaders from all regions and Nation groups in Ontario (planned for summer 2021);

OFNTSC expects that the changes will make the organization more efficient, innovative and in-tune with the needs of stakeholders, while also streamlining a direct, strengthened, and more-efficient link to Voting Members and First Nations, ensuring that the decisions of OFNTSC are guided by First Nations in Ontario.

“This was ultimately an exercise in finding and implementing efficiencies while strengthening community representation,” says OFNTSC Executive Director Melanie Debassige. “Today, we have a best-in-class governance structure that brings the knowledge and skills needed to ensure efficient oversight of the organization while serving our communities and partners.”

During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, OFNTSC began implementing the governance reforms to ensure the corporation is well-positioned to advance the infrastructure-related interests of First Nations in Ontario.

“We envision a future where Ontario First Nations are self-sufficient and sustainable, and have the capacity to deliver self-reliant technical services for future generations,” says Debassige. “Our people work hard to enable that vision every day, and these changes will help ensure that we are here for the long-run and can expand our services even further to support that goal.”

More information on OFNTSC’s governance restructuring efforts can be found on their Governance webpage.