BRANTFORD, ON (January 12, 2021) – On January 7, 2021, Voting Members of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) selected a new Board of Directors after undertaking extensive governance reform work. These governance reforms aim to ensure that OFNTSC is focused on delivering the vital technical and capacity building services that First Nations in Ontario need to become self-sustaining and to achieve living standards that are comparable to those enjoyed by Canadians at large.
The OFNTSC Board of Directors began to explore reforming its governance structure in 2016 following an organizational review by Deloitte Canada which recommended improvements to OFNTSC’s governance and management processes. These recommendations included reducing the size of, and diversifying the board, including appointing Board members with a breadth of skills, experience, community connections and expertise.
To support the Board in this important work, OFNTSC engaged recognized governance experts and Legal Counsel with extensive experience working with Indigenous institutions. Over the last year the Board of Directors examined proposed options for governance reform, engaging First Nations leadership and technical professionals.
These governance enhancements have been approved by the corporation’s Voting Members (i.e. 24 Service Area First Nations and Tribal Councils). The Board of Directors and Management team of the corporation will now work to implement the reforms. Voting Members understand that effective accountable governance of the OFNTSC will result in more successful community interventions, improved services, and ultimately, better outcomes.
The corporate By-Laws of OFNTSC, as amended by the Voting Members on January 7, 2021, give Service Area First Nations and Tribal Councils autonomy in the stewardship of the corporation, including the right to call special meetings at any time (with 21 days notice) and the right to continue to make necessary changes to the By-Laws and Directors of the corporation at these meetings.
Voting Members mandated the creation of a Technical Advisory Committee to ensure that information sharing with and between First Nations technical processionals is enhanced. All Service Area First Nations and Tribal Councils have been requested to appoint a member to this advisory committee. The Voting Members have also instructed the Board of Directors to work with First Nations organizations in Ontario to implement a Leadership Advisory Committee to ensure strong linkages with First Nations leadership.
OFNTSC has undertaken a tremendous amount of work over the last year including extensive discussions with past Board members, presentation to the Chiefs in Assembly, and the delivery of four online Governance Information Sessions giving members, clients and stakeholders a chance to ask questions and provide feedback on the governance reforms.
Above all, OFNTSC remains committed to Ontario First Nations needs, and the core services that are at the heart and soul of our mission to help First Nations communities achieve technical self-reliance.