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.
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:
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 Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Health Canada, Environment Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, NRCan and Ontario's Ministry of the Environment 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.