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 transfer of technology to OFNTSC clients is integral to its service provision. This has evolved into programs devised to deal specifically with youth. OFNTSC attends school career fairs and encourages young people to enroll in engineering 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 continue 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:
- Architectural Support Services
- Building Inspector Certification Program
- Environmental Services
- Fire Safety and Protection
- Infrastructure Specialist Program
- Operation and Maintenance
- Project Planning and Development
- Quality Assurance
- Training and Certification
- Unaffiliated Technical Advisory Services
- Water and Wastewater Quality
Scope of Relationships
The OFNTSC client base consists of all 134 Ontario First Nations, including 16 Tribal Councils, six Large Nations and 18 Unaffiliated First Nations.
OFNTSC maintains a collaborative partnership with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Health Canada, Environment Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, NRCan and the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Natural Resources (Ontario).
Furthermore, OFNTSC pursues strategic alliances with other First Nation organizations, provincial and municipal governments, professional associations and the private sector.