In 1992 the Ontario Chiefs in Assembly, via resolution 93/13, mandated a Committee of Chiefs and Technical representatives to jointly develop the implementation of the revised model for Technical Services with Indigenous Services Canada (formerly Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) was formally established in 1995 to provide expert technical advisory services to the First Nations of Ontario. At the time, it was the first Indigenous organization in Canada mandated to provide professional technical and advisory services to First Nations communities and to foster technical self-reliance. OFNTSC is now a mature organization with over 25 years of experience.
The OFNTSC also creates future capacity by encouraging youth to pursue careers in science and technology and offers scholarships to help them with their educational pursuits. In addition to this, the OFNTSC attends career fairs to promote careers within our Tribal Councils and First Nations.
The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation envisions self-sufficient and sustainable First Nations with the capacity to deliver self-reliant technical services for future generations. Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation will support First Nations in accomplishing this through the provision of needs-based, technical solutions.
As per the organization’s original mandate, OFNTSC was created to:
- Accept the transfer of certain technical services from federal agencies such as the Department of Indian Affairs and the Department of Public Works (or their successors) on behalf of First Nations in Ontario, to provide core technical services to Tribal Councils and First Nations in Ontario, and to assist existing technical service units at the First Nation and Tribal Council level.
- Accept the transfer from the governments of Ontario and Canada of programs related to the technical service area, such as environmental management and fire control.
The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation will influence impactful and measurable change by positioning and supporting First Nations to meet the contemporary and future challenges associated with their paths to self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
We will strive to achieve our mission through the provision of technical services and professional advice to First Nations and through encouraging youth to become the technical leaders of tomorrow.
Since its inception, OFNTSC client base has consisted of all 133 First Nations in Ontario. This includes working directly with today’s 16 Tribal Councils, six Large First Nations and 18 Unaffiliated First Nations.
The OFNTSC maintains a collaborative partnership with Indigenous Services Canada, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Health Canada, Environment Canada, Public Services and Procurement Services Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Furthermore, the OFNTSC pursues strategic alliances with other First Nation organizations, provincial and municipal governments, professional associations and the private sector.