Sustainable Asset Management Planning For First Nations
Over the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that asset management and the preservation of our community assets is of great importance when it comes to creating healthy and thriving First Nation (FN) communities. Many communities have recently invested substantial resources into the planning and construction of much needed infrastructure such as water & wastewater treatment facilities, schools, housing and fire protection equipment, to name a few. Significant efforts have also been made to introduce effective and affordable asset management tools to help FN communities preserve these investments & effectively maintain them over their full life-cycle.
The Ontario First Nations Technical Service Corporation (OFNTSC)’s newly developed First Nations Infrastructure Resilience Toolkit (FN-iRT) is a First Nation tailored protocol, specifically designed with FN operational methodologies and capacities in mind. The “Award Winning” FN-iRT introduces asset management processes into the day-to-day operations & maintenance of community infrastructure. As extreme weather continues to impact infrastructure, the FN-iRT is considered “ground-breaking” as it also integrates climate risks into asset management plans.
At the September 2022 TechNations, the OFNTSC was thrilled to launch the FN-iRT website making its tools, resources and guidance documents accessible to FN communities, at no cost.
Many FN’s have started to implement the FN-iRT and are excited about how the tool helps them build a comprehensive asset inventory, identifies the actual costs for capital, operation & maintenance needs and incorporates climate risks into their infrastructure planning.
“Adopting sound asset management practices supports FNs in managing infrastructure and establishing acceptable, affordable, and sustainable levels of service for their respective communities”, says Elmer Lickers, Senior AM Advisor, OFNTSC.
The work of OFNTSC’s Asset Management Program is far from complete as we look to further improve the toolkit, its website and guidance documents. We’re also excited to showcase the FN-iRT, at events such as the AFN’s National Asset Management Conference in Ottawa in March 2023 and the ICLR’s Global PIEVC Forum in Vancouver in April 2023.
The future role of OFNTSC’s Asset Management Program is not only to provide technical & advisory support, but to strive towards becoming a center of excellence in the provision of solutions, such as the FN-iRT, for sustainable asset management planning for First Nation communities.
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Elmer is Mohawk and a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation.