REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Strategic Plan Development
Anishinabek EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE
1.0 SUMMARY OF WORK
The Anishinabek Educational Institute (AEI) is seeking a strategic planning consultant or firm to facilitate, clarify and implement a strategic plan with a clear and focused vision for the upcoming years. The strategic plan is one of the many important components to support the AEI in obtaining their accreditation status through the Indigenous Advanced Education & Skills Council (IAESC). This project will involve gathering information from staff and a variety of stakeholders and developing and finalizing the AEI strategic plan. Emphasis will be on Indigenous knowledge and culture.
The Anishinabek Educational Institute operates as a department within the corporation of the Anishinabek Nation. To learn more about the AEI, please visit our website at www.aeipostsecondary.ca.
2.0 CORPORATE OVERVIEW
The Anishinabek Nation (AN) incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 39 First Nations throughout the province of Ontario from Golden Lake in the east, Sarnia in the south, Thunder Bay and Lake Nipigon in the North. The 39 First Nations have an approximate combined population of 65,000 citizens. The AN has four strategic regional areas, Southwest, Southeast, Lake Huron and Northern Superior. Each region is represented by a Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief.
The AN has its head office located on Nipissing First Nation, just outside of North Bay, Ontario and has satellite offices in Fort William First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, Garden River First Nation, and Munsee-Delaware Nation. The AN delivers a variety of programs and services, such as Economic Development, Lands and Resources, Health, Social Services, Education, Policy and Communications, in addition to providing the necessary forum for collective First Nation action on issues through the Chiefs in Assembly.
To learn more about the AN, please visit our website at www.anishinabek.ca.
3.0 PROJECT BACKGROUND
The Anishinabek Educational Institute (AEI) is a non-profit Indigenous Institute whose main purpose is to increase Indigenous learner access to postsecondary education that is culturally based and community lead and supported. As a recognized institute of the Indigenous Institutes Act, 2017, the AEI is working towards organizational certification to offer postsecondary certificates, diplomas, degrees, and micro-credential programming accredited through IAESC.
As a provider of postsecondary educational programming, AEI has identified due to the Global Pandemic and rapid changes in the global working and social environment, the need to re-evaluate our strategic vision for the upcoming years. The AEI has embarked on the Indigenous college accreditation journey with the opportunity to review, clarify and implement a clear, calculated, and focused vision for the upcoming years. The strategic plan is a requirement in the accreditation process and will serve as a compass for several essential documents to be submitted.
4.0 STATEMENT OF WORK
The AEI is seeking a strategic planning consultant or firm to:
Work collaboratively with the AEI management staff to review and confirm the work plan and timelines and establish communication procedures;
Develop questionnaires, focus groups to be distributed and completed to capture the information necessary to complete the final strategic plan;
Compile all information and prepare goals and benchmarks that best fits with the AEI’s current and future vision;
Prepare a final report outlining all information gathered, including sources and information gathered and detailed summarization of all components; and
Present the final strategic plan to the AN Chiefs Committee on Education (CCoE) prior to presenting the strategic plan to the AN leadership at the Spring Grand Council Assembly (June 2024).
Visual representation/drawing of the AEI Strategic Journey and Vision;
Clear Priorities, Goals and Outcomes;
PowerPoint Presentations for the AN CCoE & Leadership;
Communication updates for the progress of the project; and
Finalized Public Strategic Plan.
6.0 FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS
The total budget for this project should not exceed $45,000.00. Total budget for this project must include all costs associated with personnel, travel, key informant interviews, preparation of reports and required documentation, overhead costs, all eligible taxes and any other anticipated expenditures.
The project will run from November 27, 2023 to February 29, 2024.
8.0 PROPOSAL RESPONSE GUIDELINES
To ensure your proposal consideration for evaluation, it must include the following:
Dated and signed by a person authorized to negotiate and make commitments, and provide clarification with respect to the proposal on behalf of the bidding proponent or firm;
A statement indicating the proponents understanding of the proposed project and the deliverables required;
Reference the title of the RFP;
Indicate the capacity of the proponent to complete the project; and
The name of a single point of contact from your company.
Proposed Project Plan
A proposed project plan, with timelines, that indicates the steps to be taken from the start of the contract to the final deliverable.
Provide examples of previous relevant work experience; and
Identify the qualifications and experiences of the project team.
Costs and Charges
Provide an all-inclusive fixed-cost quotation for this project; and
Identify the expected costs and their allocation.
All inquiries about this request for proposals should be directed to:
Mindy Taylor, Director of Education
Telephone: 1-877-702-5200 or (705) 657-9383 ext. 202
10.0 SUBMISSION PROCEDURE
As a potential supplier of these professional services, you are invited to submit a proposal to provide professional 3rd-party contractor services in accordance with the terms and conditions detailed in this document.
Please submit your proposal to:
Attention: Mindy Taylor, Director of Education
Proposal packages must be clearly marked:
Strategic Plan Development – Anishinabek Educational Institute
Closing Date and Time: Proposals must be received by November 16th, 2023, at 4:30pm. Proposals received after the closing time will not be considered.
Project Completion: The project completion deadline is February 29, 2024, by 4:30pm.
11.0 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS PROCESS
Upon closing, proposals will be reviewed for completeness. Only completed proposals will be brought forward to the selection committee for further consideration and a final decision.
Eligible proposals will be evaluated based on the response guidelines in section 8.0.
12.0 SELECTION OF SUCCESSFUL PROPONENT
The AN reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to accept the proposal deemed most favorable to the interests of the AN and its partners.
The AN reserves the right to seek clarification and supplementary information from proponents after the submission deadline.
Proponents will be notified in writing once a selection has been made.
13.0 CONTRACT NEGOTIATION
The AN will enter into a contractual agreement with the preferred proponent. The AN, at any time, and without liability, may withdraw from negotiations with any potential proponent.
14.0 TERMS AND CONDITIONS
14.1 The AN will not be responsible for any costs incurred by a proponent in preparing and submitting proposals. The AN accepts no liability of any kind to a proponent prior to the signing of a contract.
14.2 Submissions of a proposal shall not obligate, nor should it be construed as obligating the AN, to accept any such proposal, or to proceed further with the project. The AN may, in their sole discretion, elect not to proceed with the project, and may elect not to accept any, or all proposals for any reason.
14.3 A proponent may amend or withdraw their proposal prior to the closing date and time specified in the request for proposals by way of written notice to the AN.
14.4 Proposals submitted shall be final and may not be altered by subsequent offerings, discussions, or commitments, unless the proponent is requested to do so by the AN.
14.5 The proponent must identify any information in its proposal that it considers to be confidential or proprietary.
14.6 All proposals and accompanying documentation received under this competition will become the property of the AN, and will not be returned.
14.7 The AN has reserved the right to waive minor non-compliance by a proponent with the requirements of the RFP. This will allow the AN to consider and possibly accept, any proposal which is advantageous, even though the proposal may be non-compliant in some minor respect.
14.8 The AN reserves the right to accept or reject, in whole or in part, any and all proposals.
14.9 The AN reserves the right to cancel and/or re-issue this request for proposals at any time, for any reason, without penalty.
14.10 Prices quoted are to be held firm for a minimum of 90 days following the RFP closing date, and shall remain in effect through the duration of an agreement.
14.11 The proponent’s proposal shall form part of the contractual agreement by attachment, and will be incorporated for reference. Claims made in the proposal shall constitute contractual warranties. Any provision in the proposal may be included in the contractual agreement as direct provisions thereof.
14.12 The successful proponent agrees to obtain and maintain all professional certification and licenses necessary to lawfully provide the services required under this request for proposal.
14.13 By submitting a proposal, the proponent agrees and acknowledges that it will provide for the duration of the project, the full complement of staff required to perform the work of the project, including the specific individuals identified in its proposal. These key personnel shall remain assigned for the duration of the project unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the AN. In the event the proponent wishes to substitute any key personnel, the individual(s) proposed must demonstrate similar qualifications and experience as required, to successfully perform such duties.
14.14 Intellectual property and any data associated with this project is the express property of the AN.
Dokis member offers thoughts of economic reconciliation at Toronto conference
By Sam Laskaris
TORONTO – Karen Restoule believes it is time for change.
Restoule, a member of Dokis First Nation in Northern Ontario, shared her thoughts of what that change could look like at the Indigenomics Bay Street conference, which concluded on Nov. 23 in Toronto.
Restoule, a strategist and communications specialist who is a vice-president with Toronto’s Crestview Strategy, was one of the presenters at the conference held at the Westin Harbour Castle.
Her presentation was titled ‘The intersection between policy and Indigenous business’.
“Indigenous Nations are ready to drive off the Indian Act superhighway,” Restoule said during her presentation.
Restoule said policy alternatives have been developed in recent years and First Nations are able to opt into these laws, making the Indian Act no longer relevant.
These policies include the First Nations Land Management Act, the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act, and the First Nations Good and Services Tax Act.
Restoule, however, believes it would be better to modernize all treaties, including ones that are considered “historic.”
“Currently in Canada, there are 25 modern self-governments or modern treaty agreements that include some 40 or so First Nations,” Restoule said. “And they are largely located in British Columbia, across the territories, and into northern part of Quebec. There are more than 630 First Nations across the country. That means that approximately 590 Nations remain under the Indian Act.”
Restoule believes it is time to consider renegotiating “historic treaties” like the other ones that have been modernized.
“Not only does this lead to equitable federal transfers, it gives way to agency and the right of ownership of land,” she said. “And most of all, it gives way to equitable opportunity.”
Restoule thinks the current system is broken, but she also believes what an improved system would look like needs to be sorted out before changes are made.
“In a society where so many are tearing down, we ought to consider what we can do, as citizens of this country, to build that off-ramp (on the Indian Act superhighway),” she said. “And while yes, the Indian Act does in fact need to go, it cannot be abolished in the absence of another solution.”
In large part because of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Restoule said members of the Canadian public are familiar with some aspects of the Indian Act, established in 1876.
Restoule believes Canadians are better informed now on topics including the history of Indian Residential Schools and the Sixties Scoop.
“But there are many points about the Indian Act that Canadians are less familiar with,” she said.
For example, she mentioned movement restriction, where First Nations people were not allowed to leave the boundaries of their reserve without the permission of an Indian agent stationed there. Business and trade restrictions were also implemented whereby both internal and external business dealings required approval from the Indian agent.
“There is a commonly held stereotype that Indigenous peoples have always lived in small secluded communities, never leaving their patch of land for anything,” Restoule said. “This couldn’t be further from fact. Prior to Indigenous-European contact, Indigenous peoples throughout these lands had expansive and established trade networks that gave way to the movement of goods and the people who moved them.”
Restoule concluded her presentation by issuing a challenge to attendees.
“What are each of you prepared to do to build that off-ramp towards a better Canada for everyone?”
Noojmawing Sookatagaing Ontario Health Team a voice for citizens
By Rick Garrick
THUNDER BAY — An Indigenous Service Providers Showcase and Leadership Session was hosted by the Noojmawing Sookatagaing (Healing Working Together) Ontario Health Team (OHT) on Nov. 21 at the Victoria Inn in Thunder Bay. Noojmawing Sookatagaing OHT, which supports a continuum of care with providers in the City and District of Thunder Bay, was officially launched in October 2022 as part of the fourth cohort of Ontario Health Teams.
“The Leadership [Session] was to bring service providers within the health and social services systems together to network and collaborate and to build trusting relationships and partnerships,” says Natalie Paavola, co-chair at Noojmawing Sookatagaing OHT, director of health and wellness at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and Namaygoosisagagun citizen. “The reaction, I’m happy to say, has been quite positive. Everybody has been just pleased with the turnout and pleased with the feedback that we’ve been given and also sharing that they are quite happy and satisfied with the opportunity to network and collaborate with each other.”
Sandi Boucher, an Indigenous keynote speaker, author of Honorary Indian and other books and Seine River citizen, delivered a presentation on I Have a Dream during the Leadership Session.
“I’m a 10-year domestic abuse survivor — there’s a time I couldn’t have sat at a table and have a conversation with one of you, and look at what I do now,” Boucher says. “I am living proof our past does not have to be our present or our future, and it has nothing to do with how someone else looks at us, it’s how we look at us, that’s what we’re focusing on today.”
Boucher says her mother used to demonstrate to her and her brother how no individual can see the whole picture by having them look around the living room while standing back-to-back.
“She pointed out to us that there was so much of the room that we could see but there was one part we were totally blind to, my brother couldn’t see the part that was directly in front of me, I couldn’t see the part that was directly in front of him,” Boucher says. “This is why we need Indigenous voices on the OHT, because only if we come together and share what we see and actually believe each other can we start to see more of the room. And you’ve heard this in meetings, someone will say, ‘It doesn’t look like that to me.’ That’s not a challenge, that’s an opportunity to see something that’s in your blind spot.”
Paavola says the Showcase was an opportunity for Indigenous service providers and Indigenous-led services within the City and District of Thunder Bay to showcase their services.
“We know that removing barriers through awareness works,” Paavola says. “When you are aware of the services that are available, you are better able to help and support community.”
Amanda Esquega, traditional care manager at Rocky Bay Child and Family Services, says the Showcase was “really informative.”
“We did a lot of networking with other [Indigenous] agencies to kind of see what is out there for our families,” Esquega says, noting that they provide an array of prevention programs. “We’ve been here (in Thunder Bay) since 2019, our satellite office is here and our main office is in Rocky Bay. We always mirror our programming, our services there and here, whatever we do.”
Tricia Mishquart, child and family services manager at Rocky Bay Child and Family Services, says they are also a voice for their citizens in both the community and Thunder Bay.
“We all know as Indigenous peoples how hard it is to reach out for additional services and supports,” Mishquart says. “That is why we are very unique in what we do for our [citizens].”
ABPA responds to the Liberal Government’s Announcement of a National Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program
ROBINSON-SUPERIOR TREATY AND FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION TERRITORY, THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO (November 22, 2023) – This week, the Liberal government announced the next steps for a long-awaited National Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program in the next year’s federal budget. However, Indigenous leaders are still waiting for details on how the program will work and whether the program would help communities invest in the natural resource sector and facilitate equity ownership in energy, mining, forestry, and other infrastructure projects.
Following is a statement from Jason Rasevych, President of the Anishnawbe Business Professionals Association, regarding the Government of Canada’s Economic Statement and commitment to National Loan Guarantee Program for Indigenous peoples:
“Indigenous leaders have been calling on this type of program for decades. We have seen some examples in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, but there are some limitations on what type of project can be supported including the amount and timeline. The lessons learned from the successes and challenges of the current state and forecasting the market demand should be part the new program design and seek compliance with Indigenous-led values and the principles of Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. The announcement of a national Indigenous loan guarantee is a positive commitment that protects lenders from potential defaults and derisks the weighted average cost of capital; however, much more needs to be considered on how it prioritizes applications by geography, industry, and deals with jurisdictional dissonance across the provinces permitting regimes. We need to make sure that the human rights risks inflated by financial programs that create a larger gap between the classes of have and have not Nations are minimized and not motivated by a government – political agendas. We need the loan guarantee program to enhance and support Indigenous communities looking to participate in various sectors at different financial thresholds of resource development and ownership of enabling infrastructure like corridors and facility ownership. These projects should be assessed to consider respect for the rights-holders throughout the financing and project lifecycle, and that the proponent has achieved the free, prior, informed consent of Indigenous peoples impacted as a condition for approval. If the mandate and decision to provide the loan guarantees is supporting government or partisan plans it will create more friction for Crown-Indigenous relations, especially on how those loan guarantee decisions are being made. Indigenous communities will also need grant funding to develop the business case and economic model for the loan guarantee applications and there should be a mechanism to consider backing Indigenous-owned or operated lenders and financial institutions for a multiplier effect.”
In the past, there has been budget allocations to realize Canada’s role as a key global supplier of critical minerals for manufacturing electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, and other low-carbon technologies, which suggests dependence on intensive mineral extraction. Given Northern Ontario’s forest and mineral abundance, the region has an integral role to play in achieving these aspirations. Resource developers and governments will need to demonstrate understanding of the necessary and pivotal role that First Nations play within this paradigm given their unique rights and land title.
While the announcement could be promising as a path to reconciliation and economic growth through its support of developing strong partnerships with First Nations, success will only be realized through effective roll out and accountability. The federal government will need to demonstrate a well-executed and collaborative approach with First Nations. ABPA stands ready as an advocate for the First Nations business community and will be watching and eager to play a role in ensuring the above outlined programs meet the demands of the North.
The current ABPA Board of Directors include:
• Jason Rasevych, President, Ginoogaming First Nation
• Rachael Paquette, Vice-President, Mishkeegogamang First Nation
• Ron Marano, Vice-President, North Caribou Lake First Nation
• Jason Thompson, Secretary/Treasurer, Red Rock Indian Band
• Brian Davey, Director, Moose Cree First Nation
• Steven McCoy, Director, Garden River First Nation
• Tony Marinaro, Director, Naicatchewenin First Nation
About the ABPA:
The Anishnawbe Business Professional Association (www.anishnawbebusiness.com) is a nonprofit, member-based organization based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. ABPA serves the First Nation business community within the Treaty #3, Treaty#5, Treaty #9 and Robinson Huron and Superior Treaty Areas. The ABPA develops and expresses positions on business issues and other public issues relevant to First Nation business, on behalf of its members. They provide a forum for the First Nation business community to develop policies and programming which contribute to the socio-economic well-being and quality of life of First Nations peoples in Northern Ontario. They also serve non-First Nation businesses by providing information, guidance, and access to a wide-ranging network through events and sponsorship.
Anishnawbe Business Professional Association
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