In the last year, the FNTC has been working with First Nations leadership and infrastructure experts on the concept of a First Nation Infrastructure Institution, which was presented at the national meeting of FMA/FNLMA First Nations in May 2018 and received broad support from the First Nations in attendance.
In August 2018, the Department of Indigenous Services approved the workplan for continued work on the development of this institution. Throughout the rest of the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the FNII Development Board (DB) that has been established to guide the initiative, will work toward the creation of an improved infrastructure service delivery model, both regionally and nationally, as well as the creation of innovation proposals and a technical development paper. To achieve these deliverables, a work plan has been created to identify areas of focus, including communications and engagement, partnering with regional initiatives, innovation design and development,
and legislative design.
The FNII DB will continue to communicate with interested First Nations and will provide interested First Nations with information and materials regarding the initiative. The FNII website (www.fnii.ca) will serve as the main source of communication on project progress and currently contains all materials presented to the FNII DB to date. Further, as awareness of FNII continues to grow, First Nations will continue to raise specific questions, issues and interests, which will be addressed and those answers will be posted to the FNII website regularly.
Partnering with Regional Initiatives
The FNII DB will continue to develop working relationships and explore partnership opportunities with regional service delivery organizations. The FNII DB will seek advice from these regional organizations on the design of the institution, potential efficiencies, the service delivery experience, and methods to maximize the value of arrangements. The FNII DB will also hold a working session with some technical service organizations to define an ideal regional service delivery model and identify options to maximize value through working with FNII. Based on the identified ideal service delivery model, the FNII DB will work with the regional and technical groups to develop standards for the delivery of infrastructure services. Finally, the FNII DB will engage with other groups, as appropriate, about the ideal delivery model and standards in other regions of the country.
Upon request from an interested First Nation presentations on FNII may be made in those communities. Feedback received in these engagements will assist in the further design and development of FNII. The FNII DB will also continue work with the FMA institutions on the monetization of federal transfer design. The FNII DB will also continue to engage with qualified and knowledgeable experts on infrastructure, financing, procurement, etc., to add depth of expertise to the FNII DB.
Innovation Design and Development
A central purpose of FNII is to introduce innovations into the First Nation infrastructure system that reduce time and costs and increase durability. The FNII DB has identified a number of such innovations and the FNII technical working group will work toward developing more detailed design, implementation and evaluation strategies for each of these innovations for the FNII DB to review.
The FNII DB will meet to discuss and propose FNII policy and design issues associated with FNII, including matters related to the transition and financial plans; service and innovation implementation; governance; regulatory and fiscal requirements; and coordination with FMA institutions. The DB will also develop and advance preliminary technical instructions for the legislative requirements for FNII, which will serve as the basis for a technical development paper that will include all the necessary materials to support the possible drafting of legislation for FNII. Finally, the FNII DB will develop the necessary materials to engage the government and to seek support to advance the work further and proceed with the development of legislation.
The FNTC looks forward to continuing the work on FNII for the remainder of the fiscal year. For more information about this important initiative, go to www.fnii.ca.