American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) – Interpreting Services for Accessible National Events


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations. The AFN hosts at least two Assemblies each year where mandates and directives for the organization are established through resolutions directed and supported by the First Nations in Assembly, (elected Chiefs or proxies from member First Nations.)

The AFN is also guided by an Executive Committee consisting of an elected National Chief and Regional Chiefs from each province and territory.

The AFN invites qualified individuals and/or companies to submit proposals related to providing American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) interpreting services for national events and regional gatherings that are grounded in First Nations cultures and worldviews.


The objective of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to select a bidder to provide a high quality of professionalism, integrity, and confidentiality in carrying out American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) interpreting services for national assemblies and regional gatherings hosted by the AFN between April 2, 2024, and March 31, 2025.

AFN Resolution 38/2018, Ensuring Accessibility at the AFN, mandates the AFN to be inclusive of First Nations persons with disabilities (FNPWD) participation and accommodating their unique and distinct needs including sign language interpretation in national assemblies and other related meetings.

  • Proponents should possess a proven track record to undertake high quality and culturally competent, and respectful in-person, on-site simultaneous interpretation

(ASL) and (LSQ) services for First Nations and First Nations persons with disabilities at large events and other related events.

  • The interpretation services include in-person, on-site simultaneous interpretation (ASL) and (LSQ) services each day of all AFN national and regional assemblies held between April 2, 2024, to March 31, 2025.
  • To provide simultaneous interpretation services, including up to 1- 3 sign language reciprocating sessions with delegates for up to 3-5 minutes each session, or as requested by the AFN during national and regional assemblies and associated dialogue
  • To provide interpretation between the AFN Accessibility Team/and designated staff during national and or regional meetings as required.
  • The AFN will provide as much information as possible about each gathering including common acronyms, agendas, speaker’s notes, and presentations to assist the interpreters in familiarizing themselves with the subject and topic of discussions well in
  • All associated travel and accommodation for each gathering will be facilitated and reimbursed by the AFN.



Date and Location National Assemblies and Related Events

In-person, on-site simultaneous interpretation (ASL) and (LSQ) at the AFN Annual General Assembly

  • Montreal
  • July 2024

In-person, on-site simultaneous interpretation (ASL) and (LSQ) at the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly

  • Ottawa, Ontario (Shaw Centre)
  • December 2024

Two First Nations engagement sessions on A Distinct First Nations Disability Inclusion Action Plan and

A Distinct First Nations Autism Strategy combined.

  • May 29, 2024 – Western and Northern Regions
  • May 30, 2024 – Ontario, Quebec, and Eastern Regions  


Two First Nations engagement sessions on a Distinct First Nations Accessibility law-pending funding.

  • September 11, 2024 –Western and Northern Regions  
  • September 12, 2024 – Quebec and Eastern Region

Up to 5-10 in-person on-site simultaneous interpretation (ASL) and (LSQ) or virtual events where it may not be possible to participate in-person for several Persons with Disabilities and Knowledge Keepers Talking Circles or other related events.

  • Up to 5-10 Persons with Disabilities and Knowledge Keepers Talking Circles (in-person and/or virtual) as required with the events ranging from dates April 2, 2024 to March 31, 2025.  

National Climate Gathering

  • Calgary
  • October 7-10, 2024
Includes 5-7 additional potential AFN engagements with First Nations that are pending posting on the AFN calendar of events for the new fiscal year.     
  • April 2024-to March 31, 2025


ASL and LSQ interpreting services are required for national assemblies and regional gatherings and other events hosted by the AFN between April 2, 2024, and March 31, 2025.

The AFN will undertake a thorough selection process of the proposals that meet the submission deadline of February 16, 2024. The proposals received for the deadline date will be evaluated by a committee of three senior staff members of the AFN Health Sector and both the successful and unsuccessful proponents of the selection outcome will be notified on February 27, 2024.


The AFN is mandated by several national resolutions to engage on distinct First Nations accessibility legislation through AFN Resolution 10/ 2018 which advocates funding be secured from Employment Social Development Canada (ESDC) for legislative developments and engagements with First Nations in pursuing a Distinct First Nations Accessibility Law. The AFN is working to build an accessible organization and to be a model of accessibility for First Nations and the regions and territories. The AFN is committed to addressing the deficit-based language and stigma associated with colonial concepts of dis- ability and exclusion and we are working to shine a light on the gifts and contributions of First Nations persons with disabilities.


All proposals shall be received by the AFN no later than February 16, 2024.

All proposals will clearly identify the name of the proponent and note in the subject line: “RFP on American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) Interpreting Services for National Assemblies and Regional Gatherings.”

Individuals shall indicate whether they identify as Indigenous and what Indigenous community acknowledges their membership. Corporate entities shall do the same for the ownership of the entity and for those who will conduct the work under the proposal.

Late submissions will not be accepted and will be returned unopened without exception. The use of the mail or courier services for delivery of a bid will be at the risk of the bidder.

Electronic submissions are to be emailed for the attention of Marie Frawley-Henry at [email protected]. Since bids must be submitted in a sealed envelope, submissions by facsimile or electronic delivery secure site or otherwise, will not be accepted.


All proposals shall include the following information:

  1. An Executive Summary outlining the background information of the proponent’s company, including contents of the
  2. A statement and description of the physical and human resources required to provide services requested.
  3. Cost Breakdown: The Proponent shall provide a detailed cost breakdown for the proposed services, showing the total cost for the performance of all services, expenses, materials, deliverables, and software/hardware costs (if applicable), to be used for completion of the Total cost shall be in Canadian dollars and inclusive of HST.
  4. Project Organization: Identify the composition of the project team if any, including:  
    1. Project team members;  
    2. Description of the roles of the team members; 
    3. Level of experience of the team members specific to this project;  
  5. Client References: the names of three (3) references which have used the services of the bidder for similar References to include the client’s name, title, contact information.


The AFN reserves the right to:

  1. reject any or all proposals received in response to this Request for Proposals;
  2. enter into negotiation with one or more bidders on any or all aspects of their respective proposals;
  3. accept any proposal in whole, or in part;
  4. cancel and/or re-issue the modified version of a given RFP requirement at any time;
  5. award one or more contracts;
  6. verify all information provided with respect to a given RFP requirement, including the right to request a confirmation of the bidder’s legal status and signed documentation; and
  7. award contracts without competition for follow-up work, if any, to the selected bidder for a given project requirement.


The AFN will select the Proponent(s) which, in the AFN’s sole discretion, best serves the needs of the AFN. The following is a summary of the general considerations that will be used to determine the Proponent(s) that will be selected:

1. Overall Experience and Demonstrated Results 20%
2. Budget Approach and Cost Effectiveness 20%
3. Terms and Conditions 10%
4. Indigenous Organization / Individual 10%
5.  Strategic Thinking and Planning Approach 40%
Total 100%


The following dates are set forth for informational and planning purposes and may be changed at the AFN’s sole discretion.

Description of Deliverables Due Date
RFP Posted January 19, 2024
Deadline for questions February 2, 2024
Deadline for submission of proposals February 16, 2024
Successful proponent selected and notified to Start Contract February 27, 2024
Contract Start Date April 2, 2024


The timetable is tentative only and may be changed by the AFN, in its sole discretion, at any time prior to the Proposal Submission Deadline.



Contractors must provide a firm fixed price, including administrative fees, travel, material costs, translation, printing of draft concepts and HST.

Costs pertaining to the retention of additional services to facilitate on-line voting (should this be necessary) do not need to be included. AFN will evaluate proposed systems and related costs in a separate process, with recommendations from the successful bidder.


Responses to this RFP will be considered as confidential information by the AFN and will be used solely for the purposes of selecting the successful bidder.

Clarification/ Questions

All on-time proposals will be acknowledged.

Requests for clarification and/or questions regarding this RFP should be directed to:

Marie Frawley-Henry, Senior Policy Analyst, Health Sector

Assembly of First Nations

55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1600 Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5

Electronic Mail: [email protected]

Telephone: (613) 241-6789 extension 272

Facsimile: (613) 241-5808

Responses/ Submission

 Only those submissions that meet the deadline will be considered. Responses to this RFP must be received by the close of business (5:00 pm EST) on Friday, February 16, 2024.

Responses may be sent by electronic mail to: Marie Frawley-Henry

Electronic Mail: [email protected] Assembly of First Nations

Telephone: (613) 241-6789 extension 272