Climate Change Adaptation Desktop Study


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is the national representative organization of First Nations people in Canada. The AFN represents and advocates First Nations’ interests for more than 600 First Nations from across the country.  The AFN now invites qualified individuals and firms to submit proposals to provide professional services for the delivery of a desktop study on climate change adaptation for First Nations.


The objective of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to select a proponent to provide a desktop study on climate change adaptation for First Nations.

This will offer an opportunity to explore solutions that First Nations are advancing in the face of rapid change at the local, regional, national, and international levels. For First Nations, a healthy environment connects to everything – our health, well-being, cultures, languages, water, food security and housing, among other things.

At a minimum, the proponents will be expected to provide the following:

  • Climate change adaptation strategy for responding and recovering from climate-related impacts, including climate impacts on building assets, ground assets, transportation assets, utility assets, vehicle assets, and other relevant community asset categories.
  • Investment needs associated with climate change adaptation for First Nations on-reserve.
  • Strategy should also emphasize how First Nations can proactively design assets for future climate conditions and adjust asset management practices to account for the impacts of climate change on the full-life cycle of assets.
  • Analyze First Nations infrastructure levels for building climate resilience and determine the appropriate level of infrastructure capacity that will be required for First Nations to resist climate hazards.
  • Consider future climate conditions that will influence the sizing and design of new and retrofit assets, and the frequency or type of maintenance activities required.
  • Strategies for responding to extreme weather events and emergency preparedness plan.

The AFN recently completed a National First Nations Asset Needs Study, which is a national assessment of on-reserve infrastructure and 20-year investment needs. This report, and its related process, identified climate change adaptation as a key component for First Nations that required further analysis nationwide, and from a First Nations-led perspective.

The Study identified an investment need of approximately $73 billion across the 634 First Nations in Canada over 20 years. However, this value does not account for the investment required to address asset vulnerabilities associated with the changing climate and risks such as extreme weather events. Therefore, a more meaningful evaluation of climate change vulnerabilities and related investment needs is required to provide the true number for climate change adaptation.

  • It is important to highlight the potential impacts on assets and the significant investment projections to make recommendations for a subsequent climate vulnerability study to quantify the asset and investment risk.
  • Building climate resiliency for First Nations assets to mitigate impacts of significant weather events and enable swifter recovery.
  • Compile location-specific climate information and assess impacts in each geographic region across the country.

First Nations are faced with an increase in costs from responding to events or implementation and enforcing climate adaptation actions. For example, the number of extreme heat days above 30°C informs the emerging need and extended duration of using air conditioning. An increase in rainfall intensity informs the size of stormwater management, bridge or culvert sizing, or the height of flood protection assets.

Simple planning-related steps for climate adaptation can be undertaken through mapping and studies, which should include understanding the assets are owned by the First Nation, their value, and their associated climate vulnerabilities and risks. This can then be turned into adaption plans for building climate resilience through increasing upsizing assets, building redundancy, or improving warning and communications systems.

First Nations need to assess their unique vulnerabilities to their future climate and target adaptation actions to their highest climate risks.


The role of the AFN is to advocate on behalf of First Nations as directed by Chiefs-in-Assembly. This includes facilitation and coordination of national and regional discussions and dialogue, advocacy efforts and campaigns, legal and policy analysis, communicating with governments, including facilitating relationship building between First Nations and the Crown as well as public and private sectors and general public.

Each First Nation in Canada is entitled to be a member of the AFN. First Nations exercise their membership through their Chief (official delegate). There are over 634 First Nation delegates who are eligible to participate in the election of the National Chief.

The climate crisis is significantly altering First Nations’ relationships with the lands the Creator has bestowed upon First Nations and upon which First Nations have inalienable rights as entrenched in Section 35 of the Constitution Act (1982), affirmed in the UN Declaration, and confirmed in Treaties and other constructive arrangements between First Nations and the Crown.

In March 2020, the AFN held its first National Climate Gathering in Whitehorse, Yukon, on the traditional territory of the Ta’an Kwächän and the Kwanlin Dün. This offered a unique First Nations-perspective on climate impacts, risks and opportunities at local, regional, national, and international levels. The Gathering demonstrated the interconnectivity across a broad spectrum of environmental issues and linkages between sectors, shining light on the multi-dimensional, inter-connected and inter-related nature of the climate crisis and the necessary associated actions. This included the connection between conservation, biodiversity, species at risk, health and well-being, language and culture, water, food sovereignty, clean energy, education, economy, and infrastructure.

AFN Resolution no. 17/2020 – Support for First Nations Climate Leadership, Food Sovereignty, Environmental Protection, Stewardship and Conservation, this reiterates First Nations are rightful leaders in environmental and climate action and whose leadership is necessary at all levels – local, regional, national and international – to achieve positive outcomes for Mother Earth, human and non-human beings alike, and future generations. AFN Resolution no. 17/2020 directs the AFN to urge all ministers involved in climate change, environmental protection, stewardship, conservation, and food sovereignty to recognize the multi-dimensional, inter-connected and inter-related nature of these critical issues and work in partnership with First Nations to develop comprehensive approaches to address each issue.

Recently, the Government of Canada, through its most recent ministerial mandate letters and speech from the throne, has expressed a commitment to work with First Nations to, among other things:

  • Bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal and legislate the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Work to conserve 25% of Canada’s land and oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030.
  • Protect biodiversity and species at risk by evaluating and enhancing the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
  • Better protect people and the environment by strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA); and
  • Address food insecurity through the introduction of a new food policy in Canada.


All proposal submissions shall be received by the AFN no later than January 5, 2024.

All proposal submissions will clearly identify in the email subject line with the name of the proponent and the document title “RFP for Climate Change Adaptation Desktop Study”.

Late submissions will not be accepted.

All proposal submissions should be emailed to: [email protected] and cc: [email protected]



All proposals shall include the following information:

  1. Title Page: referencing the RFP title, the firm’s name and address, the name, telephone number and email address of the contact person, and date of the proposal.
  2. Executive Summary: outlining the background information of the proponent’s company, including contents of the proposal.
  1. Qualifications: Provide a description of the proponent’s capabilities/experience specifically related to AMP training delivery.
  2. Statement and Description: of the physical and human resources required to carry out and complete the training sessions, including the minimum requirements covered in the Objective, and as well to include software and intellectual material.
  3. Project Organization: Identify the composition of the proposed project team, if any, including:
    • Project team members.
    • Description of the roles of the team members.
    • Level of experience of the team members specific to asset management plan training.
  1. Client References: The names of three (3) references which have used the services of the proponent for AMP training and delivery. References to include the client’s name, title, contact information.
  2. 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 work. Include in the price breakdown how much an individual training session will cost. Total cost shall be in Canadian dollars and inclusive of HST.
  3. Project Deliverables: The Proponent shall provide AFN with a Climate Change Adaptation desktop study.



The AFN reserves the right to:

  1. reject any or all proposals received in response to this Request for Proposals.
  2. enter negotiation with one or more Consultants 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 Consultant’s legal status and signed documentation; and
  7. award contracts without competition for follow-up work, if any, to the selected Consultant for a given project requirement.


The AFN will select the Proponent(s) which, at the AFN’s sole discretion, best serves the overall 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. Expertise of Firm/Organization submitting the proposal – (20%).
  2. Experience in working with First Nations on infrastructure data analysis and climate change adaptation – (15%).
  3. Proposed Work Plan and Approach – (35%).
  4. Experience in strategy development, research, project planning, budgeting, and organizational development as it would apply to climate change adaptation strategizing – (20%).
  5. Total price – (10%).


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

RFP Released/Advertised/Posted – 2023/12/14

Deadline for questions – 2023/12/21

Deadline for submission of proposals – 2024/01/05

Completion of proposal evaluations – 2024/01/10

Finalist Interviews (if required) – 2024/01/11

Final Selection – 2024/01/12

Contract Start Date  – 2024/01/17


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.


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 proponent.

Clarification/ Questions

All proposal submissions will be acknowledged.

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

Liz Fox
Senior Analyst, Infrastructure
Economic Development, Infrastructure, and Fisheries
Assembly of First Nations
Email: [email protected] and cc: [email protected]


Only those submissions that meet the deadline will be considered.

Submissions to this RFP must be received by the close of business (5:00 pm EST) on January 5, 2024.

Should a proponent’s proposal exceed 10Mb it is acceptable for the proponent to provide a link to a OneDrive file within the proposal submission email.