Facilitation Services for the National Advisory Committee on First Nations Child and Family Services Program Reform


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations on matters of national or international nature and concern. The AFN hosts at least two Assemblies each year where mandates and directives for the organizations 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.

In 2007, the AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (Caring Society) filed a complaint under the Canadian Human Rights Act alleging that Canada was discriminating against First Nations children by underfunding the First Nations Child and Family Services Program (FNCFS) on-reserve and in the Yukon and by applying a narrow interpretation of Jordan’s Principle. In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) agreed with the complainants and issued a landmark decision (2016 CHRT 2), ruling that First Nations children living on-reserve and in the Yukon were in fact discriminated against by the federal government in its provision of child and family services and through its narrow application of Jordan’s Principle.

The CHRT ordered the federal government to work with the parties to completely overhaul the on-reserve child and family services program and fully implement Jordan’s Principle. As a result, an agreement was made to re-establish the National Advisory Committee (NAC) to address issues pertaining to child and family services reform, including funding, legislation, immediate relief, Jordan’s Principle and other reforms.


The objective of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to select a bidder to provide high-quality facilitation services to the NAC that are grounded in professionalism, integrity, and confidentiality. The NAC meets regularly and requires the selected facilitator to facilitate in-person, hybrid and virtual meetings. The bidder must have knowledge and understanding of First Nations Child and Family Services, Jordan’s Principle, and the CHRT.

Submissions will be reviewed by an internal panel within the Social Development Sector and will be assessed according to the criteria provided in the “Evaluation Criteria” section of this RFP. Proposals are due to the AFN no later than 5:00pm EDT on December 11, 2023.


In January 2016, the CHRT agreed that Canada had discriminated against First Nations children in the provision of child and family services and Jordan’s Principle, simply because they are First Nations, in its historic Merits Decision, 2016 CHRT 2. The CHRT ordered the federal government to immediately and completely overhaul the FNCFS Program and implement the full breadth and scope of Jordan’s Principle. On December 31, 2021, the AFN, Caring Society, Chiefs of Ontario, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Canada signed an Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) outlining a framework toward reaching a settlement on long-term reform to end discrimination in the FNCFS Program and Jordan’s Principle.

The re-established NAC is a joint committee composed of First Nations Child and Family Service experts appointed by AFN Regional Chiefs, representatives of the AFN, Caring Society, and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). The NAC is mandated to provide technical advice on the design and implementation of the FNCFS program and Jordan’s Principle reforms to First Nations leaders and ISC.


The work of the Facilitator will include the following:

Event Preparation:

  • An initial meeting with the AFN Social Development Sector to discuss the role, expectations and facilitation approach including an opportunity to ask questions about the NAC scope of work.
  • Participation in regular planning meetings to review logistics, communications, etc.
  • Oversee coordination and onboarding of presenters and panellists, including invitations to identified speakers, elders, RSVPs, biographies, presentation materials, etc.
  • Confirm the meeting agenda with the NAC co-chairs and familiarize them with the supporting documents.

During the event:

  • Facilitate the planned meetings in-person, virtually and/or hybrid. It is expected that the facilitator be present for all in-person meetings.
  • Provide a review of agenda and update agenda items as necessary while in the meeting.
  • Briefly introduce the presenters and their assigned topics.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively, ensure the meeting remains on schedule, ensure all participants have time to speak on topics and redirect conversations as needed.
  • Facilitate the engagement of meeting discussions by requesting further elaboration, inviting participants to provide insight and feedback and assisting in question periods.
  • Effectively work to prevent any potential disputes.
  • Close meeting with review of meeting action items including important dates.

Following the event:

  • Provide a debrief with the AFN staff to review the meeting, identify issues, action items and next steps for future meetings.


Proposals are to be submitted in the form of an electronic file (PDF) by email to Stephanie Wellman, Director of the Social Development Sector, at [email protected].  

All proposals must clearly identify the name of the candidate contractor, and the phrase “Request for Proposal for the NAC Facilitator” in the email’s subject line.

Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm EDT on December 11.

Proposals that are not submitted by email or late proposals will not be considered.


  1. An Executive Summary outlining the proponent’s company’s background information, including the proposal’s contents.
  2. Qualifications: A description of the contractor’s education and qualifications including training, research, and experiences that relate specifically to providing facilitation services, knowledge and expertise relating to First Nations Child and Family Services and Jordans Principle.
  3. Project Organization: Composition of the proposed project team, if any, including:
  1. Facilitator and any support staff;
  2. Description of the facilitator’s role and any staff if applicable;
  3. Level of experience of the facilitator specific to the role described herein;
  4. The allocation of tasks to individuals on the facilitation team, and the number of days or hours needed per individual to prepare for meeting facilitation duty; and
  5. Detailed explanation of hourly rates for the tasks and duties of the facilitator any support staff.
  1. References: at least three (3) references which have used the services of the bidder related to First Nations and/or facilitation projects. References will have the client’s name, title, and contact information.
  2. Cost Breakdown: The detailed cost breakdown for the proposed services, including the daily (or hourly) rate charged for each person and the days (or hours) and any other associated costs and expenses. Total cost shall be in Canadian dollars and inclusive of HST.


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:

Expertise of Firm/Organization submitting the proposal, including relevance of the proponent’s experience for the project content


Experience working with First Nations and First Nations organizations

Expertise and knowledge of the First Nations Child & Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle



Total price associated with proposed tasks and activities


Overall impressions of the proposal

Indigenous organization or individual





The project will be conducted during the period from January 2024-March 2025. The timeframe for the project depends in part on the rate at which the contractor completes tasks and spends project funding.

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

RFP released/posted

November 20, 2023

Deadline for Questions

December 6, 2023

Deadline for proposal submission

December 11, 2023

Completion of proposal evaluations

December 20, 2023

Final selection

January 15, 2024

Expected contract start date

February 5, 2024

Expected contract end date

March 31, 2025


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



Contractors must provide a firm fixed price, including administrative fees, material costs, equipment and HST. Travel will be reimbursed according to AFN policies on top of contract amount.


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.


Requests for clarification and/or questions regarding this RFP will be responded to within three business days of receipt and must be received by December 6, 2023. Requests for clarification and/or questions should be directed to:

Stephanie Wellman
Director, Social Development
Assembly of First Nations
55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1600
Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5
Email: [email protected]


Only those submissions that meet the deadline will be considered. All on-time proposals will be acknowledged.

Responses to this RFP must be received by 5:00pm EDT on December 11, 2023.

Responses must be sent in PDF by e-mail to:

Stephanie Wellman
Director, Social Development
Assembly of First Nations
55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1600
Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5
Email: [email protected]