First Nations Control of Housing: What will transfer of care of housing to First Nations look like in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years from now?


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 individual(s) (and/or companies) to submit proposals to develop a description of the benefits for First Nations to opt to control their housing by describing community and nation housing conditions five (5), ten (10), 15 years or more following the start of the transfer process.

Since 2018, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has offered First Nations funds to support the preparation of First Nations to enter negotiations leading to a final agreement that lays out the gradual transfer process.  ISC has purposely not described the potential outcome or the scope of negotiations because it does not want to prejudge the outcome. It prefers to have an aggregate of First Nations propose its vision and conditions for controlling their housing system and that ISC would react with options that it can make available. Where required, it would seek the involvement of other federal departments or agencies whose responsibilities correspond to aspects of the First Nations’ proposals.

The report will describe the conditions First Nations would require accepting control and the benefits that would accrue to the participating First Nations.  Given the gradual nature of the transfer of control from ISC and CMHC, and potentially others, First Nations would benefit from this research by considering the likelihood of their improved housing and related infrastructure conditions at the five-year, ten year and fifteen year or longer milestones relative to the status quo. Those conditions would include all aspects such as governance, management, administration, planning, improved housing conditions, financial position, social, health and overall wellbeing of the on-reserve or on-community citizens.  It is assumed that with the right conditions as described by First Nations, they will benefit significantly relative to the status quo.

Although the primary goal is to encourage First Nations to explore the transfer of control of housing with the federal government by describing its potential benefits, a secondary outcome may be to describe to Canada the policy prerequisites.


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 the work to develop a user friendly, plain English comprehensive description of the benefits of First Nations controlling their housing and the conditions necessary to succeed from a First Nations perspective.

The contract work term will be from the contract signing date to January 15, 2024.


The AFN is mandated to engage with Canada on housing and infrastructure through several resolutions passed by First Nations-in-Assembly. In accordance with AFN Resolution 27/2017 that called for the development of a National First Nations Housing and Related Infrastructure Strategy, a joint Working Group was established.  Its membership is composed of regional housing technicians, and senior staff from the AFN, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Infrastructure Canada (Homelessness Directorate).  It co-developed a 10 Year First Nations National Housing and related Infrastructure Strategy (Strategy) that Chiefs adopted by resolution in 2018.

Implementation of the Strategy is underway and works towards the goal of First Nations care and control of housing and related infrastructure.  First Nations will develop their housing systems according to their respective cultures, time frames and visions for the future. The success of any recognition of First Nations complete authority over their housing depends on a federal initiative to transfer control of housing programs and services funds that is broadly flexible enough to accommodate the wide range of First Nations preferences.


Project Requirements

The Contractor shall successfully complete a project charter, work plan and engagement plan as part of the project kick-off one week after contract signing date.

  • The Contractor shall successfully complete progress report meetings on four dates to be determined.
  • The Contractor shall successfully deliver a Final Report, Presentation and Summary Report to the AFN by January 15, 2024.

The Proponent who is selected by the AFN in accordance with the terms of this RFP (the “Selected Proponent”) will be responsible for developing a report that describes the benefits relative to the status quo of controlling their housing.  Work will include:

  1. Research the ISC transfer of housing and infrastructure services initiative and related documents, such as the federal action plan to implement federal obligations pursuant to UNDRIP to establish the federal government’s starting point in negotiations.
  2. Research AFN written materials to be provided that analyze and comment on the ISC transfer initiative and related ISC and CIRNA policies.
  3. Research CIRNA inherent self-government policy to determine its alignment with the ISC transfer of services initiative from both a rights and jurisdiction perspective and as it concerns the practical aspects of a First Nations controlled housing and related infrastructure system.
  4. Interview federal representatives to clarify or confirm elements of the federal transfer of services initiative.
  5. Interview a cross-section of First Nations (interview minimum 15 First Nations representing a cross section of sizes, locations) technical and political representatives for their views on ISC’s and CMHC’s transfer and related initiatives to determine and describe gaps, if any.
  6. Research and review all preliminary, mid-point or final federal-First Nations transfer of services agreements to determine elements of success and if possible, best practices.
  7. Develop a user-friendly report in plain language including an executive summary that easily conveys the positive aspects of the federal initiative as well as its gaps that when closed, will meet First Nations’ conditions for success.
  8. Describe a phased, gradual transfer that contrasts the status quo with conditions that evolve over 5, 10, 15 and more years culminating in maximum First Nations control where the federal government’s role is ultimately one of funder.
  9. Develop a PowerPoint deck that summarizes the report.
  10. Include graphics, photos and other common features that enhance the communications goals of the project.
  11. Emphasize the positive aspects of assuming control of housing while simultaneously noting key First Nations requirements for success.
  12. The report shall not have recommendations. However, it will list First Nations requirements and whether the federal initiative aligns with those First Nations requirements.
  13. Complete a summary report.

Final Report:

The final project report in English and French (supplemented with visual aids including photographs, digital images, graphs, charts, figures and other illustrations) will document the overall project from project design and implementation to completion including:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Introduction including:
    1. Name of lead organization
    2. List of partners and additional funders
  3. Methodology
  4. Findings
  5. Results and impact of the project/activity – this should include initial goals and anhonest assessment and address whether the program yielded the desired results.
  6. Lessons learned – this should include information on the project’s major takeaways, including unexpected challenges faced.
  7. Recommendations for next steps to achieving stated outcomes and anticipated impacts or additional work needed – identification of opportunities or remaining barriers.

Power point presentation:

The power point presentation, in French and English, will include but not be limited to a summary of:

  1. project objectives
  2. project partners
  3. results and impact
  4. lessons learned and next steps, opportunities

Project Summary:

1–2-page concise summary in English and French derived from the Research Report. The summary shall include the following:

Same as the report
Introduction (50 – 100 words)

  • Describe research issue and the Gap, or need that was addressed

Project Overview (100 words)

  • Positions the project as funded through the National Housing Strategy RPF to address specific objectives of the NHS.
  • Provides overview of the goals and objectives of project undertaken and how was research conducted

Key Results (Up to 100 – 150 words in length

  • Highlight major findings of the research in bullet format
  • Can include 2-3 graphics that add to content and do not repeat text)

Fast Facts 50-75 words

  • Easy to read and understand text that succinctly summarizes a few details of findings
  • May duplicate some information found under key findings and present it differently
  • May include an information graphic (example: pie chart, table, graph, etc.)

Expected outcomes and Implications for the Housing Sector/Industry 100-200 words

  • Provides insight or analysis of the “so what” of the results on the housing industry or sector.

Project Team

  • Lead Organization and partners

Project Timeframe:

The work shall be completed between the contract signing date and January 15, 2024.


All proposals shall be received by the AFN no later than June 30, 2023.

All proposals will clearly identify the name of the proponent and the note “RFP for First Nations Transfer of Control in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years” in the subject line.

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.

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 no be accepted.

Bids must be submitted by electronic delivery (Email).


All proposals shall include the following information:

  1. An Executive Summary outlining the background information of the proponent’s company, including contents of the proposal.
  2. Qualifications: provide a description of the proponent’s capabilities/experience specifically related to the AFN’s transfer of care of housing to First Nations requirements.
  3. A statement and description of the physical and human resources required to complete the summary of work including; research, writing, stakeholder or regional representative engagements/interviews and intellectual material.
  4. Project Organization: Identify the composition of the proposed 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 transfer of care of First Nations Housing
  1. Client References: the names of three (3) references which have used the services of the bidder as to research First Nations Housing. References to include the client’s name, title, contact information.
  1. 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. 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 respectiveproposals;
  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


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

2.     Budget Approach and Cost Effectiveness

3.     Development of an Attractive Promotional Product

4.     Indigenous Organization / Individual

5.     Knowledge, training and application surrounding the principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP®)

6.     Strategic Thinking and Planning Approach











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]

Deadline for questions:

Deadline for submission of proposals:

Completion of proposal evaluations:

Final Selection (date)

Contract Start Date (date)

June 28, 2023

June 30, 2023

July 21, 2023

August 11, 2023

To be determined

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.


Q. What is the project budget?

A: AFN expects proposals not to exceed $125,000.

Q. The RFP calls to meet a min of 15 FN’s – was it anticipated to meet in person or would that be virtual?

A: The consultant may meet the First Nations in person or virtually.

Q. A Canada Mortgage and housing Corporation (CMHC) commissioned research whose report will be used as the basis for an engagement process with First Nations. The First Nations’ views have been gathered on CMHC’s efforts to seek a government mandate to negotiate the transfer of housing services to the control of First Nations. There is some overlap in that CMHC research and the current Assembly of First Nations (AFN) housing-related Request for Proposals (RFP). The CMHC research is scheduled to be completed and a report submitted to CMHC by the end of June 2023. Can parts of the anticipated CMHC research report be used to contribute to the result sought in the AFN housing-related RFP?

A. The timing of the public release of the CMHC-commissioned report is unknown. However, if the CMHC-commissioned report on its mandate sought on transfer of housing services is made public in time relative to the AFN housing-related RFP, it can be used to contribute to the information and analysis AFN seeks.

Q. At the beginning the RFP asks for the proposal in English but later on it suggests that the product and PowerPoint are in French and English. Please provide clarification.”

A. There is no reference in the RFP that proposals to be submitted to the AFN must be in English.  Although the RFP is silent on the matter of which language must be used in the submitted proposal, the AFN will accept proposals either in English or in French.

There are two separate references of use of English in the report and PowerPoint documents as project deliverables.  The first reference in the “Objective” section indicates the report to be produced as a deliverable must be written in plain English. Later in the RFP, the “Final Report” and “ PowerPoint Presentation” sections both ask that the documents/reports to be produced be provided in both English and French. The expectation is that both English and French language versions of the final report and the PowerPoint will be written in plain language.

Q. “On the RFP page 8, item 6 states “review and review ALL [emphasis added]  …. federal First Nations transfer of services”.  Could you clarify the scope of this requirement?  Is the intention to look at housing and infrastructure or does ALL refer to every and anything that could be considered a transfer?  The ISC transfer eligibility covers 

  • water and wastewater facilities and infrastructure
  • education facilities
  • housing
  • solid waste management
  • road and bridge construction
  • energy system development
  • connectivity
  • cultural and recreational facility development
  • fire protection
  • planning and skills development associated with infrastructure management.”

A. RFP item 6 indicates, “Research and review all preliminary, mid-point or final federal-First Nations transfer of services agreements to determine elements of success and if possible, best practices.”  “All” in RFP item # 6 refers to “…all …agreements…”   The intent of item 6 is to ensure the research report incudes insights that can be drawn from Indigenous Services Canada’s agreements undertaken with First Nations or their representative organizations within the scope of ISC’s initiative titled “Transferring infrastructure service delivery to First Nations.” According to ISC, it is funding eleven (11) initiatives. Information on ISC’s “Transferring infrastructure service delivery to First Nations” can be found at


Q. Part of the project requirements is to complete a ‘Project Charter’ can you provide an example of what is to be included in the charter? Is there a project charter that has been completed and accepted for some other engagement with the AFN that we can observe to assess the scope of this requirement? 

A. The RFP indicates, ”The Contractor shall successfully complete a project charter, work plan and engagement plan as part of the project kick-off one week after contract signing date.” The definition of a project charter can vary. In this case it refers to an unsigned short document that provides a mutually agreed overview of the attached workplan and engagement plan.  A project charter is more detailed and slightly longer than an executive summary. It provides additional confidence to the contractor and the issuer of the contract of mutual expectations. A project charter may also summarize various elements of the work and factors that can influence the outcome, some that are in the contract, in the detailed workplan and in the engagement plan, and others that might not be found therein.  A project charter might include, (and not necessarily in the order described below);

  • scope of work, and that which is out of scope,
  • assumptions, such as, the frequency of two-way, regular and open communications, the expectation of timely responses and a meeting schedule at key milestones,
  • list of key contacts and contact information,
  • description of roles and responsibilities of issuer of contract and contractor,
  • list of deliverables,
  • overview of methodology, such as, list of project phases,
  • project risks and how to mitigate them, and
  • other items of interest to the contractor.  

The detailed description above is sufficient to provide prospective proponents an understanding of the RFP’s expectation in relation to a project charter. It is not appropriate for AFN to provide a real example(s) of project charters accepted by the AFN.

Q. Is there a specific reason for selecting around 15 First Nations to speak with? Does AFN have any First Nations in mind that would be great contributors to this work? Is there room for more participants?

A. Given the budget ($125,000), and balancing all aspects of the work sought, and based on experience, 15 First Nations was chosen as the minimum to represent a representative cross section. The AFN expects the proponents to have some experience in proposing First Nations to be approached to participate. However, the AFN will work closely with the contractor to choose the First Nations to be approached. If the proponent proposes in the submission to involve more than 15 First Nations, AFN will consider its/their merits against other work and costs using the evaluation grid provided.        

Q. For the final report, who is the target audience, is it only for First Nations? Will the report be public?

A. The target audience is Chiefs of First Nations and their advisors and not the public. However, whenever AFN research reports are made available to Chiefs, they are usually considered to be in the public domain, with very few exceptions.   

Q. Is there a budget for service fees/ Honorariums? ( Elders, participants.)

A. It is expected that the proponent will propose in the financial/budget section of the proposal how it expects to spend the budget allocated for this research project.    

Q. We noticed that the focus of this work are the benefits of First Nations control, will there also be consideration for potential challenges related to First Nations control of housing?

A. It is expected that the report will identify the challenges, steps and all dimensions required to assume control of housing and that the benefits expected will convince First Nations that the effort to do so will be worthwhile. The RFP is drafted with care to emphasise that the report sought will be primarily a positive and promotional approach to reinforce the benefits of First Nations exercising jurisdiction over their housing.   


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

Dan Gaspe, Senior Policy Advisor
Assembly of First Nations
55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1600 Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5

Telephone: (613) 241-6789 extension
Facsimile: (613) 241-5808
Electronic Mail: [email protected]

Responses/ Submission
Only those submissions that meet the deadline will be considered.

Responses to this RFP must be received by the close of business (5:00pm EST) on June 30, 2023

Responses to be sent by electronic mail (Email) to:

Dan Gaspe, Senior Policy Advisor
Assembly of First Nations
55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1600
Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5
Electronic Mail: [email protected]