First Nations K-12 Transformation Costing Analysis


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern.  The AFN hosts two Assemblies a 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).

In addition to the direction provided by Chiefs of each member First Nation, the AFN is guided by an Executive Committee consisting of an elected National Chief and Regional Chiefs from each province and territory. Representatives from five national councils (Knowledge Keepers, Youth, Veterans, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and Women) support and guide the decisions of the Executive Committee.


The objective of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to select a bidder to conduct a study on the costs associated with Regional Education Agreements (REAs), and challenges and successes of First Nations K-12 Education Transformation implementation. The data, analysis, and recommendations resulting from this study will inform future federal budget asks, support First Nations in their REA negotiations, and will reinforce AFN’s advocacy through providing recommendations to Canada.

The research must include:

  1. A historical overview of Indigenous Service Canada’s Band Operated Funding Formula (BOFF) which was created in 1987 prior to 2019 K-12 transformation.
  2. An overview of the current funding landscape of K-12 education transformation and the costing components of an REA including but not limited to:
    1. Unique and diverse linguistic, cultural, demographic, historical and geographical needs of all First Nation communities, schools, and students.
    2. Funding for school facilities operations and maintenance, education-related band employee benefits and other costing components.
    3. Indices that are used to reflect the diverse funding needs for remote schools and/or communities with low social-economic well-being.
  3. Research through qualitative and quantitative methods and data analysis to assess the implementation of Education Transformation.
    1. Analysis of the Interim Funding Formula (IFF) in each province compared to each provincial education funding formula to determine whether the IFF is comparable. E.g., Additional provincial grants, investments, formula adjustments (e.g., student transportation) etc.
    2. Which provincial formulae are providing the most equitable and adequate funding for staffing, mental health, operations and maintenance, languages etc. across Canada.
    3. The overall difference in funding levels between the IFFs versus finalized REAs.
    4. Overview or case study of a needs-based REA.
  4. Anonymized costing samples of REA models for a small, medium, and large ‘region’, based on existing agreements and funding asks.
  5. Recommendations for Canada to improve the key processes linked to Education Transformation.


First Nations have long advocated for collaborative policy and program reform to education funding, calling for core funding directly to First Nations, education organizations, and schools to ensure First Nations control of First Nations education. Prior to 2016, funding for First Nations schools was subject to a 2% cap on annual expenditure increases since the mid-1990s. Therefore, funding did not keep pace with the needs of a growing First Nations student population, nor did it keep pace with increasing educational costs such as teacher salaries or school supplies and equipment – and increases made in provincial and territorial schools.

In December 2017, AFN Resolution 65/2017: New Interim Funding Approach for First Nations Education, approved by First Nations-in-Assembly, supported policy or program changes that advance First Nations control of First Nations education. In 2019, in co-development with the Assembly of First Nations, the Chiefs Committee on Education and the National Indian Education Council, the federal government transformed First Nations education funding on-reserve. It replaced its outdated, inefficient, and inadequate proposal-based education programs with regional education approaches and funding models that provide more sufficient, predictable, and sustainable core funding.

The Interim Funding Formula is meant to ensure base education funding is comparable to provincial systems across the country while First Nations negotiate REAs that are reflective of the diverse needs and circumstances of First Nations learners, schools, communities, and education organizations. REAs are a mechanism to formalize how First Nations have determined the distribution of their core education funding. It is through these REAs that First Nations are now developing their own local, regional and/or Treaty-based education agreements that identify the funding required to implement their unique vision of First Nations control over education.

In 2023, nearing five years since K-12 Education Transformation has taken place, only 10 REAs are signed and concluded, and several are underway. These figures are expected to grow with an estimated 50 First Nations currently engaging in activities to develop a REA.


All proposals will clearly identify the name of the proponent and the First Nations K-12 Transformation Cost Assessment.

All proposals will be sent to Director, Renee St. Germain ([email protected]) and received no later than February 6, 2024.  Late submissions will not be accepted and will be returned unopened without exception. Other proposal enquiries may be sent to Bram Lerat ([email protected]).


All proposals shall include the following information:

  1. Project Overview: This section will include credentials, relevant past and current experience, the approach to the scope of work, a timeline for activities, management approach, work statement and schedule.
  2. Capabilities and Experience: This section will highlight relevant experience, skills and capacity, resources and or facilities to support work, foreseeable challenges and how to work with them, examples of recent relevant work.
  3. Project Budget: A detailed cost breakdown inclusive of salaries, resources, travel, materials and payment schedule. The budget should include a virtual meeting for project initiation and another for a final presentation on research.


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


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. Indigenous involvement and/or capacity


2.  Capacity to do the work


3. Management of the work


4. Methodology


5. Quality of proposal


6. Price


7. Quality of the price quote



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
Introduction Meeting with AFN February 2024
Research Framework and Methodology February-April 2024
Engagements and Research with First Nations February-April 2024
Draft Analysis May 2024
Final Analysis June 2024
Hybrid Meeting and presentation to AFN and National Indian Education Council. July 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. 


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.