Together with some of our communities, Nokiiwin is working towards developing a Regional Education Agreement for our area. To that end, we have issued a Request for Proposals for consultants or organizations interested in offering their services to support this effort.
Potential applicants had until September 12, 2022 to submit questions. Substantive questions have been posted here, along with the answers, for the benefit of all applicants. Proposals are due September 19, 2022. While we are no longer entertaining substantive questions, if you have procedural questions (for example, on how to submit your proposal document, etc.), please do not hesitate to contact Scott Baker at email@example.com.
Questions and Answers
It would always be advised that agreements, policies and procedures, are at a minimum reviewed by legal counsel. Do you expect the consulting team to include legal counsel, or do you have counsel that you will use to help ensure that the created agreement, policies and procedures are worded to minimize risks of various sorts?
At this point we are developing draft documents as a starting point for negotiations between the First Nations and the Government of Canada. When a Regional Education Agreement is signed, all the documents will be reviewed by legal counsel from all participating parties. Therefore, it is not necessary that the consulting team includes legal counsel for the purpose you outlined. Applicants may choose to include lawyers on their consulting team if they feel their input would be useful in developing the materials outlined, but not for the purpose of final review.
Do you have a budget in mind?
We do have a budget that’s been approved by Indigenous Services Canada. We have elected not to share that information in this RFP. After the successful consultant is selected, we will work with them to scale the project up or down as appropriate. It isn’t necessary to quote an all-in price, as the RFP says: “Proponents can propose hourly, daily, block and/or fixed fees as they deem appropriate.”
What work has been done to date relating to the REA?
Nokiiwin has held several consultations with education staff from each community. Through those consultations, we have educated the communities on what an REA is, and explored the pros and cons of developing our own REA or joining an existing REA. We have developed an understanding of community needs/expectations, but have not done much work beyond that.
Does Nokiiwin have a mandate from participating First Nations to negotiate an REA on their behalf or is Nokiiwin developing a template that individual First Nations can use to negotiate their own REAs?
Nokiiwin has a mandate to negotiate on their behalf, and that is what we hope and expect to be doing starting in April 2023. However, funding for this program is not guaranteed past this fiscal year, so we hope that the resources developed through this RFP will also be useful to First Nations if Nokiiwin is no longer involved.
Is Nokiiwin looking for a custom education formula developed from scratch? Or are you interested in needs-based enhancements/adaptations to the Ontario Interim Funding Model?
We are open to either of these approaches, or to adapting one of the existing REA funding formulas, or any combination.
What is Nokiiwin looking for in terms of a Funding Formula deliverable?
According to ISC, one of the pillars of a regional education agreement is "comprehensive funding arrangements, covering all federal support for First Nations elementary and secondary education, including special education and education supports for languages." We are looking to create these funding arrangements in draft form which will serve as a starting point for negotiations with the Government of Canada.
Was Nokiiwin asked by the participating First Nations to conduct this work or was this initiated by Nokiiwin?
Nokiiwin was approached by ISC to consider starting a REA development project. We in turn asked the First Nations, who agreed to participate.
Does Nokiiwin have existing contacts/working relationships with Ontario Ministry of Education and ISC Education?
We run several programs funded by ISC Education and have a good working relationship with them on that level. We work extensively with the local school boards that interact with our communities, but haven't had much in the way of direct contact with the Ontario Ministry of Education.
We thank interested parties for their questions.