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Executive Director

Job Information
Author pmnationtalk
Date October 10, 2017
Type Full Time
Company Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation
Location Toronto, ON
Category Business / Management
Client Higgins Executive Search
Contact Information

About the Corporation

The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation’s prominent mission is to improve the quality of life for First Nations people and communities. Established in 1995, Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) was the founding and first Aboriginal organization with a mandate to foster technical self-reliance. The Corporation provides professional advisory services to 133 Ontario First Nations communities, 16 Tribal Councils, six large First Nations and 18 Unaffiliated First Nations in areas such as engineering, infrastructure, environment, emergency management, fire protection, housing, and water and wastewater. Further, OFNTSC is committed to create future capacity by encouraging youth to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology.

The Opportunity              Executive Director

The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation is looking for an Executive Director during this excit-ing time in OFNTSC’s history and future strategy. With unprecedented opportunity to leverage today’s political commitment and build government relations, the right leader will be able to advance significantly First Nations’ quality of life in many key areas such as safe drinking water, infrastructure, housing and emergency management. Current projects in progress or starting are:

  • Monitoring the implementation of Bill S-8 (First Nations Safe Water Drinking Act) and assisting First Nations in meeting the requirements of the new Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER) with the goal of completely ending boiling water advisories

The Opportunity             Executive Director

  • Upgrading and constructing new water and wastewater systems
  • Developing training for plant operators to deliver safe drinking water and training for effective emergency management of natural disasters
  • Developing solid waste management landfill operations and maintenance courses on diversion and source water protection
  • Engaging Ontario’s First Nations in developing long term housing strategies including training of First Nations inspectors to become certified building inspectors under provincial requirements
  • Creating asset management strategies including a pilot project for climate change vulnerability assessments, adaptation plans and mitigation

To help OFNTSC excel in its mission, we are looking for an Executive Director who will bring passion, energy and leadership to a highly committed and organized team. Reporting directly to the Board through the Executive Committee, the Executive Director will:

  • Lead the development and implementation of a 5-year strategic and operational plan in consultation with the Board and First Nations’ clients and incorporating Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s mandate review recommendations
  • Identify opportunities and create a strategy to increase the OFNTSC’s external capacity and diversify its funding
  • Develop a comprehensive communications and marketing strategy to increase visibility of OFNTSC’s programs and service offerings and significant achievements to its stakeholders
  • Lead a complete review of OFNTSC’s financial, human resources and communications policies and oversee implementation of new IT infrastructure
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with the Board of Directors, First Nations, political organizations, federal and provincial government departments and ministries
  • Provide leadership to diverse staff in offices throughout Ontario including Thunder Bay, Toronto, and


  • Five to eight years in leadership roles in non-profit, professional association, technical/engineering services or government organizations
  • Strong business administrative and organizational skills including budget preparation, analysis, decision making and reporting on multi-million budgets
  • Experience supervising staff, and reporting to a Board; able to lead, inspire and collaborate with Board members and organization staff
  • Ability to lead strategic planning and implementation, planning and program development, marketing and other communications and oversee organization board and committee meetings
  • Good understanding of working with First Nation organizations and/or knowledge of First Nation cultures and traditions including roles and responsibilities of Chiefs and Council and First Nations political organizations
  • Ability to communicate and promote OFNTSC’s technical projects and services to diverse audiences
  • Experience building strategic relationships and partnerships with community, government, industry, academia and other stakeholders
  • Leads with integrity, transparency and passion for OFNTSC mission
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Business, Public Administration, Science, Engineering or related discipline or equivalent combination of education and work experience
  • Willing to travel


OFNTSC maintains a collaborative partnership with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Health Canada, Environment Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, NRCan and Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, and Ministry of Natural Resources. The organization also forms strategic alliances with other First Nation organizations, provincial and municipal governments, professional associations and the private sector.


OFNTSC’s services are tailored to individual community needs, levels of individual capacity, technical proficiency, management expertise and availability of funding and include:

Communications Emergency Management
Engineering Environment
Fuel Systems Management Fire, Safety and Firefighting
Infrastructure Housing
Water and Wastewater Operation and Maintenance



Emergency Planning

As the newest service to be offered by the OFNTSC starting in 2010, it offers community emergency management plans as well as review and analysis of existing plans including training, and preparation for emergency situations such as natural disasters and industrial/transportation accidents.


Started in 1996 as an environmental health study, the Environment Service has grown over the years, recently working with the Water Task Force on regulatory developments related to the Safe Drinking Water Act for First Nations and assisting with the development of Climate Change, Community Energy Planning and Climate Change Adaptation projects. In the coming years, the focus will be developing solid waste management landfill operations and maintenance courses on diversion and source water protection and climate change adaptation plans and mitigation initiatives.


As one of the original services, the Housing Program began by providing housing inspections in First Nations communities, but quickly grew to training and capacity development as demand outpaced resources. It will continue to develop long term housing strategies with First Nations and Tribal Councils. As more inspectors become certified and/or qualified in interpreting building code applications to particular construction situations, Housing will be assisting First Nations in the development of policies, procedures and codes of conduct essential to manage the risk associated with plans review and inspections.



The Engineering Service started in 1996 to address the shortage of First Nations engineers available to work on community capital projects in Ontario. It now provides access to qualified engineers for small, to large proj-ects at every stage of construction from project planning to commissioning to ensuring standards are being met. The Engineering Service also provides essential skills and knowledge to First Nations on the creation, and development of major projects.

Fire, Safety and Firefighting

These services assist First Nations and communities with fire prevention training and material, fire code interpretation/compliance, and on-site inspections of community buildings for fire deficiencies as well as assisting with policy development. First Nation volunteer fire departments are also assisted by the Fire and Safety Service.


The Infrastructure Program originally began as just an inspection service for First Nations not affiliated with a Tribal council. Infrastructure has evolved over the years to offer training for building inspectors, introduction of new building techniques and construction, and support for INAC reporting systems.

Infrastructure also works closely with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to deliver the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and Section 95 and Ten (10) requirements.

Fuel Systems Management

The Fuel Systems Management Program started in 1998 to address the growing need of trained fuel handlers in First Nations. Initially the Fuel Systems Management focused on training of fuel handlers in remote First Nations, but has since expanded into fuel tank site visits for home and commercial use, emergency fuel spill response training and development, code compliance assessment, fuel transfer equipment support, and safe fuel handling practices at the Gas Pumps for all FN’s in Ontario.

Operations and Maintenance

The Operations and Maintenance program was one of the first services to be offered by the OFNTSC in 1995. Operations and Maintenance originally assisted First Nations with reporting requirements to INAC. Today O&M provides support on the various databases and asset management systems that INAC maintains. In addition to reporting, O&M also reviews community infrastructure models to ensure assets maintain peak efficiency.


Water and Wastewater

The Water and Wastewater program originally began in 1996 as a quality assurance initiative to ensure all Ontario First Nations were receiving the same level of service from the OFNTSC. Today Water and Wastewater has incorporated engineering services as well as serving as a step-by-step project planning program from inception to completion.


Although not a service, the department is responsible for all communication including outreach to First Nations in Ontario and communicating with federal and provincial governments, tribal councils, First Nations and professional associations. They also produce the Annual OFNTSC Conference, First Nations Water Symposium, Large/Unaffiliated First Nation Tribal Council meetings, and other smaller events. It oversees projects such as:

  • Technical Youth Career Outreach Project (TYCOP)
  • Annual Student Classic
  • Derrick Kamanga Memorial Award
  • Annual Student Achievement Awards
  • Annual Report creation and dissemination
  • OFNTSC website (

Contact Information

For more information or to apply to this highly impactful opportunity, please contact Roma Thorlakson at 204-515-3828 X108 or submit your resume and related information electronically to

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