From June 27 – 29, 2022, eleven First Nations Chief Administrative Officers, Band Managers, and Executive Directors from across the province gathered for the last week of an 8-week hybrid training program entitled Foundations of First Nations Administration.
As the First Nations Public Service Secretariat’s (FNPSS) first in-person workshop since 2019, we were delighted to host this cohort of First Nations Administrative professionals after connecting with them for 7 weeks previously over Zoom for the virtual portion of the training. We would like to extend our thanks to Elder Larry Grant from Musqueam First Nation for opening our session with a prayer and helping who provided us with an opening prayer on Day 1 and starting us all in a good way for the learning ahead.
Some feedback from the participants included:
“I enjoyed finally having the opportunity to meet fellow colleagues in the same position who have the same issues and achievements within their roles and nations. To be able to discuss our challenges in an open forum was very enlightening. I found it all to be very beneficial.”
To close the learning series, the 3-day in-person workshop ended with a “Participant Takeaway” session, where the cohort was divided into small groups to deliver a short presentation on their experiences, showcase their learning and significant takeaways from the course overall. All participants echoed the desire to continue to connect through Nation-to-Nation sharing, which was incredibly valuable throughout the entire learning series.
FNPSS’ Foundations of First Nations Administration is a training program offered at no-cost to those working in First Nations administration as Chief Administrative Officers, Band Managers, Executive Directors, or those in equivalent roles. This 8-week comprehensive introductory series featured over 25 sessions by experts and keynote speakers and provided opportunities for informal coaching, networking, and skills development. To attend the course, the selected participants were required to commit a significant amount of time each week, as well as obtaining approval from their Chief and Council.
Some of the sessions that were held during the series include, but are not limited to, the following topics and speakers:
- An Introduction to the Role of Government and Administration, by Laara Yaghujaanas – Primary, Carden Consulting
- Planning Tools (Strategic planning, CCP, and more) with Cara Basil – Planner, Alderhill Planning
- Financial Fundamentals with Joe Bevan – Senior Consultant, Humanity Financial Management Inc.
- Sessions on Self-Government with Valerie Cross – Tsawwassen First Nation; and Angela Wesley – BC Treaty Commission
- Sessions on Communications with Beverly O’Neil – Principal, O’Neil Marketing and Consulting; and Davis McKenzie – Principal, Becoming Clear Communications
- Records & Information Management (RIM) Fundamentals with Michelle Barroca – FY Information Management
- Human Resources (HR) with Robin Henry and Cathy Murphy – HR Management Consultants, as well as an HR Q&A panel with Scott McCann – Partner, Harris & Co. LLP and representatives from ESDC and the Province of BC
- Sessions with representatives from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) on topics such as Community Infrastructure programs, capital programs and assets management overview, and funding programs, agreements, and reporting
- Informal Coaching Circles on a variety of topics with guest speakers such as Howard E. Grant – Executive Director, First Nations Summit; Zandra Ross – Primary, Zandra Ross Coaching & Consulting; Adrienne Morrison – Records Management Archivist, Tsleil-Waututh Nation; Robert Louie – LAB Chairman, Lands Advisory Board (LAB); Gwen Phillips – Ktunaxa Nation; and more.
A full summary report will be shared widely with participants and those who contributed to the course development and delivery.
We would like to raise our hands to all the participants, advisory committee members, individual speakers, First Nations support organizations for lending their expertise and the participants’ First Nations Leadership for supporting their time commitment and learning throughout the entire course. FNPSS greatly enjoyed connecting with you all, and we look forward to future training, networking, and connection with First Nations across the province.
If you are interested in participating in the next iteration of the Foundations of First Nations Administration or would like to know more about any of FNPSS’ offerings, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.