AMC disagrees with Canada’s process for awarding third-party contracts for First Nations in Manitoba
May 5, 2020
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Arlen Dumas today is expressing concerns with the unilateral processes Indigenous and Northern Affairs (ISC) and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch continue to utilize in suppressing First Nations enterprise and ignoring their own procurement policies, with the most recent example of this being the awarding of a recent contract for construction of a field hospital located in Mathias Colomb First Nation. This temporary field hospital, which will be built by a non-First Nations company based in Newfoundland Labrador, is intended to treat and contain potential COVID-19 cases within the Nation should it spread to the northern Treaty territories of Manitoba.
“While the AMC supports all locally determined initiatives that benefit the well-being of First Nations citizens in Manitoba, including temporary COVID-19 mitigation efforts, we were blindsided by media reports describing the contract,” said Grand Chief Dumas. “We were surprised to learn of this tendering process through the media, given that Manitoba Chiefs and I are on regular teleconference call meetings with both the ISC Regional Director General, and the FNIHB Regional Executive Officer. Neither of Canada’s regional representatives mentioned this process. First Nations in Manitoba, as well as First Nations enterprise and First Nations-owned construction companies, could have easily built this project through a joint venture under federal procurement policies and according to standards.”