Policy and Advocacy

Economic Development

The Office of the Federal Interlocutor (OFI) collaborates with partners from across Canada to pursue economic development opportunities for Métis and Non-Status Indian (MNSI) organizations. Specifically, OFI works with its partners to identify resources, gaps, and opportunities those MNSI organizations and provincial and federal governments could focus on to promote self-sufficiency, wealth creation, and increased participation in the Canadian economy for the MNSI populations. Activities are inclusive in nature, and focus on demonstrable results that produce tangible and progressive outcomes.

OFI has established significant relationships with federal, provincial and MNSI partners, reflected by the federal / provincial / Aboriginal economic development strategies that have been developed and/or are in the implementation stage across the country (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia).

These relationships are invaluable, particularly in the context of the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development which was launched in June 2009. This Framework represents a new and comprehensive approach to Aboriginal economic development that reflects significant, real and growing opportunities for Aboriginal people in Canada.

The Framework recognizes that federal actions in support of Aboriginal economic development must be responsive to the unique circumstances of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis across Canada. Taking advantage of economic opportunities and addressing the needs of Métis and non-status Indians requires different strategies than for First Nations on-reserve or Inuit in the North. The Framework is sufficiently flexible to address the varied needs of Métis and non-Status individuals and businesses across the country.

The OFI also played an important role in the Métis Economic Development Symposium in December 2009, a historic meeting that brought together governments and Métis leadership to improve economic development opportunities for Métis as set out in the Métis Nation Protocol.


Education is the foundation of economic and social success in Canada. Improved Aboriginal educational outcomes are a prerequisite to empowering Aboriginal Canadians to take greater control of their lives. Education enhances self-sufficiency, personal fulfillment, and economic prosperity, and helps prepare Aboriginal people for job training, skills development, and entrepreneurship.

In striving to improve the quality of education available to off-reserve Aboriginal Canadians, the Office of the Federal Interlocutor works with Aboriginal groups and provinces to create strong and accountable partnerships and projects that lead to demonstrable improvements for Aboriginal students.

This includes, but is not limited to: the development of curriculum and programming that reflects Aboriginal cultural perspectives as well as the holistic nature of Aboriginal lifelong learning; an increase in the number of Aboriginal administrators, teachers, and other personnel employed in the school system; stronger support for vulnerable learners; improved data tracking and accountability; as well as the inclusion of traditional leadership from elders and community members.

OFI will continue to work with partners and provinces to ensure the learning needs of Métis and urban Aboriginal people are addressed in schools across Canada.

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Aboriginal Policy Research Network

The Aboriginal Policy Research Network (APRN) supports the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians in its advocacy and policy development role. The mandate of the APRN is to inform and increase policy research and dialogue on issues affecting Métis, Non-Status Indians and urban Aboriginal peopleFootnote 1.

The OFI recognizes the need to develop a cohesive approach to addressing policy issues that are specific to, or have a significant impact on Métis, Non-Status Indians and urban Aboriginal peoples. There is a lack of research on these issues, despite the reality that these groups represent the majority of Aboriginal people in Canada.

The APRN seeks to address this gap by stimulating timely policy research and dialogue. Since 2007 it has actively created a network of scholars, researchers, policy practitioners and community members working across various sectors on issues affecting Métis, Non-Status Indians and urban Aboriginal peoples. With projects informed by the advice of a Research Advisory Committee comprised of top scholars in the field, the APRN serves as a key partner on projects with universities, Aboriginal organizations and other levels of government in supporting high quality, relevant research. Additionally APRN colloquia and workshops provide a forum for bringing together policy-makers, researchers, and Aboriginal community representatives for discussion of key policy questions.

The APRN encourages research on a broad range of themes, including:

The APRN supports various methodologies and approaches, including a holistic indigenous and participatory methodological approach that views issues as interconnected.

Planning and Reporting

The Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non Status-Indians (OFI) recognizes that performance measurement and results-based management must be an integral and integrated part of OFI's day to day business at all levels.

As such, the Policy and Advocacy Team works with all of OFI's business lines to ensure that corporate planning and reporting documents including, but not limited to the Departmental Performance Report, the Report on Plans and Priorities, the Performance Management Framework, and the Quarterly reports are of the highest quality.

This role includes undertaking efforts to ensure that the corporate governance structures for OFI (i.e. Program Activity Architecture and the Performance Management Framework) are such that they lead to a results-oriented approach to reporting that accurately captures OFI's key activities. This also includes working closely with the regions and all headquarter business lines to coordinate info and also to provide feedback as appropriate.

OFI's objective is to continue to be seen as a leader within the department with respect to planning and reporting.

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