Terms of Reference

The First Nations Housing & Infrastructure Council – BC (“HIC”) was formed in 2017 (pursuant to a mandate from BC-AFN and political support from the BC Leadership Council representing the First Nations Summit, BC Assembly of First Nations and Union of BC Indian Chiefs) to support the creation of a BC First Nations Housing & Infrastructure Authority.

Approved by HIC - November 30, 2017

  • Mandate

    As a step in the path towards indigenous self-government, to manage the process to design and implement a First Nation’s controlled Housing & Infrastructure Authority (“Authority”) in British Columbia that will:

    1. Assume authority and control for First Nations housing & infrastructure program delivery in British Columbia; and

    2. deliver associated housing and infrastructure services.

  • General Approach

    The HIC will engage and collaborate with the First Nations housing and infrastructure community as it takes the following general steps create the Authority.

    1. Develop delivery model options and sanction a preferred option through a process that engages BC leadership and key housing players.

    2. Formalize the Authority (financial agreements, collaboration agreements and protocols, possible enabling legislation...)

    3. Physically create the delivery agent (office, staff, policies and procedures, governors…)

    4. Initiate operations (transfer delivery authorities, provide services, manage programs…)

  • Scope

    HIC is responsible for creating the Authority and will determine the scope of the Authority’s operations through its engagement with First Nations and the broader First Nations housing community.  Some items that will be scoped during this process include:

    • How the Authority relates to off-reserve housing;

    • What is infrastructure;

    • Does delivery extend to other aboriginal communities;

    • How the Authority relates to other FN’s authorities with mandates that may have some overlap, e.g., infrastructure, financial, service delivery; and

    • How the Authority fits within the national framework.

  • Authority

    HIC has the authority to:

    • Act as BC’s First Nations’ representative for the creation of the Authority;

    • Create and maintain its organizational structure;

    • Develop and implement its workplan;

    • Manage its own logistics; and

    • Manage its budget.

  • Responsibilities

    HIC is a political advocacy and management body that is responsible for:

    1. creating the Authority;

    2. collaborating with First Nations and the broader First Nations housing community to ensure that they are kept informed of, and participate in the development of the Authority;

    3. collaborating with key participants in the national initiative; and

    4. gaining agreement from BC First Nations political leadership to support this initiative as it unfolds.

  • Membership

    HIC will have 9 members as follows.

    • The BC Chief member of the National Chiefs Council on Housing & Infrastructure who will also serve as the Chair.

    • Three Chiefs selected by the current HIC members.

    • Two BC technical members of the National Chiefs Council on Housing & Infrastructure.

    • Two additional technical members selected by the HIC current members.

    • One youth member.


    There will be no alternates.


    HIC’s success and the creation of the proposed Authority depends on active and full participation of all members.  Members who cannot dedicate the time to fully participate will have their membership reviewed.


    Qualifications for chief members include familiarity with the overall housing intergovernmental and policy framework both nationally and provincially and currently holding the position of chief.  Chief members who move out of their chief’s position during their term with HIC will be replaced with a standing chief.


    Additional qualifications for the technical members include long-term senior level management experience at higher level housing policy and/or the creation of new large-scale institutions.


    Qualifications for the youth member include a demonstrated interest in the housing and infrastructure field and a good understanding on reaching youth in this process.


    HIC will invite additional experts to attend meetings, engage in focussed discussions and provide additional support as needed.

  • Chair

    The Chair will be the BC Chief member of the National Chiefs Council on Housing & Infrastructure (“CCOHI”) and will represent the HIC in political and senior level forums.

  • Administrative Support

    HIC will have an Executive Director who will manage all work on behalf of the council.

  • Spokesperson

    The Chair and the Executive Director are the designated spokespersons for HIC and will only speak on matters authorized by HIC.  Other HIC members may be delegated spokesperson responsibilities at the discretion of the Chair.

  • Transparency

    HIC will maintain records of HIC meetings and outreach sessions which will be posted on the HIC website.


    The Chair is generally responsible for ensuring that BC-AFN and the Leadership Council is regularly kept informed.


    HIC will maintain a communications strategy to keep all relevant parties informed of its activities.

  • Meetings

    HIC meetings will be scheduled as far as possible in advance and are subject to change at the discretion of the Chair.  Members can expect to dedicate 8 to 20 days per year to HIC work (primarily HIC meetings and engagement sessions).


    Meetings will be held throughout the province as often as possible with a portion of the meeting dedicated to receiving input from the local housing community.

  • Financial Support

    HIC costs will be covered by external sources (largely from the federal government).


    BC-AFN will be the entity responsible for signing and administering funding agreements, reimbursing travel and honoraria expenses, paying invoices (once approved by the Executive Director) and ensuring that the financial administration is kept up to date.


    The Executive Director is responsible for producing progress reports, ensuring project deliverables are provided, preparing proposals and otherwise supporting BC-AFN to ensure that HIC is adequately resourced and that financial contribution agreement requirements are met.


    Members will receive honoraria for each day worked plus a ½ day honoraria for travel days on behalf of HIC subject to the Executive Director’s approval.

  • Alliances

    The HIC will collaborate with a variety of federal, provincial and First Nations leaders and senior managers, First Nations communities, various First Nations housing service providers and other First Nations institutions that have assumed authority in other areas of First Nations’ lives.

  • Guiding Principles

    All HIC activities must:

    • Be based on consensus of the membership;

    • Maintain a professional approach;

    • Be culturally appropriate;

    • Deeply engage BC First Nations communities; and

    • Recognize and respect the diversity among First Nations communities.

  • Confidentiality

    HIC members are expected to maintain confidentiality on information that HIC may designate as confidential.

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