Closing the Gap

High-quality public infrastructure is critical to the health and sustainability of Indigenous communities. The First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII) is an Indigenous-led initiative that support Indigenous communities and organizations to plan, procure, own and manage their infrastructure assets on their lands.

Just as your home is more than a house…

Community Infrastructure is more than a collection of buildings and the roads that connect them. These are places of learning, belonging, sustainment, and healing.

FNII is an Indigenous-led organization designed to help Indigenous communities and organizations plan, procure, own and manage the places that have meaning to you.

Walking alongside Indigenous communities and organizations, our experienced roster of engineers, project managers and financial experts provide support services, workshops, templates and advice. All services are provided free of charge.

To learn more about the First Nations Infrastructure Institute download our free resources, watch this introductory video or book a workshop.

Our Communities Deserve Better Infrastructure

The current approach is unsustainable and First Nations and Indigenous organizations expect and deserve better results.

Planning projects that get funded

Our four-step approach covers planning, procuring, and building and managing.

FNII services are free of charge

Indigenous communities and organizations can access FNII services at no cost.

The problems with the current First Nation infrastructure system are well-known – infrastructure on reserves takes too long to develop, costs too much to build, and does not last long enough. This contributes to a series of poor health, social and economic outcomes. A new Indigenous-led institution, backed by legislation is envisioned to tackle these issues.

ORGANIZATION UPDATES

News

02.20.2024
NEWS
Getting Down to Business (Planning) for First Nations Infrastructure
The number “two” has several applications for the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. The Nation is made up of two reserves and the distinctive rock features that provide the “Kettle” part of its name are found in only two countries in the world. The Nation is also one of two communities that...
02.20.2024
NEWS
Maximizing Development Muscle – a How-To Story
When you’re a small First Nation with big plans, you use every tool you can to leverage your in-house expertise. For the Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation in Nova Scotia that meant using services offered by all the institutes of the First Nations Fiscal Management Act – and a few more besides. Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw (pronounced BUCK-in-keg MEEG-maw))...
02.20.2024
NEWS
FNII Helps Lead the Way to Greater First Nations Autonomy
More than 350 people from First Nations across the country met in Gatineau, Quebec last November for the sixth annual First Nations Leading the Way conference. The First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII) joined its institutional colleagues to highlight the achievements of Nations using First Nation-led agreements and legislation. The stories in this edition of the...
09.22.2023
NEWS
Procurement – Getting it Right When Getting Infrastructure Projects Off the Ground
“Excuse me, what’s this ‘procurement’ thing that you keep talking about?” The question brought John Dumbrell up short. As a member of the technical team for the First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII), Dumbrell had visited a First Nations community several times to discuss a plan to improve their wastewater system. At one of several public...
09.18.2023
NEWS
FNII Mourns Death of Development Board Member
The team at the First Nations Infrastructure Institute is mourning the death of FNII Development Board Member Geordi Kakepetum. Geordi passed away Aug. 2 in Thunder Bay. He had a long and successful career as a leader – first as Chief of Keewaywin First Nation and then as the founder of Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council....
09.18.2023
NEWS
FNII Development Board Members Look Back and Forward Following Institute’s Creation
In 2017, First Nations leaders from across the country formed a Development Board. Their mission? To guide the creation of an organization called the First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII). Why? To help First Nations and other Indigenous organizations develop their infrastructure projects in a faster, more cost-effective, and sustainable manner than the status quo. Manny...
07.10.2023
NEWS
First Nations Infrastructure Institute Now Formally Established
The First Nations Infrastructure Institute is now officially established under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act. The milestone took place June 20 following Royal Assent of amendments to the Act. The amendments address some of the barriers to First Nations’ economic development by providing First Nations communities and other Indigenous organizations with increased supports and...
07.10.2023
NEWS
In Their Words: Infrastructure Institute Attracts Widespread Support
Bill C-45, which amended the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, was introduced in Parliament on March 23, 2023 and received Royal Assent on June 20, 2023. The amendments included formally establishing the First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII) – a development that drew support across party lines. Here are some of the comments made during the...
07.10.2023
NEWS
Sharing the FNII Story in Atlantic Canada
As Members of Parliament and Senators were closing in on final passage of Bill C-45, members of the First Nations Infrastructure Institute’s technical team were headed east. The technical team spent the day with First Nations community leaders at a workshop sponsored by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs. Each has unique infrastructure...
05.10.2023
NEWS
Shovel Ready – The Steps To Break Ground on an Infrastructure Project
The term “shovel ready” indicates an infrastructure project is ready to start construction. But what does it take to get to that state? The short answer is: a lot! Technical advisors and Development Board members from the First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII) can elaborate on that. “What we think about when we think shovel ready...
05.10.2023
NEWS
Progress at Paqtnkek – FNII’s East Coast Development Project
The leaders of Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation (pronounced BUCK-in-keg MEEG-maw) in Nova Scotia are excited about being in on the ground floor working with the First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII). During the past two years, FNII technical director Jason Calla and colleagues have participated in a working group on a strategy for a robust water and...
05.10.2023
NEWS
Let’s Get Social! Check Out FNII on Social Media Channels
FNII’s on Facebook! Have a look and be sure to “like” us and share our posts so more people can learn about the First Nations Infrastructure Institute. FNII also has a YouTube channel where we have posted introductory videos about the institute as well as a series of webinar recordings that cover the steps to...
04.5.2023
NEWS
FNII’s Podcast Channel – New Technology Amplifies Indigenous Storytelling
Did you know that almost 40 per cent of Canadians have listened to a podcast in the last month? Podcasts are digital audio content distributed over the Internet using a podcast hosting service. They are a hugely popular method of sharing stories because listeners can tune in whenever it’s convenient to them. Podcasts are particularly...
04.5.2023
NEWS
Making Waves With Canada’s First Indigenous Water Utility
As the Chief Executive Officer of the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority, Carl Yates is leading an organization that has made history as the first Indigenous water utility in Canada. In June 2020, Indigenous Services Canada and the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority (AFNWA) signed a framework agreement to transfer responsibility for water and wastewater...
04.5.2023
NEWS
Federal Legislation Introduced to Establish First Nations Infrastructure Institute
The First Nations Infrastructure Institute marked an important milestone toward its official formation with the introduction March 23 of amendments to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act. Some amendments will formally establish the institute under the Act as a First Nations-led organization that will support interested First Nations and other Indigenous groups and organizations with...
03.20.2023
NEWS
Building Self-Determination With Better Infrastructure
When the topic of First Nations self-determination comes up – infrastructure isn’t usually what comes to mind. However, a number of Indigenous leaders are working to change that. They are the people guiding the development of a new organization: the First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII), and they say good infrastructure is central to enabling First...
03.20.2023
NEWS
Resources For Building Better FN Infrastructure
The First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII) may not be formally established through legislation yet – but that doesn’t mean it’s not offering services! FNII offers a suite of free tools and templates to help First Nations at any stage of their infrastructure projects. Resources include a business case template, a project charter drafting tool, a...
03.20.2023
NEWS
First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII) Development Board calls for individual and collective action
Tk’emlups te Secwepemc [Kamloops, BC] The First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII) Development Board adds our voice to the growing chorus of First Nations communities and Indigenous organizations calling for individual and collective action in the wake of the discovery of remains of 215 children on the former grounds of Kamloops Indian Residential School. As an...