Request for Proposals: Legal Counsel

Request for Proposals

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Issued by:
Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nations (AOPFN)

1657A Mishomis Inamo, Pikwakanagan , ON K0J 1X0

Issue date: June 8, 2020

Proposal Delivery Deadline Date: June 25, 2020  5:00pm EST

Proposal Delivery Location:

Direct inquiries to: Dan Kohoko, Councillor, 613- 633 -7635 (verbal)


The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nations (AOPFN) is seeking to hire a Legal Counsel responsible for providing legal advice and support to all areas of the AOPFN Self-Government Negotiating Team.  This will ensure that the activities are conducted in accordance with the AOPFN Negotiation Terms of Reference, governing policies and relevant jurisprudence.

Negotiations will be for a comprehensive Self-Government agreement.  Council determines the priority order of items provided government negotiators are in agreement.

The AOPFN has secured funding for this multi-year project in line with similar industry and work at competitive rates.



The Legal Advisor ensures the achievement of specific work plans, priorities and objectives as defined by the Council and the Chief Negotiator.  The incumbent provides in-house legal counsel, interpretations guidance and advice on a broad range of matters including First Nations treaty rights, land claims, government, education, health, child welfare, trusts, housing and other issues to assist in the AOPFN’s specific negotiation objectives.  The Legal Advisor ensures that AOPFN Self Government objectives are possible within the Canadian Constitution. The Legal Advisor researches and develops sound and defensible legal strategies and positions aimed at advancing the successful achievement of the Negotiating Team’s desired outcomes or options for best achievable outcomes. The Legal Advisor develops positive, reciprocal relationships with government officials, both nationally and provincially, to negotiate, enact, advance and promote AOPFN rights, treaties, agreements, positions, policies and interests.

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, solve problems, make recommendations, and draw valid conclusions in a timely and accurate manner.

AOPFN is seeking a reputable, dynamic, confident and highly skilled Legal Counsel with a law degree (L.L.B or JD) from a recognized university and a member in good standing of a Provincial bar, eligible for membership with the LSUC.  A minimum of 3 years of experience as in-house legal counsel for First Nation community or at a traditional law firm with expertise in aboriginal law and significant knowledge and in-depth understanding of the law as it pertains to First Nations issues and in particular treaties, land claims and management, legislation, First Nation government, socio-economic, health and other related matters. Previous experience acting as Legal Counsel in complex and multi-dimensional negotiations with federal and provincial governments. The individual will have in-depth experience managing multiple issues and can demonstrate exceptional critical thinking skills on a strategic level and ability to mediate and apply successful problem solving and conflict resolution techniques.


The work will include the following components:

Specific Accountabilities:

  • Leads, focuses, builds and develops the successful achievement of AOPFN’s Self-Government plans, goals and objectives.
  • Priorities include delivering a senior legal counsel function to the Negotiating Team, retaining and relating with external legal counsel;
  • The Legal Advisor will be assisting the Chief Negotiator with the initial priorities for the jurisdiction as follows: a) financing the Pikwakanagan government; b) Algonquin membership and citizenship and; c) natural resources use within the traditional territory;
  • Reviewing and advising the AOPFN regarding the Negotiation Terms of Reference;
  • Advising on protocols that are consistent with the constitutions; reviewing contract & contribution and funding agreements and advising as to their implication to the AOPFN;
  • Providing technical and legal oversight for all matters relating to treaties, First Nation government, Section 35 Constitution Act, Aboriginal rights, etc.
  • Develops, communicates, directs, implements and monitors work plans and advising on the operating costs and expenditures to ensure they remains within the allocated budget;
  • Considers and refers requests for legal assistance & support from First Nation communities and leaders;
  • Participates in developing and transforming policies into the legal framework & structure that fits with the AOPFN terms of reference, and protocols on Self-Government legal requirements;
  • Participates as an integral member of the negotiation team, contributing positively to strategic and tactical planning processes;
  • Builds, develops and maintains strong and productive networks and relationships with national, regional and community First Nation leaders, experts, and government officials, to advance and negotiate AOPFN positions;
  • Represents the AOPFN in a variety of forums related to laws, legislation, self- government and related matters, promoting the interests of the AOPFN, enhancing the AOPFN’s profile and improving public awareness and understanding.


Communication Functions

Internal Communications

  1. Prepares materials such as briefing notes, speaking notes, presentations, and reports (e.g., workplans, letters, review minutes etc.), to be done within specified timelines. All final approved documents should be filed in AOPFN record keeping system.
  2. Interacts and positively communicates with others via telephone, electronically, in-person, and via video-conferencing ie: zoom, skype, etc.
  3. Delivers presentations, as required.
  4. Participates in community consultation initiatives


External Communications

  1. Builds, develops and maintains strong and productive:
    • networks;
    • relationships with national, regional and community First Nation leaders, specialists, organizations and communities; and
    • relationships with government officials (federal, provincial, and territorial).
  2. Supports the team’s efforts by promoting the interests of the AOPFN, enhancing the AOPFN’s profile and improving public awareness and understanding.
  3. Attends national, regional, and local engagement and information sessions, as required.


Political Functions

  1. Provides support to the AOPFN’s negotiation team on activities with political priorities from the Chief’s Office and Council as appropriate.
  2. Attends and negotiation team’s meetings with various government representatives, agencies etc.
  3. Monitors and/or attends Parliamentary standing committees, as appropriate and as required.
  4. Assists to advocate federal government Ministers and federal government officials for funding, policy and legislative changes, program changes and implementation, and to influence advocacy that positively impacts AOPFN self-government priorities and objectives.
  5. Assists in providing Chiefs’ access to federal Ministers and high-level government officials, as required.


General Functions

  1. Assists with planning and preparation of materials for key milestone events, such as pre-budget submissions, the annual report and other high-level reports.
  2. Assists with the preparation of budget/funding proposals for submission to federal government departments.
  3. Assist with reporting requirements of funding agreements.
  4. Conducts other duties as may be required and assigned by the Chief and Council and the negotiation team lead.


Work to begin by no later than August 1, 2020, and completed by March 31, 2023.  A preliminary Work Plan and Schedule for 2020/2021 is available for discussion.

Proposals will be accepted only in the form of electronic files. The following documents should be attached to the submission:

  1. Project Overview: This section will include approach to the scope and complexities of the work, foreseeable challenges and how to deal with them, a timeline for activities, management approach and leadership style and practices, team approach, work statement and schedule
  2. Capabilities and Experience: This section will include credentials, highlight relevant past and current experience, skills, competencies and capacity, notable achievements and examples of successful delivery of mandate, desired results and/or best outcomes; examples of recent relevant work and references.
  3. Budget/Costs: A detailed cost breakdown inclusive of projected hours, hourly rate, resources, travel, accommodations, meals and materials should be available for a follow up discussion.