MKO invites proposals from Manitoba First Nations, Tribal Councils, Treatment Centre’s and other qualified service providers for the development and implementation of Manitoba First Nations Mental Wellness Initiative.

Funding for the Initiative is being provided pursuant to a Health Funding Contribution Agreement between the Government of Canada and MKO.

The focus of the Funding Agreement is to assist in addressing the mental health and wellness needs of Manitoba First Nations and improve access to mental wellness services and supports in a manner consistent with the traditions, culture, and values of Manitoba’s First Nations.


  1. Proposals must be received by MKO on or before 5:00 p.m. May 27, 2024. Proposals must be forwarded by email to [email protected] and use the format attached as Attachment A (the “Proposal Form”). A proposal must include:
    1. A cover letter;
    2. A Statement of Qualification and Experience; and
    3. A Proposal Form.
  2. All proposals will be assessed by MKO’s Wellness Team Selection Committee, and all proponents will receive notification of whether they will be offered a Service Agreement and the terms of any such Agreement, no later than October 14, 2024. All contracts must be in no later than October 14, 2024.
  3. All contracts entered into as a result of this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) will have effective dates of October 14, 2024.
  4. Contracts will be awarded for one (1) year; October 14, 2024, through March 31, 2025. Funding is available in the Manitoba region.
  5. All interested Manitoba First Nation Communities, Tribal Councils, Treatment Centre’s and other qualified service providers are eligible to submit proposals under this RFP.


  1. Funding is available for the establishment of a mental wellness teams initiative.
  2. It is expected the annual cost of an initiative will be approximately $50,000.00. Proposals should target this amount or less depending on the services being proposed to be provided.  In the event a proposal is for an amount greater than $100,000.00 it will still be considered however only provided in exceptional circumstances.


  1. To provide comprehensive, client-centered, culturally safe, community-based mental wellness services to Manitoba’s First Nations, including direct clinical services, cultural supports and care coordination enabling communities to be more proactive in addressing the needs of vulnerable Members.


  1. Each Team will:
    1. Serve between four (4) and thirteen (11) Communities;
    2. Provide direct indigenous cultural services, clinical services, care coordination, monitoring and pre-crisis reporting dedicated to the mental wellbeing of the Communities served;
    3. Engage as part of the regional network of supports currently in place, including any provincial health authority treatment center’s, mental health crisis intervention teams and/or all other mental health supports and/or services; and
    4. Improve access to mental wellness services and supports, link with existing services, bring together community, cultural and clinical approaches to care and services, be responsive to Communities and build capacity, tailored to specific community and regional contexts.


  1. The Initiative will:
    1. Be community-driven and capable of providing culturally competent care, being responsive to communities and building capacity tailored to specific community and regional contexts;
    2. Be responsible for hiring and training team members utilizing a combination of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers (e.g., traditional teachers, cultural counsellors, Elders), professionals (e.g. psychologists, social workers, nurses, psychiatrists) as well as para-professionals (e.g., coordinators, outreach and after-care counsellors, recreation therapists, youth counsellors, justice workers, youth outreach/support workers, wellness facilitators, program evaluators, health and addictions educators) depending on the location and availability as well as the need for these particular skill sets within regional health systems existing in a particular First Nations Community;
    3. Develop all protocols and processes around intake procedures, assessments, treatment planning, after care services, sharing of records, referral processes, follow-up, and reporting; and
    4. Provide service and supports to communities including ongoing training, de-briefing, and the engagement of partners.


  1. To increase access of Manitoba First Nations to comprehensive client-centered, culturally safe community-based wellness services including direct clinical services, outreach assessment, treatment, counselling, case management and referral;
  2. To provide more responsive and proactive mental services to individuals including those in crisis; and
  3. To enhance mental health services in collaboration with Communities, Tribal Councils, and all existing regionally based services.


MKO wants to ensure a fair process in the selection of proposals. A Selection Committee will be established with fair representation of Manitoba First Nations. Conflict of Interest guidelines will be enforced for all Selection Committee members. Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:

  1. First Nation Leadership Support. A letter of support or Band Council resolution from the Council and/or Tribal Councils of the First Nation for which the proponent is seeking to provide services must be attached to the Proposal. Proponents can provide a Band Council resolution from each community indicating full support for the Wellness Initiative or a letter of support from Chief of each community to be served. Independent First Nations or a First Nation organization not affiliated with a Tribal Council submitting proposals involving Tribal Councils member communities require a written resolution of the Tribal Council Board of Directors to confirm the support of the proposal.
  2. Number of First Nation Communities Requirement. The Wellness Team Initiative is serving a minimum of four (6) Manitoba First Nations and no more than ten (10) Manitoba First Nations. Any First Nation can submit a proposal as long as it meets the criteria outlined in the Request for proposal. A First Nation organization that is in third party management or co-management will not be disqualified because of this status. MKO wants to remain flexible in order to assist a First Nation to build financial capacity where a proposal is otherwise acceptable.
  3. Demonstrated Need. Need for Wellness Team Initiative services is reflected in statistics and indicators to demonstrate the need for wellness services. Enclosed for your reference are statistics MKO compiled by region on the suicide rate, premature mortality rate (death before the age of 75), potential years of life lost (number of potential years of life lost by residents), and life expectancy.
  1. Indigenous Cultural Services. Indigenous cultural services can include indigenous ceremonies, spirituality, and land-based activities. Practices and Practitioners networking, ceremonies would be ones where community members feel comfortable such as feasts, sharing circles, going to the elders to sit down and talk, pipe ceremony, sweat lodge, and/or culture camps to acquire Indigenous traditional teachings. The community’s local practices are significant insomuch as the Wellness Team Initiative would not impose “other ways” and respect the community’s ways of doing things.
  2. Clinical Services. Clinical services can focus on systematic procedures to client assessments, individualized treatment plans, suicide prevention, educational awareness, capacity development and training, support services, case management, referrals, specialized services for coexisting mental health and substance use, therapeutic methods such as individual counseling, self-care, self-help groups and aftercare services.
  3. Community Based Services and Activities in the First Nation communities. Specify the Indigenous cultural services and clinical services the Wellness Team Initiative will provide in the First Nation communities. Family and community events can be part of the proposal. It also important to specify the communication and reporting relationship to the communities served. Recreation therapy is recognized as a therapeutic which are activities that are fun, active and rejuvenates a person. Something that is good for a person has healing qualities, restores an individual to what he or she was before or what the individual wants to be.
  4. Regional Coordination. One of the main goals of the Mental Wellness Initiative is to address the existing gaps in areas of centralization and coordination of supports with mental health crisis response and wellness teams for Manitoba First Nations. MKO aspires to work in partnership with Independent First Nations and Tribal Councils to assist Manitoba in an effective coordinated fashion to address the needs in crisis response and mental health wellness. Clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the MKO mobile crisis response team and mental health wellness teams as well as those of community-based crisis response teams.

Evaluation Procedures. Specify mechanisms that will be put in place for the clients to evaluate the services of the mental wellness initiative including self-evaluation or user evaluation, external assessment, or outcomes analysis. The findings of the evaluation are part of the funding reporting requirements.