MKO invites proposals from Manitoba First Nations, Tribal Councils, Treatment Centres and other qualified service providers for the development and implementation of the Manitoba First Nations Harm Reduction (the “Program”) Program.

Funding for the Program 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 harm reduction and mental health wellness needs of Manitoba First Nations and improve access to wraparound 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. March 08, 2024. Proposals must be forwarded by email to [email protected]. A proposal must include:
    1. A cover letter;
    2. A signed MKO Service Agreement; and
    3. A Workplan.
  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 March 04, 2024. All contracts entered into as a result of this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) will have effective dates of April 1, 2023.
  3. Contracts will be awarded for one (1) year; April 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024.
  4. All interested Manitoba First Nation Communities, Tribal Councils, Treatment Centres and other qualified service providers are eligible to submit proposals under this RFP.



  1. Funding is available for the establishment of a harm reduction program for 2023-2024.
  2. It is expected the annual cost of harm reduction will be approximately $25,000.00 based on the available resources by MKO. Proposals should target this amount or less depending on the services being proposed to be provided.


  1. To provide comprehensive, client-centered, culturally safe, community-based wraparound 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 Program will:
    1. Serve independent community and/or between four (4) and thirteen (11) Communities;
    2. Provide direct indigenous cultural services, clinical services, care coordination, monitoring, and wrap-around service reporting dedicated to the harm reduction of the Communities served;
    3. Engage as part of the regional network of supports currently in place, including any provincial health authority treatment centres, mental health crisis intervention teams, and/or all other harm reduction supports and/or services; and
    4. Improve access to wrap-around 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 Program 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, aftercare services, sharing of records, referral processes, follow-up and reporting; and
    4. Provide service and support to communities including ongoing training, de-briefing and the engagement of partners.



  1. To establish a Manitoba First Nations Harm Reduction program and services for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
  2. To increase access of Manitoba First Nations to comprehensive client-centered, culturally-safe community-based wraparound services including direct clinical services, outreach assessment, treatment, counselling, case management and referral;
  3. To provide more responsive and proactive wrap-around services to individuals including those in crisis; and
  4. To enhance wrap-around 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 Service Agreement signed by an Executive Director or the Band Manger by the support of the First Nation for which the proponent is seeking to provide services must be attached to the Proposal.
  2. Number of First Nation Communities Requirement. The Program is to serve a minimum of four (4) Manitoba First Nations and no more than ten (11) 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 in building financial capacity where a proposal is otherwise acceptable.
  3. The demonstrated Need for the Program services is reflected in statistics and indicators to demonstrate the need for wrap-around services.
  4. 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 Program would not impose “other ways” and respect the community’s ways of doing things.
  5. 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 substance use and mental health, therapeutic methods such as individual counseling, self-care, self-help groups and aftercare services.
  6. Community-Based Services and Activities in the First Nation Communities. Specify the Indigenous cultural services and clinical services the Program will provide in the First Nation communities. Family and community events can be part of the proposal. It is 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, and restores an individual to what he or she was before or what the individual wants to be.
  7. Regional Coordination. One of the main goals of the Program is to address the existing gaps in areas of centralization and coordination of supports with the Program response and wellness 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 harm reduction and mental health wellness.
  8. Evaluation Procedures. Specify mechanisms that will be put in place for the clients to evaluate the services of the Program including self-evaluation or user evaluation, external assessment, or outcomes analysis. The findings of the evaluation are part of the funding reporting requirements.