Request for Proposals: Scoping research on Indigenous housing

About the Foundation

The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian philanthropic foundation that contributes to diverse and innovative approaches to address community resilience, reconciliation and climate change. We do so through funding and investment partnerships, strengthening capabilities, convening, and collaborating with the public, private and non-profit sectors.


About the Reconciliation Focus Area

The McConnell Foundation’s Reconciliation focus area seeks to fund projects that advance a reconciliation economy where wealth and resources are equitably shared and sustainably stewarded for this generation and those yet to come, in relationship with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

The strategies of the Reconciliation focus area:

  1. Indigenous-led solutions to activate the 107 NIES Calls to Economic Prosperity
  2. Indigenous-led collaborative funding projects

The living legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its 94 Calls to Action, as well as the Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action, inform the McConnell Foundation’s work with partners and communities to contribute to a reconciliation economy in relationship with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.


The Reconciliation team is interested in having more information on Indigenous housing. We are aware that factors such as a community’s small population, the high cost of mobilization across communities, and the lack of contact with mainstream housing actors are some complex challenges that specifically impact on-reserve housing.  

Within its Reconciliation focus area, the Foundation is interested in finding out how and where Indigenous-led groups and nonprofits are engaging Indigenous housing solutions, including groups that have specific housing needs such as: women, single parents, youth, elders, persons with disabilities, returning offenders, etc. Organizations engaging with Indigenous housing solutions can also be non-profit home finance providers, or unincorporated groups in First Nations communities with an interest in exploring housing priorities and solutions.   


About the Request for Proposals

For this scoping work, we invite consultants (firms or individuals) to work on a landscape analysis of organizations focusing on both on and off reserve housing and to identify who are the key players, innovation leaders and collaborators within the sector.  

The purpose of this activity is to provide McConnell with: 

  • An overview of the actors, their needs, and issues  
  • Categories of groups (as defined above)  
  • Geographic distribution of housing activity.  

Moving forward, McConnell may use this information to convene and share the results with identified organizations to explore promising housing initiatives or solutions. 

Focus should be paid to areas where the housing sector faces additional challenges, or where collaborative efforts are being made (such as on and off reserve groups working together). Identification of mainstream housing actors with the capacity to play a support role should also be explored. 

This research will not focus on: (1) First Nation governments and groups and corporations owned or controlled by them such as AFN, Tribal Councils, and local or regional housing authorities; and (2) for-profit corporations and interests. 


Key Deliverables

The Foundation envisions the following elements as critical to a successful process and outcome. We are open to different ideas as long as the approach meets our goal of scoping the relevant actors and actions within the Indigenous housing sector in Canada.  

  • Deliverable 1 – Inception Report

Following an inception meeting where the McConnell team will share any relevant documents and the terms are agreed upon, the consultant(s) will draft a short report detailing their methodology and timeline for the completion of the scoping exercise. 

  • Deliverable 2 – Draft Landscape Report

The report will include the identification of key groups along with: 

    1. Region (Province, territory, municipality or other regional status) 
    2. Corporate status, vision, objectives, and mandate 
    3. Current or proposed activities and priorities 
    4. Groups served (as defined above) 
    5. Names of key contacts 
  • Deliverable 3 – Recommendations

Annexed to the report, a section on key observations and recommendations that resulted from the scoping exercise that could help McConnell’s efforts moving forward. 

Overall, we expect the term of the mandate to last four months. 



Depending on the scope of proposals, the Foundation will allocate up to $25,000 (plus applicable taxes) to be confirmed with the successful consulting firm or consultant.


Application Process

Please send a proposal of a maximum of 5 pages including: overview of your proposed methodology, deliverables, experience with similar mandates, timeline and budget. (Bios can be annexed).  



We recognize that social, political and financial harms are profound and complex and have been enacted through systematic efforts to erase Indigenous peoples from these lands. Our approach emphasizes the importance of building respectful relationships and we are open to adapting to the cultural realities of applicants, including removing specific barriers or offering accommodation in this Request for Proposal process. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email at: so that we can create the necessary conditions so that you can participate fully. All information received in relation to accommodation will be kept confidential.  


Application Deadline

Please send your proposals no later than March 14, 2024, to the Reconciliation team by email at: 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We aim to select the consultant(s) in March 2024. 


Expertise of Consultant

In line with the Reconciliation Focus Area Strategy, our funding prioritizes partnering with Indigenous-led consultants/firms. We are seeking a consultant (individuals or a firm) with a track record of successful delivery related to the following competencies: 

  1. Substantial experience working with Indigenous people and communities 
  2. Proven expertise in drafting research, mapping, and landscape reports in Canada 
  3. Proven knowledge of the Indigenous housing sector in Canada 
  4. Proven knowledge of Indigenous social needs, history, law and policy related to Indigenous communities both on/off reserve. 

In addition to the essential expertise outlined above, preference will be given to consultants who:  

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the charitable and non-profit sector in Canada. 
  • Demonstrate understanding of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in Canadian philanthropy.  
  • Can work in English and in French.  
  • Are Indigenous-led.


Criteria of evaluation 

In reviewing Expressions of Interest, we will consider the following:  

  • Does the proposal reflect a clear understanding of the project’s goals?  
  • Is there a clear path to address each section of the RFP? 
  • Will the approach bring new ways of thinking and creative ideas to the project and the McConnell team? 
  • Is the plan SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely)? 
  • Is the plan to collaborate with the McConnell team effective?  
  • Does the consulting firm have knowledge and experience engaging effectively and respectfully with equity-deserving communities? 

For more information, kindly contact the Reconciliation team at 

Thank you for your interest in this RFP and the McConnell Foundation. We look forward to hearing from you.