Okanagan Training & Development Council (OTDC) Service Areas consist of six band memberships; Okanagan Indian Band, Westbank First Nation, Penticton Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian Band, Upper Similkameen Indian Band and Lower Similkameen Band. OTDC also manages a West Kootenay Service Area.
OTDC - a brief history
On January 23, 1996 a National Framework Agreement on Human Resources Development was signed by the First Nations and the Government of Canada. Under this agreement federal funding for aboriginal training and employment services, previously known as Pathway to Success, administered during the 1995-1996 fiscal year by aboriginal management boards, was transferred to direct First Nations control as of April 1, 1997. A Regional Bilateral Agreement (RBA) between Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) and the Assembly of First Nations, British Columbia (AFNBC) puts into place the conditions under which this funding transfer is to occur in BC.
Initially, the Okanagan Ktunaxa Aboriginal Management Society (OKAMS) was formed to service two regions and Tribal affiliations. The Ktunaxa Kinbasket group in the East Kootenay service area and the Okanagan group in the Okanagan / Similkameen / West Kootenay service area. Upon the negotiation and signing of a Regional Bilateral Agreement (RBA), the Council assumed full control, with the ability to design training programs and counseling services which best met the needs of the communities they serve. OTDC's mandate will include service to both on and off reserve communities, long time residents and newcomers to the Okanagan and West Kootenay area.
On January 15, 1997 the AFNBC and HRDC signed a Regional Framework Agreement that provides for First Nations' controlled employment and training program delivery.
Prior to April 1, 1996, the Okanagan Aboriginal Management Board (OKAMB) was the vehicle through which HRDC funds for First Nations in the Okanagan / Kootenay area were allocated and administered. This board was the offspring of the District Advisory Board (DAB) system through which HRDC offices formerly made decisions on funding for aboriginal training and employment.
The OKAMB was responsible for a large service area, including: Okanagan Indian Band, Westbank First Nation, Penticton Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian Band, Upper Similkameen Indian Band, Lower Similkameen Indian Band, East Kootenay Bands, and West Kootenays.
As of April 1, 1996, First Nations in BC were empowered to establish their own local or regional administrative authorities to administer and allocate federal funding for training and employment services to aboriginal people. These administrative authorities are to replace the aboriginal management board systems. In July of 1999, the existing RBAs were changed over to Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreements (AHRDAs). Program allocations included Employment Insurance (EI) and Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF)Youth, OTDC Capacity Building and Disability.
The Band Service Area shadow allocations are used to provide programs and services for both on and off reserve organizations in the geographic area and the OTDC accepts this responsibility within the limits of the funding allocations provided.
OTDC is directed by a Council made up of seven representatives, one from each of the band areas with the two reps being from Okanagan Indian Band to reflect the larger aboriginal population. The Council has contracted two consultants provide administrative support system. Most of the Service Areas have an Employment Assistance contract to assist with the client employment services OTDC is required to provide. OTDC has developed it's own programs within agreement guidelines.