The 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 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 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.

The Transitional Agreement for the Interim Delivery of First Nations Employment and Training Services in BC was signed on April 2, 1996. The Transitional Agreement provided for the interim HRDC funding transfers to First Nations prior to the signing of a Regional Bilateral Agreement (RBA) by the Assembly of First Nations BC.

During this transitional period, the Okanagan Ktunaxa Aboriginal Management Society (OKAMS) split into two regions following 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, 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.

otdc development

On January 15, 1997 the AFNBC and HRDC signed a Regional Framework Agreement that provides for First Nations' controlled employment and training program delivery. The Framework Agreement enables Bilateral Agreements between HRDC and Aboriginal organizations supported by First Nations.

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, included below:

• Okanagan Indian Band • Westbank First Nation
• Penticton Indian Band • Osoyoos Indian Band
• Upper Similkameen Indian Band • Lower Similkameen Indian Band
• East Kootenay Bands • West Kootenays

The OKAMB allocated funds for the training and employment to a variety of aboriginal organizations within its service area. Technical support for OKAMB administration and funding allocations was provided by HRDC, coordinated by the HRDC office in Kelowna. The board members were aboriginal representatives for the areas in and around towns located in the OKAMB service area, selected by existing board members in response to recommendations from various aboriginal organizations.

empowering change training

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. Programs added on to the EI and CRF are Youth, Capacity Building and Disability.


OTDC today! 

The Band area shadow allocations will be used to provide programs and services for both on and off reserve organizations in that area and the OTDC accepts this responsibility within the limits of the funding allocations provided.

OTDC has modified CJS programs. 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.