At the direction of the Chiefs and leadership, Grand Council Treaty No. 3 works to further Nation building and the exercising of inherent jurisdiction through the advancement of social services (CA-12-10). Through jurisdictional initiatives, Treaty No. 3 is working towards social safety nets that meet community needs. Jurisdiction and advocacy efforts in Social Assistance have currently been focused on addressing inequitable services availability within Treaty No. 3 First Nations. GCT3 participates in provincial social services technical tables with both provincial and federal partners. At these tables, Treaty No. 3 works to educate policy makers on the unique needs, concerns, and context for social services in Treaty No. 3.

Grand Council Treaty No. 3 has also been working towards improved accessibility of Ontario Disability Supports programming for Treaty No. 3. GCT#3 has also been in discussion with Canada regarding their Social Assistance programs. Starting in 2018, several Social Assistance Gatherings were held in Treaty No. 3 to identify needed improvements to the federal Income program. These gatherings identified priorities such as:

  • Reducing current system barriers that make applications difficult for clients; (intake forms, multiple application formats for those with/without access to telecommunications)
  • Improved program delivery to meet unique community needs
  • Increased scope of services covered through programing

Indigenous Services Report on engagement sessions with Indigenous stakeholders can be found here:


Min-O-Qwe-Ke-Ga-Bwe’in Social Services Initiative

Min-O-Que-Ke-Ga-Bwe’in Social Services Initiative (MSSI) has been provided by Kenora Chiefs Advisory since 1998. Grand Council Treaty and the Chiefs in Assembly have supported this program and advocated alongside KCA to provincial partners for funding (CA-188-14, CA-20-45). Since 2007, the seven member First Nations have provided Ontario Works through a group delivery model under MSSI.


Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong

Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong was created by the Chiefs of Treaty #3. They provide employment and training under the Aboriginal Skills Employment Training Agreement.


Need more information on Social assistance programs?

Social Services can be broadly divided into disability supports, and employment services. Both have financial and job readiness programs. Information on the services available within these provincial or federal programs can be found on their perspective pages.

Manitoba Employment Income Assistance (EIA):

Ontario Works (OW):

Ontario Disability Supports Program (ODSP):

Federal Income Assistance (IA):


If you have questions or concerns regarding a Social Assistance decision, there are avenues for you to appeal



If you disagree with an OW decision:

  1. Ensure you have the Notice of Decision sent to you be OW
  2. OW provides 30 days after the notice is issued (33 if mailed) to request an internal review of the decision. A template letter generation can be found here:
  3. The next step will be the Social Benefits Tribunal

Ontario also has an independent oversight office, the Ontario Ombudsman. Complaints about ODSP and OW can be brought before this office. Complaint forms can be found here:   Make a Complaint – Ontario Ombudsman



There are two options available to address concerns with Social Assistance within Manitoba The government of Manitoba has a Fair Practices Office that will investigate and mediate disputes within social assistance.

Fair Practices Office
Phone: 204-945-1047
Toll Free: 1-800-282-8069
ext. 1047
Fax: 204-948-3713

The second avenue is the Services Appeal Board (SSAB). This independent body reviews appeals to government program decisions, like EIA. There is a 30-day window to submit an appeal to the SSAB after an EIA decision has been issued in writing.

Social Services Appeal Board
7th Floor – 175 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3R8
Telephone (Winnipeg): 204-945-3003
Toll free: 1-800-282-8069



Income Assistance questions, concerns and appeals should first be directed to local administrators. If within 60 days there has been no response, or information has not ben provided, the complaints coordinator of Indigenous and Northern Affairs can be reached.

Phone: 1-855-504-6760
Fax: 1-819-934-2352

Social Assistance Service Training

Ontario Native Welfare Administrator’s Association (ONWAA)

ONWAA is a non-profit organization that provides services to First Nation Social Service Administrators in Ontario. These services work towards building capacity in communities and support the professional development of First Nation Administrators overseeing social service delivery in communities. The provide in-person, and online training as well as provide assistance in policy analysis.

Phone: 705-942-3157
21 Wilmer’s Rd.
Neyaashiingmiing, On
N0H 2T0