Records & Information Management Project
It is essential for self-governing First Nations (SGFNs) to create, maintain, and utilize their own government’s records in an accountable way. They are responsible for the management of all records in their custody, as there are legal implications for destroying records without the proper authority.
Following good records management practices will not only help meet legal requirements, but will improve access to information, control growth of materials taking up office space, reduce operational costs, minimize litigation risks and safeguard vital information while supporting better management when implementing government structures. Sound records management practices also allow SGFNs to make clear, concise and knowledgeable decisions which will preserve their Yukon First Nation history.
Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) and Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) undertook a multi-year, multi-pronged, two-phase Records & Information Management project, which ended in 2016.
The Electronic Information & Records Management Training addressed the specific record management needs of KDFN and TTC as they implemented their self-governing agreements. This training project focused on educating employees on current information and records management systems and technologies, giving them the tools to be able to integrate and implement an accountable Record Information Management (RIM) system into their respective government functions and making them First Nation leaders in this field.
Training Goals & Learning Outcomes:
- Trained and knowledgeable staff that can implement a records management department within each partnering Yukon First Nation
- Completion of a records Classification and Retention schedule by both KDFN & TTC
- Completion of a records management policy, records management guidelines & procedures manual for KDFN & TTC
- Knowledge of a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Federal & Territorial) including potential implications to a Yukon self-governing First Nation
- RIM boot camp certification for all relevant First Nation staff
- Organizational mentorship on-site in each participating community with the trainer
- Essentials of RIM certificate program credentials for key personnel from each First Nation
- Hands-on training & implementation mentorship by Westbank First Nation
- Completion of a staffing capacity and needs assessment to assist with future records maintenance planning for each partnering First Nation
The two goals of the second phase of the project were to improve and strengthen the partnership between the two First Nations and to share the RIM knowledge gained with the community.
Phase II included staff training and the deepening of RIM knowledge through attending two records management conferences and completing two demanding 7-week online courses offered by the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. KDFN and TTC staff deepened their knowledge about how to ensure accountable and effective management of records as their governments mature and grow.
They also learned about preparing strategically for full electronic records management down the road. TTC acquired and trained staff on a shared drive management tool that will improve the organization and its ability to find electronic files; KDFN learned how to assess their staffing and functional needs and developed a strategic plan to prepare for eventual acquisition of an electronic records management system.
The final part of Phase II involved hosting a RIM symposium that allowed KDFN and TTC, and other speakers, to share their experiences and knowledge with other Yukon First Nations. This very successful event was held in April 2016 and was attended by over one hundred people.