Senate



Senate

The Convention Act, 16 April 1982, appoints Statesmen to be known as the Senators of the FSIN Chiefs Council.  The Senators serve the FSIN Chiefs Council by giving their counsel, advice and guiding the Chiefs Council in matters of Indian tradition, Indian Government, Treaty obligations, and Indian history.  A Senator is entitled to attend meetings of the Chiefs Council, and speak to any motion, matter or issue before the Chiefs Council.  The FSIN Convention Act recognizes the Senate is part of the govering structure of the FSIN in accordance to with the Convention; which also includes the Chiefs-in-Assembly, the Elders Council, the Executive, the Executive Council and the Indian Government Commission. Information is provided on the Senate mandate, Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, a list of current members and their responsibilities, roles, duties and principles; as well as, the appoint process and qualifications of a FSIN Senator. If you would like to request a Senator to attend or speak at an event please contact the FSIN Senate Coordinator at (306) 665-1215. MANDATE The FSIN Senate is mandated, to act in an advisory role to the Chiefs-in-Assembly and oversight to uphold the Spirit and Intent of Treaty.   CHAIRPERSON AND VICE-CHAIRPERSON as of October 26, 2017
  • Senator John (Chuck) Thomas, Interim Chairperson
  • Senator Amanda Louison, Interim Vice-Chairperson
  RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHAIRPERSON and VICE-CHAIRPERSON The Chairperson of the Senate is responsible to:
  1. call meetings of the Senate;
  2. establish the Senate meeting agenda;
  3. ensure Senate meetings are conducted in a respectful and productive manner;
  4. ensure Senate meeting record of decisions are accurate and the appropriate documentation is available at each Senate meeting;
  5. cast a vote in the event of a tie among the Senate;
  6. bring forward matters to the Joint Executive Council and Indian Government Commission on behalf of the Senate;
  7. bring forward matters to the Legislative Assembly on behalf of the Senate;
  8. provide reports on Senate activities to the Legislative Assembly;
  9. assign a Senator to his/her portfolio areas covered within the mandate of the FSIN;
  10. assign a Senator to an area that is identified by the Senate; and
  11. ensure that any requests and/or participation of a Senator by external agencies for duties within the mandate of the Senate shall be brought forward for approval by the Senate.
  • In the absence of the Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson shall assume and fulfil the duties of the Chairperson.
    CURRENT SENATE MEMBERS as of May 23, 2018
  1. Amanda Louison, Kahkewistahaw, Yorkton Tribal Council
- October 24, 2015
  1. Donald Pooyak, Sweetgrass, Battleford Agency Tribal Council
- Appointed June 3, 2009
  1. Earl Ermine, Sturgeon Lake, Prince Albert Grand Council
- Appointed October 29, 2014
  1. Fred Sasakamoose, Ahtahkakoop, Battleford Agency Tribal Council
- Appointed June 3, 2009
  1. George Peeace, Yellow Quill, Saskatoon Tribal Council
- Appointed December 5, 2000
  1. Harry Cook, Lac La Ronge, Prince Albert Grand Council
- Appointed October 29, 2014
  1. Jacob Bill Sr, Pelican Lake, Agency Chiefs Tribal Council
- Appointed February 27, 1997
  1. James (Joe) O'Watch, Carry the Kettle, File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council
- Appointed June 5, 2013
  1. John (Chuck) Thomas, Beardy & Okemasis
- Appointed May 25, 2016
  1. Lawrence Chanalquay, Buffalo River
- Appointed May 29, 2007
  1. Luke Nanaquetung, Fishing Lake, Independent Bands
- Appointed December 5, 2000
  1. Margaret Keewatin, Okanese, File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council
- Appointed October 15, 2003
  1. Matilda Lewis, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Independent Bands
- Appointed October 22, 2008
  1. Melvin Littlecrow, Whitecap, Saskatoon Tribal Council
- Appointed February 27, 2007
  1. Patrick Johnstone, Mistawasis, Saskatoon Tribal Council
- Appointed October 29, 2014
  1. Ray Mitsuing, Makwa Sahgaiehcan, Meadow Lake Tribal Council
  2. Ron Rosebluff, Muscowpetung, File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council
- Appointed June 5, 2013
  1. Simon Robillard, Black Lake, Prince Albert Grand Council
- Appointed April 29, 1992
  1. Sol Sanderson, , Chakastaypasin, Independent Band
- Former FSIN Chief
  1. Theresa Stevenson, Cowessess, Saskatchewan First Nations Women’s Commission Appointment
- Appointed December 5, 2000
  1. Wesley Bear, Ochapowace, South East Treaty Four Tribal Council
- Appointed February 15, 2012
  1. William (Bill) Strongarm, Kawacatoose, Touchwood Agency Tribal Council
- Appointed May 27, 2015   RESPONSIBILITIES, ROLES, DUTIES AND PRINCIPLES It is the responsibility of the Senate to:
  1. address any issue in the Legislative Assembly relating to Inherent and Treaty rights;
  2. recommend an examination, hearing and/or investigation into any matter related to Inherent and Treaty rights when, in the opinion of a majority of Senate members, it will:
  • result in the abrogation and/or derogation of the Spirit and Intent of Treaty or Inherent and Treaty rights; and
  • jeopardize the Treaty and trust relationship between the First Nations and the Crown;
  1. recommend amendment to any FSIN enactment;
  2. work cooperatively with the political leadership at the First Nations and Tribal, Agency and Grand Councils; and
  3. provide support and counsel in resolving Treaty issues concerning First Nations.
  As an advisory body, it is the role of the Senate to:
  1. provide advice and assistance on matters related to Inherent, and Treaty rights, along with the policy, programs and services associated with those rights, to:
  • First Nation Chiefs and Council/Headman;
  • Tribal, Agency and Grand Councils;
  • First Nation and Tribal, Agency and Grand Council officials;
  • the Chiefs-in-Assembly;
  • the FSIN Executive and Executive Council;
  • FSIN Commissions;
  • FSIN sponsored meetings and forum; and
  • FSIN Secretariats.
  1. assist in maintaining and advocating for the implementation of First Nation Inherent and Treaty rights;
  2. assist in maintaining and advocating for the continuation and implementation of the Treaty relationship; and
  3. review legislation and framework policy for the protection, promotion and implementation of the Spirit and Intent of Treaty and Inherent rights.
  It is the duty of a Senate member to:
  1. faithfully pursue the mission of the FSIN Convention;
  2. adhere to the roles and responsibilities of the Senate as outlined in this Act;
  3. discuss and debate all matters in a constructive and objective manner;
  4. abide by the Code of Ethics;
  5. attend all duly convened meetings of the Senate;
  6. apply proper conduct in regard to confidential matters;
  7. attend and participate in FSIN Assemblies;
  8. attend and participate in meetings of the Commission to which the Senator is appointed;
  9. provide guidance on and enforce First Nation customs to ensure proper respect and harmony is maintained among participants at FSIN meetings;
  10. remain neutral in all election proceedings of the FSIN, Tribal, Agency and Grand Councils, and First Nations when appointed to a Credentials and/or Appeals Committee, or as a Commissioner of Oaths;
  11. review First Nations provincial, national and international bilateral and multilateral agreements to ensure that the interests of First Nations are protected and that such agreements will benefit Treaty relations and Treaty implementation;
  12. when requested, accompany officials of the FSIN to intergovernmental and Treaty forums to provide counsel, guidance, wisdom and prudence on decisions
  13. that will affect the future of the FSIN;
  14. participate in special working groups and task forces, as requested by the FSIN, Tribal, Agency and Grand Councils, and First Nations;
  15. when requested, report to the Tribal, Agency and Grand Councils, and First Nation Councils on the affairs of the Senate; and
  16. be responsible for ensuring that any request for his/her support or participation as an individual, and not as a representative of the Senate, by external agencies shall be disclosed to the Senate Chairperson before commencing any such support or participation.
  In undertaking its responsibilities and roles, the Senate shall:
  1. be recognized for its independence and ability to voice opinion while providing advice in a positive and constructive manner;
  2. observe, and promote the observance of, First Nation laws and customs;
  3. remain true to the Spirit and Intent of Treaty in order to uphold its responsibilities and role as advisors and protectors of Treaty;
  4. respect, and promote respect for, leadership;
  5. be accountable to the member First Nations of the FSIN in all matters related to the mandate of the Senate;
  6. promote and undertake its decision-making by consensus;
  7. remain neutral in the political processes of the First Nations, Tribal, Agency and Grand Councils, and the FSIN;
  8. represent, and make decisions based on the collective interests of all First Nations, and not those of an individual First Nation and/or Tribal, Agency or Grand Council; and
  9. recognize that each Senator has a personal responsibility for his/her proper conduct and participation as a Senator.
SENATE APPOINTMENT PROCESS The nomination of an individual to the FSIN Senate can be initiated at the First Nation or Tribal/Agency/Grand Council or the Independent First Nations as a group and shall adhere to the process for the appointing of a Senate member as follows:
  1. the nomination of an individual, in the form of a resolution from his/her First Nation shall be forwarded to the appropriate appointing authority for endorsement;
  2. the nomination of an individual from a Tribal, Agency, or Grand Council or the Independent First Nations as a group, shall be done in the form of a resolution;
  3. the appointing authority shall forward a resolution stating its full endorsement of its Senate nominee to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly;
  4. the Senate shall be advised of the motion and given an opportunity to discuss the appointment before the nomination is forwarded to the Joint Executive Council and Indian Government Commission;
  5. the Joint Executive Council and Indian Government Commission shall consider the nomination forwarded to them by the Senate and if deemed acceptable, shall forward a draft resolution to the Chiefs-In-Assembly endorsing the Senate nominee; and
  6. the Chiefs-in-Assembly shall consider the nomination forwarded to them by the Senate and Joint Executive Council and Indian Government Commission and upon approval pass a resolution accepting the Senate nominee to the FSIN
  FORMER FSIN CHIEF A former Chief of the FSIN shall be entitled to seek a position as a Senator after a period of 5 years from the date he/she completed his/her term as Chief of the FSIN. The process for a former FSIN Chief seeking a position as a Senator shall include the following:
  1. a written request from the former FSIN Chief shall be submitted to the Senate, which shall consider the request and upon consensus approval, forward the request to the Joint Executive Council and Indian Government Commission;
  2. the Joint Executive Council and Indian Government Commission shall consider the request and upon approval through a commission motion, shall forward the request to the Chiefs-in-Assembly; and
  3. the Chiefs-in-Assembly shall consider the request and upon approval, shall adopt a resolution accepting the former FSIN Chiefs to the Senate.
  4. Upon receiving final approval as a Senator, the former Chief of the FSIN shall take the Senate Oath of Service thereby accepting to abide by this Act.
  5. The appointment of a former FSIN Chief to the Senate does not affect the designated number of Senate appointments by a Tribal, Agency or Grand Council, or the Independent First Nation of which the former FSIN Chief is a member.
  6. Where a former FSIN Chief resigns or has been divested of his/her appointment as a FSIN Senator, he/she must wait for a period of five years, from the date he/she resigned or was divested before he/she is eligible to re-apply for appointment as a Senator.
  QUALIFICATIONS An appointing body must ensure that its Senate nominee:
  1. has a thorough understanding of the significance of First Nation-Crown Treaties,
  2. First Nations’ Inherent rights and knowledge of the historical relationship between First Nations and Canada;
  3. has practical experience and an understanding of First Nation cultures, spirituality, customs, practices, languages and traditions;
  4. demonstrates and provides strong leadership skills;
  5. performs meaningful community service, which has earned him/her honour and respect from First Nations in general;
  6. promotes harmony and balance and exemplifies fairness, honesty and respectful conduct in all matters;
  7. exercises diligence in eliminating deceit, distortion and conflict within the FSIN, its member First Nation and the Tribal, Agency and Grand Councils based on the principles in this Act; and
  8. devotes time, effort and dedication to community development for the betterment of the First Nations leadership, membership and Treaty governance.