FSIN Executive Communique June 29, 2012FSIN Legislative Assembly
Congratulations goes out to the Shoal Lake Cree Nation, the Red Earth Cree Nation and the Cumberland House Cree Nation for the outstanding job of hosting the FSIN Spring Legislative Assembly. Also, a big thank you to the Town of Nipawin for making everyone who attended the Legislative Assembly feel welcome during their stay.
The candidates running for Chief of the Assembly of First Nations had an opportunity to introduce themselves and inform the Chiefs-in-Assembly of their campaign platforms. The candidates that were able to attend the Legislative Assembly included Shawn Atleo, Joan Jack, Terrance Nelson, Pam Palmater and George Stanley. The candidate hopefuls had two opportunities to speak to FSIN Chiefs, once during the Legislative Assembly and again during the evening banquet on the first night of the assembly.
The Member of Parliament for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, Rob Clarke, addressed Chiefs-in-Assembly regarding his Private Members Bill C-428 to amend the Indian Act. The approach used by Mr. Clarke to not take any questions from the Chiefs-in-Assembly offended and disgusted his audience. The FSIN has sent a formal response letter to the Prime Minister's Office regarding Bill C-428.
The FSIN Elections Act, with amendments, had a third and final reading and was passed by Resolution. New Regulations pertaining to Code of Conduct and Election Campaign Funds will be vetted through the Joint Executive Council/ Indian Government Commission in early July. The changes will be distributed once this vetting process is completed.
Second and Subsequent Ballots
53. Where the Chief Electoral Officer declares that no Candidate has received a Majority of the total ballots cast, he/she shall:
(a) declare a subsequent ballot is necessary; and
(Chiefs were asked to select one of the three (3) options below)
Option 1: status quo
Option 2: one vote – candidate with the highest number of votes elected to position
Option 3: Where there are three or less candidates seeking election to the same Executive position, the candidate with the highest number of votes shall be declared elected to the position.
Where there are four or more candidates seeking election to the same Executive position, the following shall apply:
a) where there is a difference in the total ballots cast of 5% or less between the top two candidates, a subsequent ballot shall be held for those two candidates only;
b) the remaining candidates shall be eliminated from any subsequent ballot; and
c) where the difference in the total ballots cast exceed 5%, the candidate with the highest number of votes shall be declared elected to the position.
(Chiefs in Assembly chose option (3) three)
Treaty Governance Office
June 19: The Chiefs Advisory Committee met to discuss various issues impacting on Treaty implementation and to meet with recently appointed Treaty Commissioner, George Lafond. General instructions were to keep on moving forward in areas of inherent and Treaty implementation, with the understanding that the work will be ramped up after the FSIN elections in October, when the FSIN Chief's Office will be filled.
June 27: The Treaty Table met for the regular quarterly meeting. Commissioner George Lafond was introduced to the participants that included representatives from AANDC's Treaty Relations Directorate in Ottawa, Regional Office of AANDC, the Lands and Resources Secretariat, the Health and Social Development Secretariat, the Economic Development Secretariat, The Treaty Governance Office, OTC and with First Nations and Metis Relations (SK) with observer status.
Agenda items included:
• Updates and go-forward plans for the Treaty Table Working Groups which will make recommendations to the Commissions and Chiefs
1. Education: the briefing note on the Action Plan for Education in the Context of Treaty (APECT) was presented. The project report and funding request is under review at AANDC Region.
2. Health: there were updates on the tripartite MOU and activity in developing governance models, as well as information on the Treaty Right to Health Workshop set for late August which will bring together Elders, leaders and technical experts in Saskatoon
3. Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Gathering: the updates included an ongoing research project on co-management models in wildlife and other resource management sectors, requirement for additional resources for the Lands and Resources Secretariat to work on environmental issues. There is discussion of a demonstration project with Parks Canada that may see agreements on the use of national parks in the fulfillment of Treaty
• A presentation on creating economic space for First Nations and introduction of the concept of a Treaty Table Livelihood Working Group, with draft terms of reference that will be discussed internally by the parties and a go/no-go decision made in September.
• Discussions on the role of the province at the Treaty Table, with plans being made to engage senior provincial officials for clarification of the province's role in Treaty implementation.
• General discussion of the report of the Chiefs' Forum on Treaty Implementation hosted by TGO in March, 2012. A follow-up Forum is being planned for November with invitations will be sent to senior officials of the Crown.
• Discussion and the Treaty Implementation Sessions hosted by OTC in January and May. There will be a follow-up session in the fall which involve members of the Chiefs Advisory Committee on Governance.
• The OTC will be developing a discussion paper on the inherent right to self-determination and self-government and the relationship to Treaty implementation. This will be ready for the September Treaty Table meeting.
• The Treaty Table Workplan was reviewed.
TGO feels that the discussions at the Treaty Table have been elevated to the point that the members of the Chiefs' Advisory Committee will be invited to attend the next Treaty Table meeting in September.
June 28: the OTC Senior Advisory Committee (SAC), composed of Helen Ben, FSIN Chief of Staff and Jaline Dunlop, Director General, Negotiations Central (AANDC), represented by Fred Chafe, met with Commissioner Lafond to discuss mandate and operations review in preparation for the submission for a renewed mandate, since the current one ends in 2014. Activity will commence in September on this file. The review will include the Terms of Reference for the SAC. Meanwhile the Commissioner is undertaking an internal operational review with the assistance of Douglas MacArthur from Victoria.
Concerns were expressed on the refusal of the province to engage at the Treaty Table. Discussions will be held with senior officials to clarify the situation. In fairness, the parties understand that the province is working with the FSIN and Tribal Councils in various initiatives in health, education, ICFS and economic development that is beginning to develop the capacity to implement Treaty to its fullest. TGO and other Secretariats are concerned that the program developments that are closing the socio-economic gaps do not override the rights-based agenda of First Nations. The parties are optimistic that they will reach mutually-acceptable understanding of roles in the near future.
The OTC Workplan and funding levels were reviewed. There is a concern that increased activity at the Treaty Table may outstrip OTC's capacity to provide Secretariat services to the Working Groups, which has been very valuable to the orderly operation of the groups. A proposal for supplementary funding may be submitted.
The Senior Advisory Committee will meet again in September.
General: TGO staff are available to hold awareness sessions on Treaty and governance with Councils, Committees, community groups and schools at your request. The OTC also has staff and a Speakers Bureau that provide excellent presentations on Treaty and Treat relationships. Contact TGO at 665-1215 and OTC at 244-2100.
The United Nations: The FSIN, as an NGO, has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. Privileges include attendance at various meetings and conferences at the UN, regular communication from the UN and permission to submit positions and papers to various UN bodies. The contact for now is the TGO office.
Treaty Right to Education Graduation Medals
The Vice Chiefs and staff of FSIN continue to attend graduations this month and present the Treaty Right to Education Graduation Medals, which are a very important recognition for our graduates. Some of our Chiefs have compared them to the value of our young people earning their first Eagle Feather by their deeds. These medals have been designated as gifts from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations to the graduates of our on reserve high schools and the designated high schools for our First Nations (approximately 510 recipients). The vision of the treaty right to education graduation medals was always meant to include an ongoing relationship with our First Nations leadership and their members.
Indian Residential School Update
83 DAYS - IAP DEADLINE: September 19, 2012
TRC SASKATCHEWAN NATIONAL EVENT
There were over 15,000 survivors that registered and attended the National Event with their families. For many, this begins healing, while for others, a beginning....
Since IRSSA, this has been an emerging issue and we felt it necessary to move forward to ask for an apology, compensation and have reconciliation for our Day School survivors. We have begun the data collection to show proof of how many survivors we have here in Saskatchewan to strengthen our statement of claim.
Once we sign an agreement with a Law Firm, the Lawyers will file our statement of Claim to the court. If the court agrees there was an injustice, a settlement agreement is usually negotiated. We are far from this point, however will work hard in seeking justice.
TRC Regional Hearing - Buffalo River July 3 & 4, 2012.
Memorandum of Understanding for Health
The Project Management Committee has been working on the 26 project charters stemming from the 75 recommendations brought forward from the Visioning Session in 2009. These Short Form Project Plans are being developed for approval from the Steering Committee and will be forwarded to the Senior Technical Advisory Group (STAG) and vetted through the Health and Social Development Commission and finally presented to the FSIN Legislative Assembly in the fall of 2012.
FSIN Health and Social Development Secretariat are anticipating the announced approval of the 10-year Saskatchewan First Nations Health and Wellbeing Plan in the near future. The plan identifies shared priorities and commits the parties to working together more effectively to improve the health of Saskatchewan First Nations. A joint tripartite news release will be forthcoming once the plan receives approval from our federal and provincial partners.
One of the first projects to stem out of the MOU is the development of a Cultural Responsiveness Framework. This framework is being developed to ensure that health services available and accessed by Saskatchewan First Nations will be respectful and will accommodate our unique cultural beliefs and to be sensitive to our traditional beliefs and practices. The Project Advisory Team have identified a need for a consultation process among various stakeholders and will included focus group meetings, surveys and questionnaires for First Nations, health organizations, Regional Health Authorities and health professional organizations. A series of meetings throughout the province of Saskatchewan will gather information where community members (Elders, youth, men and women) will have an opportunity to discuss this important issue and to provide feedback that will be included in the final Cultural Responsiveness Framework document.
Steering Committee meeting - September 2012 - Jackfish Lodge
First Nations Child Welfare Framework
The Child Welfare team assisted in the commemorative walk to remember those children and youth who passed away while in government care. The walk was held on June 20, 2012 to honour those children and youth who no longer have a voice.
The First Nations Child Welfare Framework and the FSIN Child & Youth Agenda were approved by the Chiefs-in-Assembly on June 26, 2012 at the Spring Assembly which was held in Nipawin. The Framework and the Child & Youth Agenda are now officially approved documents, and as such will serve to provide direction moving forward on First Nations Child Welfare both internally and in discussions/negotiations with the province.
The Chiefs-in Assembly also passed a resolution calling on the Government of Canada to set a target date of March 31st, 2015 to end the funding inequities for First Nation child welfare & eliminate child poverty, and reports annually to the public on its' progress.
If you would like more information on the First Nations Child Welfare Framework, please contact the director at 956-6903.
Saskatchewan First Nation Veterans Association (SFNVA) Update
The SFNVA Executive attended the Legislative Assembly in Nipawin on June 26, 27, 2012. Grand Chief Ray Sanderson was presented with a Chiefs Bonnet by Elders in the Ceremonial Tipi. Grand Chief expressed great thanks and was humbled. The SFNVA are hoping to access resources from various sources including the CDCs and FSIN Institutions to assist them in their programs and services to members.
Bold Eagle 23 Update
The following 25 youth have been selected by the Canadian Forces:
Assoon, David Steven
Brown, Daylon Glenn Eloi
Carriere, Kato Erasmus
Eashappie, Christine Jashobeam
Gamble, Julian Dominic Landon Calvir
Grey, Kruz Brody Moses
Jarrett, Jeremy David
Johnstone, Conrad Dylan
Kahnapace-Sparvier, Keegan Miles
Lonethunder, Reese Eldon Arthur
Martell, Linden Emery
Mitsuing, Janna Grace
Moccasin, Andrew Lewis Anthony
Morin, Brandon John
Peters, Mason Daniel
Pinay, Andrew Blaine Matthew
Smoker, Dakota Aeryk
Strongarm, Joshua Lawrence
Watson, Tiffany Alexis
Yuzicappi,Dreyden Leslie Irvin
The recruits will arrive July 8, 2012 in Wainwright. In total, 92 are attending. They hail from NW Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Their Enrolment Ceremony is scheduled for July 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm in Wainwright.
Upcoming Meeting Dates
July 11, 2012: Saskatchewan Indian Education and Training Commission, Travelodge, Saskatoon
July 16 – 17, 2012: AFN Assembly: Treaty Implementation Session, Toronto ON.
July 16 – 17, 2012: AFN Assembly, Toronto ON.
August 6 – 10, 2012: NRTA Western Treaty Nations, Prince Albert, SK
August 21 – 23, 2012: Treaty Right to Shelter, Saskatoon, SK
August 21 – 22, 2012: FSIN Family Conference, Saskatoon Prairieland Park
August 20, 2012: Treaty Right to Health Workshop, Saskatoon, SK.
September 6 – 13, 2012: Treaties 1-11 Gathering, Brandon, MB
September 19 – 20, 2012: Treaty 4 Gathering, Fort Qu'Appelle, SK.