Good Day Ochapowace Nation Citizens,
On behalf of leadership, Headman Tim Bear, Lands, Laws & Resources staff, committee, we would like to share our Laws department update in regards to our Elections Law.
Is to protect our jurisdiction and inherent rights of our citizens and future generations of our nation, through the creation of custom laws that provide rules and regulations and the political framework for our vision. (Draft statement)
Elections Law introduction
Leadership selection is at the heart of good governance for every Indigenous Nation, it ensures that our citizens feel their leaders have been selected through a fair, valid process.
Just like most Indigenous Nations across Canada, Ochapowace has been dominated by the Federal Government, the forced application of the Indian act and its Associated Policies and regulations when it comes to our lands, economic development, health & social development, citizenship and elections system.
As we strive to move beyond the Indian Act and reaffirm our sovereignty through our inherent rights to Self Determination, we continue the work of developing legislation (laws, act, by-laws) based on the collective input of our citizens for Ochapowace Nation.
Our Ochapowace custom Elections Law is created for the purpose of allowing our leaders to focus and operate more effectively on reclaiming and reaffirming our sovereign & inherent rights.
Our current Elections system is from an Elections Act that was last amended in 1999 by leadership and our people which made it an official Ochapowace Law.
Click To View: Elections Act 1999 (pdf)
The intention of the amendments of the Elections Act was not only to formalize and implement a system for our Nation, in was a way of reclaiming and reaffirming our inherent rights to self determination.
It was giving the governing body of Ochapowace the authority and mandate to protect, promote, implement and plan our government, law, policies and structure.
Other aspects of chief & council’s responsibilities are to (as stated within the 1999 Elections Act);
- Establish and confirm ochapowace sovereignty, and strengthening of Ochapowace status as a nation under international law
- to implement and practice government recognized on nation to nation basis by virtue of treaty 4
- To recognize and uphold our jurisdictions and that no other jurisdictions shall infringe, impede, or effect this elections act.
- To include total eligible voting membership of ochpaowace regardless of residence, in the nomination procedures.
The new draft Elections Law stems from the 1999 Elections Act.
Click To View: Draft Elections Law 2017-2018
1999 Elections Act Weaknesses:
These are just a few we noted.
We are looking to move beyond our current Elections Act of 1999, we ask our citizens to be open and respectful to one another opinions.
As we come together to create custom laws for our Nation we do it as a collective.
What law you see in front of you is a draft and will be change based on you, the citizens of Ochapowace nation input.
Here are just a few questions our citizens can start with, review each document, we will review and update weekly based on your feedback.
- How many positions should exist for council? (Currently 1 chief & 6 Council)
- What should the Terms of Office be for Chief & Council? (Currently 3yrs terms)
- What should the minimum age be for Chief? (Currently age is 21)
- Should we allow every nation citizen the right to run for a position of Chief or Council regardless of where they live? (Currently only on reserve citizens can run for Chief or Council)
- Should we have candidate’s forum hosted in various cities? (currently no forums)
- Criteria(education)for Chief?
- Criteria(education) for council?
- Should there be a candidacy fee paid to run for office of Chief or Council (currently no fee to run)
- If so, would it make sense to make it refundable based on reaching or exceeding a certain number of votes?
- Should we have Advance polling? (advance polling is to accommodate the ones who cant make it to vote on elections day)
Please email any amendments/recommendations to:
Headman Tim Bear: email@example.com
Les George: firstname.lastname@example.org