The act of governing and leading a First Nation community is replete with challenges and opportunities. The challenges are often ensuring that community members are well informed and engaged in issues before them so that they can make the decision that best suites them with regard to their community and children. This is no small undertaking and made challenging even more so by their members geographical locations and preceding relationship with the Band and Chief & Council – which may be complicated already by the quality and quantity of past interactions (or lack thereof as the case may be).
The opportunities however, when properly assessed and strategically implemented typically bare fruit and wealth that will ultimately result in outcomes for the full and mutual benefit of all community members. There is no magic formula per-se for community engagement, other than to reach out and seek that engagement, and actually make the effort and take the time to talk with the people. First Nation Chief & Councils would be well advised to implement well thought out and properly resourced community engagement protocols on issues that matter, and ensure that the future of the First Nation is provided for in a solid mandate from its Members.
OneFeather is very proud to have supported the Metlakatla First Nation in their successful ratification vote for their own Land Code. The Metlakatla Staff and Leadership team ensured that multiple community meetings took place, met with individual members as needed and requested, provided electronic media and communication supports and the opportunity to vote electronically (using OneFeather), utilized print advertising, and generally were available 24/7 to answer and address Member questions.
As a result voter turnout was a record setting high of 318 votes (capturing almost 30 votes more than the Chief & Council election in August), with almost 1/2 the votes being recorded by electronic ballot! In the final analysis, the Members provided a very clear and decisive mandate for Chief & Council to move forward with the Metlakatla Land Code – effectively shifting the management of their lands out from under INAC/AANDC jurisdiction, to the management and control the Metlakatla pursuant to and in accordance with their own laws, regulations and policies.
This is truly Nation Building…Well Done!
At OneFeather we believe that Nation Building is about transformative change that can only occur when Leadership and Members are able to align their vision for the future. We invite you to use our services and technologies to engage your Members in more useful and powerful ways…including over 20 years’ experience delivering elections, referendums and ratification votes. We exist to help Chief & Council build a great First Nation!
Let us demonstrate our solutions…we would love to visit your community.
Visit www.onefeather.ca or contact Lawrence Lewis directly at (250) 889-1582.