cOUNCIL dECISIONS, mOTIONS AND vOTING
A typical Chief and Council meeting structure begins with opening remarks and roll call, followed by agreeing on the meeting agenda and declaring any conflicts of interest. The main meeting covers the acceptance of previous meeting minutes and discussions regarding submitted briefing notes, letters and/or other topics. There's a private in-camera session for confidential matters such as a discussion on human resources. The in-camera session ends and is followed by discussions on travel expenses, other business, and council reports. The meeting ends with an adjournment.
Making a Motion and Voting
Once an item has been discussed, a member of Council issues a motion (or makes a proposal for how to move the item forward) so that a decision can be made on the issue. Another member of Council is asked to ‘second’ (or agree with) the motion before it can be considered. Then all members of Council vote on the issue. Once a decision has been made, staff are responsible for putting it into action.
An agenda item can be:
The governing style of Council is to focus on leadership that will emphasize:
• The sustainable future of the First Nation through fair and equitable governance based on the next seven (7) generations;
• A clear separation between the roles of Council and staff and while acknowledging that these will overlap from time to time;
• Pro-active rather that reactive leadership;
• Accountability and transparency
In this spirit, Council will
• Be accountable to Members in the performance of its duties and obligations. No Chief or Councillor, individual or Committee of Council will assume this accountability role on their own;
• Conduct their primary role of strategic planning and governance rather that day to day administrative matters;
• Direct, control and inspire the First Nation by carefully studying, reviewing and establishing Council policies;
• Ensure attendance at any meeting or event that requires its attendance;
• Respect the role of Council;
• Respect the role of Chief;
• Speak with one voice, representing Chief & Council members;
• Respect and comply with all First Nations laws, by-laws, codes, rules, regulations and policies;
• Enforce self- policing when Chief or Councillors stray from good governance and the policies contained in this governance manual;
• Monitor and regularly review Council’s own process and performance.
Powers of council
The Mississauga First Nation asserts its inherent sovereignty that emanates from its people, its culture, and its Aboriginal rights, and as a natural corollary, hereby exercises Its powers of self-government and self-determination as recognized by section 35 of the Constitution Act,1982. The governance of Mississauga First Nation shall be administered by the Council, which shall exercise its powers in accordance with this Code; the laws, policies, and governing documents of Mississauga First Nation; the Indian Act and any other applicable provincial and federal laws.
role of chief
The Chief is the elected head of Mississauga First Nation and the roles and it is of the utmost importance as he/she is the primary contact with the community and outside organizations.
As a member of Council, the Chief has various responsibilities and accountability. These include acting as the official spokesperson or representative at ceremonies and other special functions, and delegating this responsibility when not available. The Chief is also expected to speak and express the opinions of Mississauga First Nation when dealing with general matters concerning the First Nation. Moreover, the Chief must ensure that Council conducts itself in a manner consistent with its own rules and call emergency meetings of the Council to discuss important business that cannot wait until the next duly convened meeting.
The Chief also has the responsibility to make decisions in accordance with Council policies on the governance process and ensure that a mechanism is in place to determine Council's opinion on significant matters and means of communicating this position externally. In addition, the Chief must help Council be an effective team and ensure that Council attends to the work of Council while ensuring the long-term needs and goals of the community are at the forefront in decision making.
The Director of Operations is the primary person in the Band Operations responsible for ensuring the smooth running of operations. The Chief is responsible for fostering an atmosphere of mutually respectful working relationships with the Director of Operations.
To ensure that Council is kept aware of outside political mandates and processes, the Chief must ensure that accurate reports of meetings attended are distributed and provide a written report to the community regarding external meetings attended, in addition to giving verbal updates at duly convened Council meetings.
The Chief must also ensure that the community is aware of the decisions of Council in a timely manner by conducting community meetings according to the Governance Manual, and providing verbal and written reports on the work of Council.
Finally, as a Chief, it is expected that participation in community draws is not acceptable.
role of councillor
The elected Council of Mississauga First Nation has been placed in a position of leadership by the community members and has roles and responsibilities to the community.
As a Councillor for Mississauga First Nation, several expectations come with the position. It is expected that the Councillor acts in the best interest of the community as a whole and is diligent in their position. Reporting regularly and fully on Mississauga First Nation's finances, projects, programs, and services is also crucial. Additionally, Councillors must attend to the duties of Portfolio Holder for specific departments and groups within Mississauga First Nation and ensure written and verbal reports are available to Chief and Council on meetings, workshops, and conferences attended on behalf of Council business.
Councillors also have a responsibility to make themselves aware of the political business of the Mississauga First Nation and provide sound advice at Council meetings. Ensuring that mail, Council packages, and other relevant information are picked up for review before meetings is also a responsibility of Council members. Adhering to the Governance Manual, separating work-related issues from Council business, and being aware of conflict of interest policies and declaring any conflict prior to any discussion on a matter are all crucial responsibilities of Council members.
Maintaining an atmosphere of mutual respect with each other, and the Director of Operations, is important for Council members. It is also the Council member's responsibility to ensure notification is sent to the Executive Assistant of their unavailability for duly convened Council meetings.
Lastly, it is expected that participation in community draws is not acceptable for Council members.
The Council shall receive remuneration for serving as an elected official of Mississauga First Nation and may be paid reasonable expenses incurred by him or her in the performance of his or her duties on the Council. The remuneration and rates for reasonable expenses shall be determined by the Council at the beginning of their term of office and shall be set forth in a Band Council Resolution.
Abuse of Authority | Abuse of authority is considered a form of harassment. It occurs when Chief & Council improperly or unreasonably uses the power and/or authority associated with a position held, in order to endanger another employees job, undermine the performance of that job, offer or withhold training or developmental opportunities, promotional opportunities, or performance evaluations, threaten the employee’s economic livelihood or in any way interfere with or influence the employee’s career goals or the extension of preferential treatment to one employee to the disadvantage of another. It also includes acts as intimidation, threats, humiliation, and coercion.
Audit | An audit is an examination carried out by a Chartered Accountant firm that can determine if the information on the financial statements is prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Auditing Principles (GAAP)
Auditor | The accountant appointed by Chief and Council to audit the financial statements, records and inventories of Mississauga First Nation
Band Council Resolution (BCR) A resolution of Chief and Council passed at a duly convened meeting by a majority of Chief and Council members.
Bullying | Repeated behaviour such as spreading rumours or gossip; using sarcasm and threatening innuendo; isolating and excluding an individual; humiliating a person; teasing in a mean way; getting others to –gang up; giving the worst jobs to an individual; public negative comments and/or hitting, poking, pinching and punching can all be forms of bullying
Canada Labour Code | Part II and III of the Canada Labour Code, an Act that defines both the occupational health and safety requirements and the minimum labour standards that apply to all employees.
Chief | The person who is elected to serve as the spokesperson for the First Nation who will work under the direction and with the assistance of the elected Council members
Chief & Council | is the governing body of Mississauga First Nation and refers to the duly elected Chief and Council
pursuant to MFN Election Code
Child | A member between the ages of 0-12.
Citizen | All individuals registered with Mississauga First Nation.
Community | The community is Mississauga First Nation.
Complainant | The person filing the complaint.
Conflict of Interest | A conflict of interest exists wherever an individual could benefit, disproportionally from others, directly or indirectly, from access to information or from a decision over which they might have influence, or, where someone might reasonably perceive there to be such a benefit and influence.
Council | Collectively, the duly elected Chief and Council of Mississauga First Nation.
Councilor | Individually, the duly elected person of Mississauga First Nation.
Discipline | Discipline means corrective or punitive action taken by the Employer towards any employee to correct misconduct, performance or behaviour.
Discrimination & Harassment | Discrimination is an act of differential treatment toward an individual as a member of a group, or toward a group itself, that may create a disadvantage for that individual or group or deny the individual or group an opportunity, without valid reason. The prohibitive grounds for discrimination are outlined as follows: race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted.
Director of Operations | Senior employee of Mississauga Fist Nation who is responsible for overseeing the administration of the Band. Also inclusive in this definition is “Band Manager” or “Chief Operating Officer”. This position is accountable to Council.
Elder | A member who is fifty (50) years of age or older.
Extended Family | A person’s grandparent, grandchild, first degree aunt or uncle, first degree niece or nephew, and individuals who reside in the same household.
Immediate Family | A person’s natural parent, adopted parent, step-parent, or individual whom has demonstrated the settle intention to act as a parent; mother or father; mother-in-law or father-in-law; child; spouse or Common-Law partner; sister or brother; sister-in-law or brother-in-law; and legal guardian.
In Camera | Means a session of Council which is private to the members of Council and whomever they wish to include in the session. The purpose of an In Camera session is to protect the privacy of an individual or individuals, business transactions or other issues deemed private by Council. In Camera session minutes are recorded on private record and stored separate from the public record in a secure place.
Member | A person whose name appears or is entitled to appear on the Membership List of Mississauga First Nation in accordance with its membership code, and “Membership” and “Band Member” have corresponding meanings.
Misconduct | Failure to follow the defined rules for keeping the workplace efficient and safe and for conducting professional work practices.
Mississauga First Nation | The Mississauga First Nation, also commonly referred to as Mississagi, Mississauga #8, Mississauga Reserve, or Mississauga Indian Band or Misswezahging.
Nepotism | Nepotism is considered an unfair practice in which people in power give positions in a government or organization to their relatives or friends, rather than to any individual who is well qualified. This can lead to inefficiency in the functioning of the government or organization, since hiring is based on personal connections, rather than ability or merit. Additionally, the perception of unfair practice diminishes the reputation or qualified candidates, as it is believed they were appointed due to a relationship.
Portfolio | Means a defined area of responsibility of a Councillor as designate by the Chief.
Sexual Harassment | The Labour Code defines sexual harassment as any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or promotion.
Quorum | Fifty percent plus one (50% + 1) of the duly elected Council.
Risk Management and Strategic Planning Director | Senior employee of Mississauga First Nation who is responsible for overseeing the Human Resources of the Band. This position is accountable to Chief & Council.
Undermining Behaviours | Any action, behaviour or comment made by an employee that creates the opportunity to sabotage, destroy or erode the reputation, position or leadership of an organization. Such behaviour leads to a poisoned work environment.
Youth | A member who is between the ages of thirteen (13) and eighteen (18) years of age.
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