George Gordon First Nation

 

Governance

First Nation Law

GGFN Constitution

What is a Constitution and Why Have One?

A Constitution is a system often in a written document:

  • Establishes the rules and principles by which an organization is governed; à
  • Defines the fundamental political principles and establishes the power and duties of each government;

Most national constitutions also guarantee certain rights to the people. Before modern national constitutions, the term constitution could be applied to any law.

Photo TeePees

Why do we need a Constitution?

  • We need a Constitution to outline the nature and extent of the GGFN Government;
  • We need a Constitution to regulate the relationship between the people and the institutions created by the government;
  • We need a Constitution because as First Nations we have always operated under unwritten constitutions, that is, the rule of natural law;
  • Today’s Constitutions must be written to ensure stability and consistency of process.

Benefits of a Constitutional Structure of Governance

  • Empower the People and Exert Jurisdiction
  • To institute the structures
  • A Constitution makes a First Nation attractive to business through provisions that embody equality and fairness
  • It is a declaration of independence

GGFN Constitutional History

  1. The concept of developing our own Constitution has been around for over twenty year.
  2. In the past decade numerous attempts have been made at drafting a Constitution for ratification.
  3. There have been several drafts developed and read at General Band Meetings.
  4. A committee comprised of six grandmothers from our community was established: Dawn Sinclair, Michelle Pratt, Vera Ash, Viola Gordon, Dale Gilman, Barbara Bitternose, and Helen McNab with assistance of Twyla Oochoo as technician drafted a Constitution previously.
  5. Chief & Council comprised of the late former Chief Ken Sinclair and the following Council members drafted one as well: Donna Anderson-Blind, Erma Assoon, Herman N. Blind, Bonny J. Gordon, Dalce C. Gilman, Dennis Hunter, John McNab and Hugh Pratt. Chief and Council approved the document for presentation at a General Band Meeting November 2009 and December 2009 with a ratification vote planned for February 2010.
  6. At a duly convened Band Meeting, February 9th, 2011, the document was presented for a vote according the ratification process outline in the document. The Constitution of the George Gordon First Nation thus forth ratified and adopted.

The Constitution of the George Gordon First Nation - Ratified February 9, 2011 - PDF