INTRODUCTIONS AND PROCESS
Our Team, Mel Jacobs
Community has pressured C&C to examine the Code Hired our team to examine the Code to ensure it reflects the present day and future desires of the community.
We looked at it in two ways: Does the Code support GIFN in 2015 and beyond?
Ease of Use – Is it a practical document?
OUR FINDINGS – DOCUMENT AND COMMUNITY
It was found that the document is ‘satisfactory’ for 2015 but will become less and less relevant as more and more time passes.It was also found that “who can be a member” issues are well beyond the scope of our work and required detailed assessment and community consultation The concepts on belonging to Georgina Island are sophisticated and the issues are very personal/emotional
The depth and scope of these types of changes require detailed research and comprehensive consultations with community members and familiesThere is a need to develop a version 2.0 This could take place over the next 2 – 5 years
WHAT CAN WE DO TODAY?
The intent of the 1987 Membership Code was for Georgina Island to be able to control membership to reflect Georgina’s needs. This document does not do that. It has a restrictive threshold.
AANDC applied strict rules on First Nations for voting on change: 50%+1 of all members have to vote in favour
Ridiculous considering the Quebec referendum / required only 50% +1 of those who voted to be in favour for Quebec to separate
Today, we can amend the Code so that when we are ready to vote on – the far reaching membership criteria – we are able to have a successful vote
That the community position themselves to be ready when significant changes are required
How? Replace Section 11 that requires 50% + 1 of all members over the age of 18 to vote in favour of a change.
Substitute so that 50% + 1 of those members over 18 who vote can approve change The vote would have the same rules
The vote has no possibility of being invalid as the threshold would always be met
It allows the community to respond in a timely manner to membership rule changes coming from community consultation in the upcoming years
HOW DO WE DO IT?
November 10, 2015 is the Vote Date
Members 18 years and over by that date will be have the opportunity to vote in the community or by mail-in, just like in an election
The threshold is high – approx. 345 of our eligible voters have to vote and vote yes
So there will be incentives to get people to vote
INCENTIVES TO VOTE
The biggest incentive is to author change and remove yourselves from an Indian Affairs’ restricting vote threshold and there will be 4 draw prizes of $250.00 for those who vote in the community and four draw prizes of $250.00 for those who vote by mail-in.