Membership Code Vote
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Georgina Island Membership Code?
Communities have always had their own approach to membership and citizenship. With the Indian Act, the Federal government created a legalistic interpretation of membership. Over time, First Nation communities have reasserted their authority to define membership based on customary law and tradition. We at Georgina Island are one of those communities and developed our own code for membership.
2. How many changes are being proposed to the code?
One change is being proposed – To change the voter threshold to allow us to change our Code when desired.
3. What specifically is the change?
The Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation Chief and Council are proposing and recommending the following change to the Membership Code from that dictated by Indian Affairs in 1987.
We will remove Section 11 of the current code, which currently reads:
11 – Amendments to the Code
This Code may only be amended with the consent of a majority of the members of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation who are of the full age of eighteen (18) years.
We will replace it with a new Section 11 to read:
11- Amendments to the Code
This Code may only be amended by way of a community vote whereby every Member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, who is the full age of eighteen (18) years and whose residence address is known by the First Nation, is provided the opportunity to take part in the voting process.
The Amendment is considered to be approved by the First Nation Members if 50% + 1 of counted ballots are in favour of the proposed amendment.
4. Why make this change now?
As many changes are taking place that will impact our Membership, there will be a time within the next two generations that will require the ability to modify our Code. The current voter threshold is unrealistic and expensive to achieve. We want to be proactive and ensure that we will have the ability to control our future direction for future generations
5. Can I have a copy of the current and/or proposed Membership code?
Yes, both are available on the community website or by going to the Band office for a copy.
6. Who do I talk to about my concerns?
The Chief and Council have been briefed on the topic and are able to answer your questions. If you would like a third party opinion about the change, we can get you in touch with the consulting team leading us through this process.
7. Will there be a community meeting on the subject?
Yes, there will be a community meeting on September 22, 2015.
8. Will there be other information provided?
On the community website, an interview with the Chief will detail the process and the reasoning behind the changes. These interviews will also be played on the Radio station and sent out via social media.
9. How do we decide as a community on the change?
We will have a community vote process in a manner similar to how we vote for our Chief and Council. But we will vote on the ballot question by checking off yes or no.
10. How many community members need to vote in favour to accept the change?
50% +1 of our members 18 years and older must vote in favour for it to be accepted.
11. What if 50% + 1 of our voting membership don’t vote on the change?
The vote would be invalid and we would have to do it again. This is the primary reason why we want to make this change. We want any future changes to be accepted based on our normal voting procedures.
12. If the vote is invalid or isn’t accepted what happens?
The Code will remain as it is and any future vote will require 50% of the membership to vote and 50% +1 of that number will have to vote in favour.
13. When will the vote take place?
The date for the vote has not been determined at this time, but will occur in 2015.