Guiding Principles

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Purpose

This Code of Conduct has been developed to assist the Chapleau Cree First Nation (CCFN) Chief and Council in implementing its commitments to the People, as outlined in the CCFN Election Code and a number of other documents and procedures ratified by Chief and Council and the People. From a traditional perspective, the purpose of this Code of Conduct is to assist Chief and Council in demonstrating leadership by example in support of moving the community away from the effects of fear and towards spiritual love, as demonstrated by the Sacred Tree of Life. Fundamental to this concept is the need for Chief and Council to follow their hearts rather than their minds and to rely on the Creator’s laws rather than man-made laws to guide their actions whenever possible.

1.2 Ties to the CCFN Election Code

This Code of Conduct builds on community direction provided to the leadership as accepted within the CCFN Election Code. Specifically, this Code of Conduct reinforces the “Our Values” section of the CCFN Election Code which outlines the following positions and expectations of the People:

We are the Creator’s chosen First People to this land and as the willing guardians and protectors of the environment and all the gifts from Mother Earth, and as a People of a consensus-based approach to governance, we expect our selected leaders to be:

  • Of good character, competent and confident;
  • Without expectation of personal gain or accolade; and
  • Prepared to govern with integrity, fidelity and dedication.

Selected leaders must:

  • Demonstrate and provide good leadership;
  • Be capable and thoughtful planners;
  • Be transparent in all their decisions and actions; and
  • Always be resistant to coercion, intimidation and enticement that could violate their personal integrity or that of our People.

Our leaders are to protect, defend and promote with vigor, passion and conviction our People’s traditional philosophies, principles, language and our sacred right to harvesting from the land, air and waters.

1.3 Ties to the CCFN Community Development Strategy

This Code of Conduct supports commitments made by Chief and Council to advance a culturally appropriate approach to community development. Specifically, this Code of Conduct responds to the following needs as outlined in the CCFN Community Development Strategy Discussion Paper:

  • Ensure that the community does not get weaker before it gets stronger;
  • Move the community from reactive to more strategic approaches to decision-making;
  • Ensure that the decision-making power remains with the people of the Chapleau Cree First Nation;
  • Take a principle based approach to community development.

The interpretation of this Code of Conduct shall be guided by the community development principles outlined in CCFN Community Development Strategy including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Spirit – community development comes from within the human soul;
  • Culture – development must be rooted in the culture of the people;
  • Healing – we must work towards the healing and wellbeing of ourselves, the community and members of CCFN;
  • Justice – every member of the CCFN is equal;
  • Unity – recognizing that we are all connected with each other;
  • Vision – without vision there can be no development;
  • Participation – without meaningful community engagement, there is no development;
  • Interconnectedness – we are only as strong as our weakest link;
  • Morals and ethics – guiding proper development behaviour;
  • Learning – we will all learn as we embark on the community development journey;
  • Sustainability – the need to safeguard the well-being of future generations;
  • Positive thinking – letting go of negative thought

2.0 STATEMENT OF INTENT

2.1 Belief Statement

The Chief and Council do hereby agree to uphold all elements of this Code of Conduct because each believes:

  • In a higher power that brings with it a sacred responsibility;
  • That First Nations Peoples are the stewards of Mother Earth of which we are a part and that the land is paramount to our existence, now and forever;
  • In the inherent right of First Nations to govern themselves as well as the freedom to exercise their customs, traditions and spiritual beliefs;
  • That Treaties guarantee Aboriginal inherent rights and therefore ensure the cultural survival of our future generations; and
  • That each member of CCFN is equal.

2.2 Pledge

Because of the above beliefs, the Chief and Councillors recognize that they have a sacred duty to act honourably at all times and that they are accountable to themselves, each other to the membership and ultimately to the Creator. The Chief and Councillors therefore agree that they will abide by this Code of Conduct as well as the CCFN Election Code. This commitment includes, but is not limited to the need to:

  • Attend all regular and emergent meetings of Council whenever possible;
  • Provide responsible, accountable management of the finances;
  • Promote and diligently practice the stewardship of traditional philosophies, principles, communal society values and treaty rights;
  • Declare and avoid conflicts of interest that might interfere with duties and obligations to the membership;
  • Provide political direction to the Administration as required; and
  • Ensure that community members have ready access to information regarding Chief and Council decisions and direction to the Administration.

The Chief and Councillors further agree to:

  • Be motivated primarily by an earnest desire to serve the needs of the Chapleau Cree First Nation membership;
  • Recognize that the expenditure of Band funds is a public trust and, as such, endeavor to see that all such funds are expended efficiently, economically and in the best interest of the community;
  • Promote good feelings amongst themselves, staff, community members and other interested groups;
  • Do everything possible to maintain the integrity, confidence and dignity of their elected position and community during their term in office;
  • Consider what their colleagues, staff, community members and other individuals or groups may have to say before making community decisions;
  • Endeavour to avoid resentment and bitterness, to observe proper action and behaviour, and to encourage full and open discussion amongst Chief and Council in all matters;
  • Endeavour to treat all fellow elected officials with respect and consideration, and not to withhold or conceal from them information for which they should be concerned;
  • Make no discrediting remarks in or out of Council meetings, committing instead to make honest and constructive comments about other elected officials or their opinions;
  • Recognize that decision-making authority rests with Chief and Council as a whole and not with individual members of Council;
  • Abide by majority decisions of Council once they are made; and
  • Discuss the confidential community leadership business only at the Council meeting table.

3.0 GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES

3.1 Confidentiality

The Chief and Councillors shall treat all matters which pertain to any person as confidential and shall not share such information with others without the consent of the individual to whom the information pertains.

3.2 Conflict of Interest

3.2.1 In the case where the Chief or a Councillor has a personal interest in any
matter of discussion by Council, they shall provide sufficient notice in advance to Chief and Council of the conflicting interest and shall:

  • Ensure that a declaration is presented to Chief and Council outlining that they have a personal interest in any matter being brought before Chief and Council. Such declaration shall become permanent record and noted as such in meeting minutes;
  • Remove themselves from any meeting pertaining to the matter and under no circumstances shall attempt to influence any meeting discussions on the matter;
  • Not cast a vote on any Council motion pertaining to the matter.3.2.2 If the Chief or Councillor who is in a conflict of interest refuses to remove himself/herself from a meeting, Section 7, paragraph 9 of the Conflict of Interest policy shall come into effect.

3.2.3 Chief and Council may request that the Chief or Councillor in a conflict of interest return to the meeting if additional information on the matter is required.

3.3 Portfolio System Allocation

3.3.1 At the discretion of the Chief, each Councillor may maintain a portfolio area of responsibility.

3.3.2 Assignments of portfolio responsibilities shall be assigned by the Chief, as agreed to by Council and through motion of Council.

3.3.3 The Chief may at any time reassign portfolio areas with the consent of a majority of Council and through motion of Council.

3.4 Administrative Relationship

3.4.1 The Chief and Council are responsible for providing policy direction to the Band Administrator.

3.4.2 The Chief and Council shall refer all questions and concerns on administrative matters to the Band Administrator.

3.4.3 The Chief and Councillors retain the right to benefit from administrative programs and services normally available to community members.

3.5.1 Chief and Councillors shall not interfere with the execution of duties and
responsibilities of the Band Administration or other staff members.

3.5.2 Any related matter of factual concern identified by the Chief or a Councillor shall be brought to the attention of the relevant portfolio holder in the event that a portfolio has been established by Council, or directly to Council in the event that a portfolio has not been established.

3.5.3 Once a decision has been made by a majority of Council direction will be provided to the Band Administrator to carry out the decision.

3.6 No Speaking Badly of Others

3.6.1 Chief and Councillors shall not refer to any person or partake in any act which results in the demeaning or defamation of any person, including other elected officials, Elders, administrative staff, members, contractors and guests.

3.6.2 Chief and Councillors shall refrain from the use of profane language, insulting or lewd comments during meetings and any other discussions of Band business.

3.7 Liability

CCFN shall not be responsible for any actions of the Chief or any Councillor which contravenes any CCFN policy, procedures or by-law. Furthermore:

    a. Chief and Councillors shall refrain from any action which contradicts a motion or direction provided by Council; and
    b. Chief and Councillors may express dissent to any Council motion as recorded in the Council meeting minutes, but shall support all motions passed by Council.

Under no circumstances are any decisions to be made by the Chief or any Councillor in isolation of any due process prescribed by any motion of Council, policy, procedures or by-law.

3.9 Coming into Effect

3.9.1 This Code of Conduct shall be reviewed by Chief and Council on an annual basis.

3.9.2 This Code of Conduct shall come into effect formally upon the approval of a quorum of the Chief and Council at a duly convened Chief and Council meeting.

4.0 SPECIFIC DUTIES

4.1 Chief’s Duties

The Chief shall perform the following duties:

    a. Represent the interests of CCFN with the primary duty of acting as community spokesperson.
    b. Chair all Council meetings while in attendance.
    c. Chair all general membership meetings while in attendance.
    d. Is an ex-officio member of all other committees of CCFN, possessing the same voting privileges as other committee members.
    e. Liaise with the Band Administrator on a regular basis.
    f. Address the individual/collective needs of the membership as paramount, and with priority over all other matters.
    g. Monitor policy conformance in all areas.
    h. Execute any agreements on behalf of CCFN as consented to by Council.
    i. Call all meetings to be held by Council, including meetings requested by Councillors.
    J. Approve all meetings and the minutes of those meetings.
    k. Assist in securing existing resources and acquiring new resources which will enhance CCFN services and program delivery.
    I. Ensure that the acquisition of new monies is reported in the CCFN Financial Statement at the Annual General Meeting.

4.2 Councillor’s Duties

Councillors shall perform the following duties:

    a. Act as Chairperson for the committee charged with matters pertaining to the area of responsibility of their respective portfolio.
    b. Attend to their primary responsibilities of matters relating to their portfolio assignments.
    c. Perform other functions assigned to them by Council.
    d. Address the individual/collective needs of the membership as paramount, and with priority over all other matters.
    e. Act as an advisor to Council on all matters pertaining to their portfolio areas and monitor related policy conformance.

4.3 Special Appointments

4.3.1 The Chief may appoint a Councillor or community member to act as chairperson for any meeting where the Chief may or may not be present. The appointee shall not exercise any duties or authorities of the Chief, such as signing or approval authority.

4.3.2 The Chief may request a Councillor or community member to attend and represent the Chief at any function, but the appointee shall not exercise any authorities of the Chief unless prior approval is obtained from Council to do so, confirmed by a letter giving notice of proxy.

4.3.3 In the absence of the Chief, a majority of Council may hold a Council meeting for the purpose of dealing with emergency matters.

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