Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council have a mandate from the membership to protect the Amalgamation and enhance the Uxwumixw cultural values and traditions through respect, equality and harmony for all. Chiefs and Council have a responsibility to govern the affairs of the Nation as a whole and uphold their fiduciary obligation for the wellbeing of the members of the Nation. Chiefs and Council are committed to providing exceptional service to our membership and providing leadership in intergovernmental relations. We believe in the core values of honesty, integrity, accountability and ownership, consistency and fairness, and achieve this through positive attitude, teamwork and a strong work ethic.
The Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council and Administration are committed to the principles of accountability and transparency. We are very proud of our strong and ethical administration team and as leadership; we stand behind our Department Heads. As a responsible government, we have an obligation to Squamish Nation membership to carefully manage our financial and human resources, and we are proud of the standards that we put into place for management excellence.
Our future is bright and we continue to enjoy a healthy revenue stream, however it is important that we manage our financial and human resources carefully. We are all part of the Squamish Nation family, and we are doing everything we can to support this family. We are grateful to be able to draw upon the strength of our ancestors to support each other at difficult times. As Squamish people, we are committed to the long-term vision of self-sufficiency and a high quality of life for all our membership.
Our vision and mission at Squamish Nation is focused on improving the quality of life for our members and the community. We want to thank our Elders and leaders for their wisdom and guidance, and our youth for their active participation and desire to contribute to the community over the past year.
The Skwxwu7mesh Uxwumixw will protect the Amalgamation and enhance the Uxwumixw cultural values and traditions through respect, equality and harmony for all.
Our mission statement provides focus for our leadership to strengthen the working relationship with our Executive Operating Officers and 13 departments. Chiefs and Council receive their mandate from membership and in turn provide mandates and directives to departments to achieve our collective goals and objectives. We are also focused on building partnerships and strong relations with all levels of government. At the same time, we continue to work closely with Chief Gibby Jacob, our lead negotiator, and his team to develop protocol agreements and negotiate accommodation agreements with all levels of government and the private sector.
In the current global financial downturn, the Nation’s financial situation and challenges are similar to any other government. Our financial situation is affected by: reduced revenues, increased demand for services and one-time costs or investments. As a careful and responsible government, we have had to face these challenges and adjust our planning to deal with realities. We have taken steps, along with Department Heads, to reduce costs while protecting essential services for membership. After a lengthy and in-depth budgeting process, we concluded that budget adjustments of more than $4 million dollars were necessary to bring expenditures in line with revenues (including $ 1 million in payroll cuts). All departments were required to reduce operation and staffing costs in order to balance the budget.
As a result, some reorganization was required: some positions were eliminated and some positions have been reduced from full-time to part-time. Department Heads selected the positions to be eliminated based on those that would have the least impact upon core services. This was not a personal decision, it was a business decision. As a careful and responsible government, difficult decisions were made in the best interests of the entire Nation.
We continued the Family Dinner Meeting process – a major community engagement project which we hope to complete in the fall of this year. Through this process, which focused on the Community Development Plan, our membership had the opportunity to share their vision for our future. The Squamish Family Dinner Meetings process commenced in June 2010 with two “project launch” meetings, one at Totem Hall and one meeting at Chief Joe Mathias Centre. A video summary of the launch meetings and photos from the meetings can be viewed at www.squamishfamilymeeting.com. In addition to the webpage, a Facebook page has been set up to share information. To date, there have been 16 family meetings, with 546 members in attendance.
Chiefs and Council and the Band Manager are pleased that we were able to provide a food fish allocation to our Elders as a priority. There are many factors that affect the yearly Sockeye stock. You may recall that in 2008 we did not receive any fish at all, and therefore we were fortunate to receive 10% of our allocation this year.