To the Squamish People,
The Squamish Nation Council is hard at work on major challenges and opportunities for the Squamish Nation. There are only a few weeks left in the 2022 year, but we wanted to share an important update on the first successful Annual General Meeting.
Create a Squamish Nation Constitution
Our people voted to develop a process for creating a Constitution of the Squamish Nation. The development of this Constitution will be guided by the Squamish people’s history, traditions, language, and culture. A constitution is created to describe the fundamental principles of the Skwx̱wú7meshulh and how it is governed.
At the 2022 AGM, our people called for the Nation to create a Constitutional Working Group to develop a draft constitution and put this draft resolution to a referendum vote by September 2025.
This working group will consist of Elders, youth, citizens on- and off-reserve, Nation staff, and Council members.
Review Annual Distribution Amount
Our people requested that our Nation’s staff analyze the feasibility of increasing the annual distribution paid to our people and provide a report at the next People’s Assembly in March 2023. This report will look at increasing the amount of the annual distribution based on the cost of living and other inflationary factors.
Review & Seek Input on the Council Governance Policy
In 2016, the Squamish Nation Council created the Council Governance Policy. This policy sets out the framework that formalizes Council members’ individual and collective roles, responsibilities, and activities to ensure the Squamish Nation’s effective, accountable and transparent governance.
At the 2022 AGM, our people requested the Nation review the Council Governance Policy, seek feedback, and incorporate recommendations from our people through community engagement. Our people requested that this review’s findings be presented to our people at the next People’s Assembly in March 2023.
Review Funding & Services for Squamish People Living Off-Reserve
The Squamish Nation generates different amounts of money that regularly comes into the Nation’s accounts. These are the sources of revenue that we own (aka own-source revenue):
The Squamish Nation also generates revenue from Federal, Provincial, and Local government funding.
At the 2022 AGM, our people requested that Council instruct Nation staff to review the Nation’s Own-Source Revenue (OSR) budget to create a budget solely for Squamish People living off-reserve. The requested budget should provide equitable services and amenities to off-reserve Members as provided to on-reserve Members.
Review Policies on Elected Official & Staff Payment for Cultural Work
The Squamish Nation has several policies that guide elected officials and employees who receive gifts or money for participating in cultural ceremonies/cultural work.
At the 2022 AGM, our people requested that Nation staff review these policies. Our people requested that our policies include a mechanism to implement, monitor and enforce the above to ensure open and transparent operations of the Council and no real or perceived conflict of interest.
Create, Implement, and Enforce Housing Policies
Our people approved a proposal on creating, implementing, and enforcing our housing policies.
In this proposal, our people expressed concerns about the current housing policies, the single-detached housing program’s housing list, the process for allocating homes & lots, and charging monthly fees to Squamish People who are tenants in certain homes.
Our people also expressed concerns about Squamish People who own a home on our reserves that are renting out their house, selling the house, building a house but not moving in, having another family move in, or having two homes.
Our people also requested that the Nation create policies that charge fees to all homeowners, not just fees to those residing in a townhome or condo. The approved proposal requested a presentation on these policies at the People’s Assembly in 2023.
Squamish People who want to receive a full copy of the resolutions from the 2022 AGM can contact our Chair & Council Office at email@example.com or 604-980-4553.
Our next People’s Assembly will be in late March 2023. The deadline to submit new resolutions for this People’s Assembly is January 31, 2023. The quorum for the People’s Assembly will be 5% or around 158 eligible voters. Squamish People can work with our staff to develop the resolution to align with best practices for resolutions.