As a quick refresher, the Squamish Nation introduced a new budgeting process in late 2019, focused on increasing transparency and accountability.
Through the process we heard that members are looking for clarity around goals and are interested in knowing more about what services departments offer.
This year, the process will run from November 2020 to April 2021, with a number of opportunities for members to learn about, engage with, and hear back on how budgets are allocated throughout the Nation.
How well do you know the Squamish Nation budgeting process? Quiz yourself for a chance to win one of three $150 gift cards (three prizes will be given, one for each age bracket – youth, adult, and Elders) and help shape the Squamish Nation’s budget. All members who complete the BudgetTalks quiz will be entered in the prize draw.
Quiz Close Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2020
As part of this year’s BudgetTalks engagement, our Directors took some time to chat about their department, its services, and the one thing they want members to know. Watch the below videos to hear about each department’s top 3 priorities to help you understand where budget allocations are made.
Ayás Mén̓menChild & Family Services Department works to strengthen and family and provide peace to the children of the Squamish Nation through proactive prevention and education strategies. This department takes a safe, fun, holistic, and cultural approach to ensuring that children, youth, and families have safety, protection, security, love, guidance, spirituality, harmony, healing and respect in their lives.
The revenues generated by BRS represent the majority of the Squamish Nation Own Source Revenue, and when applied to programs and services, greatly enhance the quality of life of Squamish Nation membership. Revenues generated through the BRS department are devoted to providing programs that might not be available to membership otherwise. Programs and services such as recreation and Squamish Nation language are entirely financed by the Nation, without support from other levels of government.
Chén̓chenstway could be interpreted as meaning “Upholding One Another”. It refers to the role that the Human Resources department plays to uphold our staff by supporting them, but also refers to the role the department plays to uphold the Nation.
Estx̱wáy̓usem Finance and Administration department oversees the financial and technological integrity of the Nation’s government and businesses. Its role is to assist Council to strengthen the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of its operations. The department oversees the Nation’s budgets, internal and external financial reporting, and insurance.
Nexwsp’áyaḵen ta ÚxuwmixwCommunity Operations Department is responsible for maintaining all band-owned buildings, roads, general areas, and Members’ homes. Community Operations treats all Members fairly and equally, while being financially responsible. Community Operations ensures all band-owned buildings are a safe place for the Nation’s employees to work.
Ta7lnew̓ás Education, Employment & Training Department ensures the Squamish Nation has integrated, effective, and streamlined collaborative processes to help our members meet their own education and employment goals. The department strives for each Squamish Nation member, on and off-reserve, from age three to adult, to reach his/her full educational and employment potential. The Squamish Nation works in partnership with school districts, post-secondary institutions, and other First Nations to advocate for programs and services related to education, employment, and training from private, provincial, and national sources.
Ta na wa Ch’awát ta Sx̱wéx̱welSquamish Valley Operations is responsible for the day-to-day needs and services of the Squamish Valley members, programs, and facilities.
Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓iyálh (Language & Cultural Affairs Department) mandate is to grow the language and culture of the Squamish People. The departmental objectives are to develop and implement policies and programs to ensure the Squamish People have access to their language, culture, heritage, and archives. The development and implementation of programs are with the support and guidance of Elders, Squamish language speakers, community groups, educational organizations, and government agencies.
Ta na wa Shéway I7x̱w ta Úxwumixw Planning and Capital Projects Department engages with Nation members to create a long-range plan for all of the Squamish Nation’s lands, which exemplifies members’ goals and values for the Nation’s future. Based upon that plan, the Department oversees and coordinates new home construction for Squamish Nation members as well as Capital Projects to support the community.
Squamish Nation holds Indigenous Rights & Title in lands and waters within its homelands and territory, which are recognized and affirmed under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, DRIPA within the Province of British Columbia and in the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Squamish Nation has never signed a treaty with the Crown, or otherwise ceded its lands or rights. Ta na wa Yúus ta Stitúyntsam̓ Rights & Title Department’sprimary mandate is the protection, preservation and management of Squamish Nations Rights & Title interests, including its lands, resources and cultural heritage, in accordance with the longstanding and sacred responsibility to the lands and waters of its traditional territory that cover more than 670,000 hectares.
Ts’ixwts’ixwnítway Member Services includes the following programs: Residential Lands, Fisheries, Housing, Membership Code and Distribution, Estates planning, Funeral & Events, Emergency Services to members in need, assisting members involved with the justice & court systems, and providing social activities at the North Vancouver Elders Centre.
Yúustway Health & Wellness Department exists to provide quality holistic care in a respectful, safe manner to ensure the health and wellness of all people by empowering our community and offering the tools for living in health from birth to end of life. Respect does not stop within the Yuustway, but is a way to interact with the other departments, other associations, and the outside community at large.
“The Budget Process” — click the graphic above to view full-size
Learn about the budget
Learn about the budgeting process and how you can provide input that will shape the Nation’s spending priorities.
• Watch and comment on short Facebook videos of Directors answering questions about their department’s priorities
• Test your knowledge of the budgeting process through interactive quizzes and get a chance to win virtual “door” prizes
• Read about opportunities to engage in the Squamish Nation newsletter
• Learn about the budgeting process in a special edition BudgetTalks newsletter
• Provide your ideas for Tangible Capital Asset purchases and projects (Tangible Capital Assets are the Nation’s physical,
non-financial assets such as vehicles, equipment, buildings etc.)
Provide your input
Engage with the draft budget by participating in an online survey, commenting on social media, and completing interactive postcards.
If provincial health guidelines allow, we plan to offer “family bubble” meetings (likely over Zoom, depending on COVID-19
health guidelines) to discuss spending priorities with a Director.
• Provide your thoughts through an online survey
• Complete interactive postcards
• Engage with us on social media
• Request a family bubble meeting to discuss spending priorities with a department Director in person
Closing the Loop
After learning about the budget and providing your input, you’ll get a chance to see how your ideas shaped spending priorities for the upcoming year.
Opportunities to learn about how your input was used will be shared on social media and squamish.net
“What’s in a Budget?” — click the graphic above to view full-size
Who is responsible for the budgets?
Directors and Council are held accountable for budget development and ongoing monitoring with oversight from the Managing Directors, the Finance and Audit Committee and Council.
All Directors and some managers attended a full-day budgeting course organized by the Director of Finance and hosted by MNP (a national accounting firm). On an annual basis, budget owners are required to attend refresher training sessions. As members, you are also encouraged to tell us what departments and services you’d like to receive more or less funding.
What role do members play in the new budgeting process?
Included in our Budget and Planning Policy are guidelines for community input and engagement. Input and engagement is done in two phases, awareness and education, and gathering input.
Phase 1 focuses on public education regarding key planning documents, budget development processes, and department programs and services.
Phase 2 focuses on gathering input on community priorities and resource allocation. We want to hear from all of our members during each phase, ensuring appropriate representation from our Elders, youth, advisory groups, and those living within and away from our communities.
How has the budget changed?
Gone are the days of ‘turn-key’ or ‘rollforward’ budgets. In November 2019, Council approved a new Budget and
The new model establishes a robust set of processes, responsibilities, and budgeting requirements that demand detailed analysis, planning, and justification for all spending. We have incorporated your feedback from last year and are asking you to share your thoughts on priorities for this year.
What will happen with the input received from members?
Input and feedback from members will help improve the Nation’s understanding
of the community’s needs, values, and priorities.