Dear Lheidli T’enneh Members,
On July 10th 2017 the latest draft of the Constitution was mailed out to your address on file.
When the decision was made to vote again on the Treaty and Constitution, the Constitution was reviewed and updated by the Constitution working group consisting of Helen Buzas, Carl Fredrick, Miranda Schmold, Rena Zatorski and Albert Peeling as legal advisor.
The Constitution working group met over the summer of 2016 to update the Constitution and address in particular the issue of the Community Treaty Council which had a role in the Constitution but now no longer exists. The working group removed the Community Treaty Council from the Constitution, reassigning its functions as appropriate, and made changes to the draft to improve its clarity. A particular concern was to ensure that the Constitution was clear as to which branch of the Lheidli T’enneh Government (legislative, executive or judicial) was being referred to when the general term Lheidli T’enneh Government was being used. The committee also leaned up the ambiguity in the draft Constitution where the term Lheidli T’enneh was used. The term can refer to:
1. the whole people descended from Lheidli Tenneh ancestors;
2. the body of Lheidli Tenneh citizens;
3. Lheidli Tenneh Citizens participating in the Treaty;
4. the Lheidli T’enneh Government;, or
5. any of its three branches.
The working group took care to ensure it was clear what was meant:
1. Lheidli T’enneh is used to mean the whole body of people of Lheidli T’enneh ancestry who are eligible for the Treaty.
2. Citizens are those who have enrolled or have been granted citizenship under Lheidli T’enneh Law
Canada has clarified that in either of the above two cases people who enroll or have citizenship no longer qualify for the tax exemption.
1. Participants are people who have enrolled.
2. Lheidli T’enneh Government is an inclusive term including the legislative executive and judicial branches of government, but where only one of the branches of government is intended, that branch is specified, as Lheidli T’enneh Legislature, Lheidli T’enneh Executive, or Lheidli T’enneh Judiciary.
In subsequent community meetings further issues for the committee have been identified as well. These include:
a) Protection of trust in Constitution and preventing the disbursement of the trust capital in distributions;
b) “Off Reserve” eligibility to be in the legislature;
c) Addressing whether the resource revenue sharing money should go into trust;
d) Establishing whether non participants in the treaty should have citizenship rights protected in the Constitution; and
e) in camera parliament.
Some of these issues are addressed in the latest draft as well. The draft also includes any wording changes made to the draft in the margin of the document.
Before a final ratification draft is prepared for the vote, we wish to circulate this draft for your review and comment. Please address any questions or concerns to the Lheidli T’enneh Treaty Department at 778-693-2980 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Ratification draft will be circulated before the vote.
We look forward to your comments.
The Lheidli T’enneh Treaty Department and Constitution Committee