In accordance with Lax Kw’alaams Indian Band Settlement Trust Agreement (2003) (the “Trust Agreement”), the Band Council passed a band council resolution on July 3, 2019 starting the process for amending the Trust Agreement on the advice of the Trustees of the Trust Agreement.
Trustees were appointed by Council in November 2018 and had a mandate to propose changes to the Trust Agreement that would restore members’ confidence in the funding process and ensure that trustees could do meaningful work in their roles. The appointed Trustees include, Wilma Brooks, Michelle Bryant, Susan Dennis, and Tressa Johnson. The process started in December of 2018, and recommendations were sent to Council for approval in June 2019. A referendum vote will take place on September 10, 2019.
There will be information sessions regarding the proposed amendments prior to the referendum on the following days:
Wednesday August 7, 2019 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Lax Kw’alaams Elders Lodge
Thursday August 8, 2019 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the BC room at the Crest Hotel in Prince Rupert
Friday August 9, 2019 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the Whistler Ballroom C at the River Rock Casino in Vancouver
If you have any questions regarding the amendments or the Trust Agreement please come to these meetings. If you cannot make the meetings you may contact any of the Trustees via email at the following email addresses:
The full amendments can be found on the following website at https://onefeather.ca/nations/lax-kwalaams or at the Band Administration office.
The proposed amendments are intended to amend the Trust Agreement to achieve the following goals:
• To focus trust fund spending on projects that benefit the membership as a whole rather than individual band members.
• To create a more transparent process for approving funding for band developments and benefits.
A summary of the proposed amendments are as follows:
- Several of the amendments to the Agreement are intended to redirect individual members’ access to funding from the trust through band programs and projects proposed by the Council and approved by the Trustees.
- Activities related to Band governance and administration would no longer be eligible for funding.
- Subsection 8.2(c) would be amended to allow Trustees to transfer up to 25% of the previous year’s Net Income to a single Band Development. This would allow the Trustees to accommodate more significant Band Development needs.
- Subsection 8.2(d) would be amended to allow Trustees to create policies that impose further requirements on program and project applications submitted by the Council, in addition to the minimum requirements under the Agreement.
- Amendments to s. 8.2(f) would clarify that the Trustees have no continuing role over projects and programs once applications are approved and funding has been transferred. The Band Council, working with the designated Band department, would be responsible to ensure that the funding is used appropriately. As a part of this responsibility, Band Council would be required under s. 8.2(g) to provide annual audited statements to the Trustees demonstrating how funding for each application was used.
- Revise s. 13 to indicate that Trustees will receive applications by March 31 and September 30 each year only. The Trustees would review and approve applications in April and October of each year.
- No minimum requirement for “ordinarily resident on reserve” Trustees
- Subsection 10.3(c) would be revised to ensure that none of the Trustees may also serve on the Band Council.
- s. 10.3(f), a candidate for Trustee would not be considered “in arrears with the Band”
- s. 10.4, the Band Council would have the power to appoint Trustees if not enough members stand for election. Without a full complement of trustees, no trust funds can be paid out for community programs and projects. However, the term of any appointee would be limited to two years. After that two-year term is up, the Council would have to call a by-election to provide the community with another opportunity to elect a trustee.
- s. 20 would encourage in-person and electronic voting as the default voting procedure for referendums under the Agreement. Mail-in ballots would still be available to members, but only upon request and only within seven days after the delivery of the Notice of Referendum.
Under Section 20 of the Trust Agreement, a referendum is required to approve amendments to the Trust Agreement. Section 21 of the Trust Agreement describes the referendum process. All adult Members (19 years or older) are eligible to vote in a referendum. Notice of the referendum has been issued. This notice includes details about why the referendum is being called, the dates and times for information meetings, and instructions for voting. The decision of the referendum will authorize the Band Council and the Trustees to make the amendments if the referendum decision is a ‘yes’.by