LETTER: Self government key to aboriginal success
- LETTER: Self government key to aboriginal success
Published: June 28, 2013 4:00 PM
At Tsawwassen First Nation, we have one answer to the accountability crisis wrought by the Indian Act: Invest in self-governance. For too many years, the oppression of Indian Act governance crippled Tsawwassen First Nation's ability to be responsive to the needs of our community. Since we reclaimed self-governance in 2009, accountability has formed the core of each and every decision made by our government. Tsawwassen First Nation government's accountability mechanisms are first and foremost to our members. The Tsawwassen constitution established an advisory council of members who must be consulted prior to the creation or amendment of Tsawwassen laws.
Our annual budget is subject to a rigorous vetting process by both elected officials and community advisory groups. Our strategic plan, service plans, and annual reports are to our members, not to some far-away Ottawa bureaucrats. Every action of our government is defined by the priorities of our membership.
To Tsawwassen, self-governance was critical. Only once we shed the shackles of the Indian Act, were we finally able to realize our goal of responsive, transparent and accountable governance.
Chief, Tsawwassen First Nation
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