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Tsawwassen First Nation’s RIM program: Case Study

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Tsawwassen First Nation’s RIM program: Case Study. Presentation to the ICT Summit February 25 th , 2012 Jennifer Jansen, Records Analyst. Background. Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) members belong to the seafaring Coast Salish people ancestral language is hun’qum’i’num

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tsawwassen first nation s rim program case study

Tsawwassen First Nation’s RIM program: Case Study

Presentation to the ICT Summit

February 25th, 2012

Jennifer Jansen, Records Analyst

  • Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) members belong to the seafaring Coast Salish people
    • ancestral language is hun’qum’i’num
    • traditional territory is located in southwest British Columbia, near Vancouver
    • pre-contact: 3 main fishing villages, gathering place for people from many nations
    • profound connection with the ocean and lands
    • a long history of environmental stewardship
demographics today
Demographics Today
  • 435 Members, about half of whom live on Tsawwassen Lands
      • Other half live in Lower Mainland, Okanagan, US, and elsewhere
  • Population is young and growing: over 40% of TFN Members are under 18
  • Post-treaty land base is 724 hectares
      • Commercial, residential & industrial potential
  • Approximately 400 non-Member leaseholders currently living on Tsawwassen Lands:
    • Tsatsu Shores (condominium complex)
    • Stahaken (residential community)
    • Tsawwassen Beach (gated, beachfront homes)
  • 52% of Members have attained a high school diploma; 5% have a university degree



Neighbourhood Plan 2010



the treaty
The Treaty
  • Became Effective on April 3, 2009
    • Canada’s first modern urban treaty, and first treaty under BCTC Treaty Process
    • Provides cash settlement, transfers land ownership, and provides comprehensive self-government powers
  • Exclusive jurisdiction over land management, in addition to broad law making authority (social policy, education, health, taxation, economic development, etc.)
the treaty cont d
The Treaty (cont’d)
  • New governance structure replaces Indian Act structure
  • Interacts with federal and provincial law through a concurrent law model that ensures there is no legal ‘vacuum’
  • TFN passed 23 laws on Effective Date of Treaty, including Constitution Act  public online registry of laws ensures transparency
  • Land is owned by TFN Members in fee simple, and by TFN Government as ‘allodial title’ (akin to how provincial and Federal governments hold Crown land)
  • Tsawwassen Legislature
    • 12 elected Members plus Chief
    • Presided over by Squiqel (speaker)
    • Passes laws, annual budget
  • Executive Council
    • 4 Members plus Chief
    • Highest vote-getters from Legislature election
    • Regulations, policies, strategic management/oversight
  • Chief – elected separately
    • Strategic management and overall direction
  • Judicial Council, Advisory Council, Property Tax Authority, other legislated committees/structures
  • Directed by Chief Administrative Officer
  • Lands: development, land use, community planning, zoning, referrals, permits and licences
  • Natural Resources: fishing allocations and licences (commercial, selective, and FSC), hunting and gathering activities/licences, protocol agreements with other FNs and other governments
  • Finance: funds management, auditing and reporting, IT
  • Health and Social Services: income assistance, housing assistance, social services for Members, Elders support, community health, community nursing, outreach
  • Legal Services: legal support to government administration and legislative bodies
  • Human Resources: employee management, occupational health and safety, Member employment opportunities, Impact Benefits Agreements (IBAs)
  • Government Services: administrative support to Legislative Assembly, Executive Council, and other TFN bodies and departments, information management, enrolment and membership, treaty implementation
  • Education and Skills Development: Smuyuq’wa’ Lelum ECE Centre, TFN Youth Centre, education support K-12 and post-secondary, employment training programs, language and culture programs
  • Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs: policy development, intergovernmental relations, treaty implementation
tfn economic development corporation tedc
TFN Economic Development Corporation(TEDC)
    • Arms-length, corporate entity incorporated in 2009
  • Seeks partnerships to develop the skills, training and employment side of TFN land developments
  • Mandate to ensure TFN members benefit from the creation of new jobs and business opportunities and become active contributors to the local economy
  • Relationship with TFN Government is similar to a Crown corporation
records and information management beginnings
Records and Information Management - Beginnings
  • Records Analyst hired in November 2010
  • Challenges: idiosyncratic and legacy filing methods, minimal RIM coordination between dept’s, lack of space, insufficient time and resources to manage effectively, “can’t find anything”
  • Goal is to create a corporate-wide standard for managing records and information assets regardless of format or location
  • Adopted a function-based approach to classification
guiding principles
Guiding Principles
  • Records and Information = Assets
      • Information assets have value, just like financial or capital assets
  • Information assets must be managed
      • Proper management of an asset enables the organization to leverage its full value
      • Effective information management is vital to transparency and good governance
  • Management of information assets is driven by function
      • Records are classified based on the business procedure/process they are related to
why a function based approach
Why a function-based approach?
  • Emerging standard for RIM methodology – ISO 15489
    • Records are product of business procedures
    • Records are used to support business procedures
  • Classification scheme reflects the business procedures within the organization
    • Not tied to org structure accommodates organizational change
    • Records of common business functions are managed consistently
    • Expandable/adaptable as the organization and its business procedures evolve
review of legislation and policy
Review of Legislation and Policy
  • Identify what records are required explicitly
    • E.g. : Tsawwassen Election Act requires that an Election Manual be created after every election
    • E.g.: Chapter 25 s.6 of the Final Agreement requires that the tri-partite Implementation Committee prepare annual reports on implementation activities
  • Identify statutory bodies that will generate records – for example:
      • Legislative Assembly
      • Executive Council
      • Advisory Council
      • Judicial Council
      • Implementation Committee (tri-partite)
      • Joint Fisheries Committee
business process analysis
Business Process Analysis
  • Review of laws, regulations, and policies to determine prescribed procedures and the records produced
      • E.g.: Elections

Calling the election  notices

Nominations  nomination forms

Identify eligible voters  voters lists

Appoint elections officers/scrutineers  agreements

business process analysis cont d
Business Process Analysis (cont’d)
  • Meetings with departmental managers and staff
      • What does your department do? What kinds of records do you have?
      • Identify each departments’ “functional authority”
      • Identify cyclical processes (e.g. financial, fisheries, reporting cycles, etc.)
      • Identify formalized procedures (e.g. permit applications, membership applications) and the records associated with those
      • Identify procedural gaps, or processes that exist “by default”
  • Informal procedures (small staff)
  • Transitional period post-treaty  procedural gaps
  • “Hybrid” type of government:
    • Municipal-type functions (e.g. lands management and development, facilities management)
    • Provincial and federal-type functions (e.g. social assistance/housing; education; community health; fisheries management)
    • Functions unique to First Nations (e.g. referrals; managing FFA, IBAs, etc.; traditional knowledge; membership)
adopted a model
Adopted a model
  • Municipal records management model (City of Vancouver – VanRIMS)
  • Identify classifications that could be directly adopted (with minor modifications)
      • E.g.: Employee Files, Operating Budget Files, Annual Reports
  • Identify similar areas of functional responsibility/ authority (current and future)
      • E.g.: Permits and Licences, Emergency Planning, Access and Privacy, Governance
      • Functions are similar, but records are different
tsawwassen records and information management standard trims v 1
Tsawwassen Records and Information Management Standard (TRIMS) v.1
  • TRIMS is a comprehensive standard for managing TFNs information assets
    • A corporate records classification scheme: used to organize, describe, and provide physical and intellectual control over groups of TFN corporate records
    • A filing standard: used as the basis for filing systems, network directory hierarchies, and document libraries and hierarchies in digital document management systems
    • A records retention and disposition schedule: a life-cycle plan for each type of corporate record.
beyond a filing plan
Beyond a filing plan…

TRIMS is for managing information assets

  • Defines types of files/records according to their purpose within the organization  based on business processes
  • Defines how long each type of file/record needs to be kept and what happens to it in the end  life-cycle management
  • Identifies what kinds of files/records have confidential information, what files are essential records  handling and storage requirements
  • Can be used to manage all types of information, not just hard copy files
how does trims work
How does TRIMS work?
  • Hierarchical block-numeric system that has three levels
      • Function Group (2-digit code)
            • Primary(4-digit code)
                  • Secondary(2-digit code)
  • E.g06-1000-10 = Human Resources Management – Employee Management – Employee Files
policy and procedures
Policy and Procedures
  • New RIM Policy approved Oct 2011
      • Officially adopts TRIMS as the TFN corporate standard for managing information assets; defines departmental responsibilities for RIM, and the role of the Government Services Department
      • Includes new section for Essential Records (preliminary)
  • RIM Procedure manual
      • “How to” for implementing the Policy
      • Formalized procedures and forms for transferring records to storage, retrieving records from storage, and destroying records (still currently in draft)
      • Provides naming conventions for folders and documents in hard copy and electronic formats
accomplished to date
Accomplished to date
  • Review of and input on TRIMS classifications from managers and staff  on-going
  • Departmental file inventory and initial implementation is underway
  • RIM Policy adopted by Executive Council Oct 2011
  • Review and detailed inventory of pre-Treaty and Treaty Negotiation files underway
  • 2011: hired summer intern (with grant from Young Canada Works) for archival arrangement and description project targeting Chief Baird’s Treaty Negotiation records
moving forward
Moving Forward
  • Complete hardcopy implementation of TRIMS (CAO, Lands, Natural Resources, PIGA, Government Services and HR targeted for completion in 2012)
      •  retroactive only to Effective Day of Treaty (April 3 2009)
  • Implementation of retention and disposition procedures once TRIMS implementation is complete
  • Moving towards implementation of EDMS
      • First step will be needs assessment
  • “Special schedules” for Treaty Negotiation records (archival), pre-Treaty “legacy” records
  • Develop RIM training program for staff
  • Develop TFN Essential Records program
  • Eventually we will establish a TFN community archives
  • Capacity of staff
      • time commitments, availability - progress gets interrupted by “brush fires”
      • technical proficiency
      • complexity – some dept’s need more support than others
  • Buy-in
      • long-term solution to an immediate problem
      • RIM is low priority for many staff, difficult to see longer-term benefits
  • Significant organizational change, shift in how staff think about their records
      • varying levels of comfort, trust
  • No comprehensive model to follow
additional resources
Additional Resources
  • TFN – www.tsawwassenfirstnation.com
  • Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development – http://hpaied.org/
  • BC Treaty Commission – www.bctreaty.net