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First Nation Governance. Created and Presented by Sharon Meyer April 2014. Traditional Structures: Elders Councils Clan Mothers/ Grandmothers Longhouse Bundle Societies Hereditary Leaders Warrior Leaders . https ://

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first nation governance

First Nation Governance

Created and Presented by

Sharon Meyer April 2014


Traditional Structures:

Elders Councils

Clan Mothers/ Grandmothers


Bundle Societies

Hereditary Leaders

Warrior Leaders

  • Tradition and Governance: Tom Happynook 3:25

The speaker introduces the role of a hereditary Chief

  • Tradition and Governance: Ron Thomas 5:43

The speaker introduces the clan system of governance


Our Indigenous Knowledge is based on our spiritual connection to Creator, the relationship to the land we inherit and how we survive within our ecosystems: medicines, plants, animals, land, sky, water, and all of Creation. - See more at:


The Indian Act of 1876 was a consolidation of regulations that impacted First Nations people living throughout the country. It gave greater authority to the Department of Indian Affairs by permitting it to intervene in a wide variety issues and to make sweeping policy decisions across the board such as determining who was an Indian, managing Indian lands, resources and moneys, controlling the access to intoxicants and promoting "civilisation". The principle behind the Act was that it was the Crown's responsibility to care for and protect interests of First Nations people by acting as their "guardians" until such time as they could reach a level of sophistication that allowed them to fully integrate into Canadian society. The Indian Act was frequently amended in the 70 years after it was passed into law in 1876. The amendments were largely concerned with assimilation and civilisation of First Nations people. Amendments to the Indian Act became increasingly restrictive and imposed ever greater controls upon the lives of First Nations peoples.


Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) defines "governance" as "how a community is run and the rules that apply in its day to day operation." INAC says the legislation will be based on the idea of "tools for effective governance" and will look specifically at the financial accountability of First Nations; the operational accountability of chiefs and councils to community members; elections (leadership selection and voting rights); and the legal status and capacity of Indian Bands.Ed Bianchi is the Aboriginal Rights Program Coordinator for KAIROS


1969 White Paper proposed getting rid of the Indian Act, extinguishing Aboriginal title and rights, and terminating the historical nation-to-nation treaty relationship-was seen by Aboriginal peoples as just another attempt by the federal government to assimilate them. According to the Royal Commission

  • Ed Bianchi is the Aboriginal Rights Program Coordinator for KAIROS

We do not want the Indian Act retained because it is a good piece of legislation. It isn't. It is discriminatory from start to finish.…but we would rather continue to live in bondage under the unequitable Indian Act than surrender our sacred rights. Any time government wants to honour its obligations to us we are more than ready to help devise new Indian legislation."Ed Bianchi is the Aboriginal Rights Program Coordinator for KAIROS


Under the act, a status Indian has rights to health, education, and tax exemptions for which other Canadians don't qualify.

  • Treaty promises and agreements include non-interference, protection of hunting & fishing rights, sharing of land & resources, health and education benefits, economic tolls and benefits for the duration of Treaty Relationship
  • There are 634 First Nation communities known as reservations in Canada.
  • T
afn assembly of first nations national chief shawn a in chut atleo
AFN (Assembly of First Nations)National Chief -Shawn A-in-chutAtleo
  • Executive Committee shall consist of the National Chief, the AFN Regional Chiefs and the Chairman of the Council of Elders (in an advisory capacity).
  • National Chief shall be elected in accordance with Article 22 of the present Charter.
  • The AFN Regional Chiefs shall be elected by the Chiefs in their regions according to the following formula:, one each from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory.
  • The AFN Regional Chiefs shall be elected for a three year term and shall be eligible for re-election. The term of office may be terminated before the expiry date if the Chiefs of that Region so decide at a meeting called for that purpose.
fsin federation of saskatchewan indian nations chief perry bellegarde
FSIN (Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations)Chief – Perry Bellegarde
  • Agency Chiefs Tribal Council (ACTC)   ( 3 Articles )
  • Battleford Agency Tribal Council (BATC)   ( 5 Articles )
  • Battlefords Tribal Council (BTC)   ( 4 Articles )
  • File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC)   ( 11 Articles )
  • Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC)   ( 9 Articles )
  • Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC)   ( 12 Articles )
  • Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC)   ( 7 Articles )
  • Southeast Treaty #4 Tribal Council (SET4)   ( 2 Articles )
  • Touchwood Agency Tribal Council (TATC)   ( 4 Articles )
  • Yorkton Tribal Council (YTC)   ( 6 Articles )
  • Independant First Nations   ( 10 Articles )
first nation band
First Nation Band
  • Beardy’s and Okemasis Newly elected Chief and Council (2 year )
  • Our new team from l - r: Councillor Kurt Seesequasis, CouncillorC Roy Petit, CouncillorLeighanneGardipy-Bill, Councillor Candace Scott, Chief Rick Gamble, Councillor Ruby Eyapaise, Councillor Jeremy Seeseequasis, Councillor Barb Mosquito, CouncillorKevin Seesequasis— with C Roy Petit and Kevin Seesequasis
elder role
Elder Role
  • Roles of the Elders

The elders of Muskeg Lake play several important roles within our community:

•Consulting – With the wisdom and experience they have gained in the course of a lifetime, our elders have much to offer in a consulting role, both with the Chief and Council, and with individuals and committees within the community.

•Being a spiritual presence at meetings – An elder attends each Chief and Council meeting to provide wisdom, insight and spiritual support.

•Sharing insight – Elders meet monthly to interact with one another, share their wisdom, and consult about all aspects of community.

•Teaching our grandchildren – Elders play an important role in passing on culture and knowledge to the community’s grandchildren, teaching Cree, talking about family trees, and providing positive cultural role models.


Minister Nault's First Nations Governance initiative does not respect this. His Indian Act legislation is based on a colonial mentality and will further diminish our rights, where First Nations are treated as 'wards of the state' rather than as sovereign participants in this land. We now have to work on a real political relationship between First Nations and Canada. A Nation-to-Nation relationship that will bring about fundamental changes for First Nations in the same way the Charter of Rights has done for non-aboriginal Canadians."Ed Bianchi is the Aboriginal Rights Program Coordinator for KAIROS


Knowledge transmission is guided by our way of life through, ceremonies, songs, observations, traditional teachings, and languages. Language is connected to the plants, animals, and the spiritual relations that help sustain our environments. We have an inherent right to our Original instructions and to live upon our lands under Natural Law.  The law of wāhkōhtowin directs and guides the transmission of knowledge.  The integral source of our traditional knowledge is our wāhkōhtowin relationship to the ecosystems and those with whom we share the lands. In this manner, Indigenous Peoples carry the memory of our history and connection to Creation. - See more at:


Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan: As Negotiating Tables Legitimize Canada’s Colonialism

by Russell Diabo on November 9, 2012

  • On September 4th the Harper government clearly signaled its intention to:
  • 1) Focus all its efforts to assimilate First Nations into the existing federal and provincial orders of government of Canada;
  • 2) Terminate the constitutionally protected and internationally recognized Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights of First Nations.
idle no more
Idle No More
  • Idle No More calls on all people to join in a peaceful revolution, to honour Indigenous sovereignty, and to protect the land and water"
  • INM has and will continue to help build sovereignty & resurgence of nationhood.
  • INM will continue to pressure government and industry to protect the environment.
  • INM will continue to build allies in order to reframe the nation to nation relationship, this will be done by including grassroots perspectives, issues, and concern.
what kind of activities can you do in you classroom
What kind of activities can you do in you classroom?
  • Comparison charts or Venn Diagrams

Your community to a First Nation community



Sharon Meyer

North East School Division

First Nation and Metis Instruction Consultant