Media Release: Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation Asserts Right to Self-Determination
For Immediate Release
May 16, 2017
BEARDY’S & OKEMASIS’ CREE NATION ASSERTS RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION
Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, Treaty 6 – With a few simple words, the Referendum Officer, Mr. Irvin Montana, announced that the people of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation had set themselves on a path toward self-determination.
“The Constitution, with a ‘yes’ vote percentage of 89%, is passed”, he declared. “The Executive Act, with a ‘yes’ vote percentage of 90%, is passed; and the Financial Management Act, with a ‘yes’ vote percentage of 94%, is passed. I hereby declare the results of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation governance referendum official.”
Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Councillor in charge of Governance, Leighanne Gardipy-Bill stated “through enacting this legislation, we have asserted our inherent right to self-determination as sovereign Indigenous peoples, and proven to those who doubted our ability to govern ourselves, that we can, and will do so according to our own principles.”
Councillor Gardipy-Bill further explained that the Constitution is written so that Nation members are empowered with the ultimate law making authority. “I wish to acknowledge and thank our membership for setting the Nation on this path. The work we put into the development of the legislation goes back many years with many previous governments contributing to their development.”
Since 2014, Yahkohtewin Governance Planning Committee members Councillor Kevin Seesequasis, Councillor Jeremy Seeseequasis, Chief C. Roy Petit, Elders Betsy Gamble, Suzanne Seeseequasis, Charlie Sutherland, and Angus Esperance have worked with legal consultant Koren Lightning-Earle to further develop the legislation with community input through formal readings and surveys.
The final, official vote tally was as follows:
- Constitution: Yes = 221 votes, No = 24 votes.
- Executive Act: Yes = 222 votes, No = 21 votes.
- Financial Management Act: Yes = 233 votes, No = 12 votes.
“The new Constitution of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation stipulates that in order to enact new legislation, a 50% + 1 threshold of ballots cast must be in favour. This time around, we achieved that.” concluded Councillor Gardipy-Bill.
The new Constitution, Executive Act, and Financial Management Act are now official legislation for the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation alongside the recently amended Election Act. You can view the legislation here.
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For more information, please contact:
Chief & Council Communications
306-467-4523 ext 237