Constitution and By-Laws of the Eastern Woodlands Métis Nation of Nova Scotia

OUR MISSION

The Eastern Woodlands Métis Nation of Nova Scotia (EWMNNS)was created and exists to foster, promote and preserve our Métis identity and Heritage. We will strive to promote Education, Training, Business opportunities and Leadership in Self-Governance so that our people can reach their full potential and realize Economic, Cultural, Social, Spiritual, Health and Wellness and Legal/Justice issues, while becoming more economical independent and self-reliant.

OUR VALUES

The ultimate authorities within the EWMNNS are the full voting Métis members. Consensus will be sought from the "Grass Roots" membership and will be insured by organizational structures of the EWMNNS, which takes into account the traditional values of our Ancestors, with the belief that whole Communities are more important than one individual or group of individuals.

OUR VISION

As Aboriginal People of Canada, recognized and constitutionally protected under Sections 25 and 35 of the Constitution Act of Canada, we share a unique role with our First Nation and Inuit relations. It will be our goal to become Self-Actualized as laid out in the Final Report of " The Royal Commission on Aboriginal People." Once again, for our Ancestors, our Families and future Generations, we shall be known as "THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THEMSELVES," OUR PEOPLE.

The membership of the EWMNNS is comprised of all those Métis or Non-Status Aboriginal, registered with the EWMNNS, 1A West, Pier One Complex, 101 Water Street, Yarmouth Nova Scotia, B5A 4P4. The initial meeting and the forming of the EWMNNS was on November 8th, 2000, and consisted of the Founding Members, Three Elders, and the Grand Council of the EWMNNS. For us it was a historical moment when all EWMNNS members could stand tall and shout for all to hear "AT LAST WE ARE HERE". The mentioned founding EWMNNS is a registered Community Nation of the Registry Joint Stocks Company and the Federal Government. We also have our own Official Seal.

PREAMBLE

1. The EWMNNS shall comprise of a Political Branch, hereafter called the EWMNNS and an Administration Branch. The EWMNNS shall comprise of a Grand Council, Speaker and four to nine Elders or more if needed.

NAME AND TERRITORY

2. The name shall be Eastern Woodlands Métis Nation Nova Scotia (EWMNNS). The territory shall encompass all of Nova Scotia and beyond.

PURPOSE OF THE NATION

3. The Nation shall serve, represent and protect the rights and obligations of the Métis or Non-Status Aboriginal Peoples of Nova Scotia.

CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION

4. Full participation in the EWMNNS shall be limited to Métis or Non-Status Aboriginal persons interested in furthering the objects of the Nation. Associated membership will be afforded to those spouses, friends and independent supporters of the EWMNNS. Associate membership carries no voting rights or ability to sit on Executives of the Grand Council, or Directorate. Each circle shall define whether Associate Members may vote in matters pertaining to the day-to-day operation of Circle business and functions.

5. The rights of any individual member to participate in the affairs of the EWMNNS may be limited only by the Elders' Council.

5. (a) The members have the right to refuse and withdraw the membership of any person(s) who have demonstrated negative behaviour within the Circles, Elders' and Grand Council. HEAD OFFICE

6. The Head Office shall be situated at The Eastern Woodlands Métis Nation of Nova Scotia, RR # 2 South Ohio, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, B0W 3E0 until such time as a more permanent address is located.

QUORUM

7. Quorum shall be when 3 members of the Circles, Elders or Grand Council meet. Only one (1) member of the Executive must be present.

SPECIFIC AGE AND TERM

8. Elected or appointed Representatives of the EWMNNS must be at the minimum, sixteen years of age, reside within the Territory and be a member in good standing.

ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS OF THE GRAND COUNCIL

9. Local circle heads shall be elected in accordance to the custom of the Nation and voting will be held at the General Assembly for a term of not less than two years.

10. The Speaker of the Grand Council shall be appointed upon the advice of the Elders Council. This appointment is indefinite as long as he/she has the confidence of the members of the EWMNNS, pursuant to section 17.

11. The Deputy Speaker and the Secretary and/or Treasurer shall be elected for as long as he/she has the confidence of the members

MEMBERSHIP OF THE GRAND COUNCIL

12. The EWMMNS Grand Council shall consist of the Grand Chief,Chief, Speaker, Local Heads and an Elder from each Circle. The Grand Council will remain in office indefinitely as long as they have the confidence of the council members, pursuant to section 17. Regarding matters brought before the EWMNNS, all members shall have one vote.

(a) Members of the Executive who attend meetings outside of their local area shall be assisted with expenses, if possible, by their Circle.

(b) All Cirle members have the right to input any and all information on any level to the EWMNNS.

(c) More that one family member can be on the same Executive.

(d) No member or members will be permitted to usurp the authority of elected Officers or their Committees.

ELDERS

13. Elders are considered to be members of the EWMNNS who are knowledgeable in their Culture, Traditions and Beliefs, and who are held in high regard within their community. To become an Elder you have to be a participating member in good standing for at least 1 year and nominated and approved by Circle voting members. Elders may appoint an alternative to act in their place at meetings if the Elder can not attend said meetings.

"NO ELDER WILL BE ALLOWED TO INTERFERE WITH OR OVER-RULE ANY MEMBER OF THE GRAND COUNCIL."

ELDERS' COUNCIL

14. (a) The Elders Council shall comprise of Elders from within the EWMNNS. Although they may be removed for cause, the individual will always have a vote within the Circle.

(b) The Elders shall act as a second level conflict resolution board if the the Circle cannot resolve an internal dispute.There will be 15 days after the Elder's decision to launch an appeal to the Grand Council if one is deemed necessary.Appeals will be considered on the grounds of errors of law or errors of fact. No new evidence shall be heard at the Elders level unless it can be proven that said evidence was not known to either party.

(c) All appeals to the Grand Council must be filed within 15 days and shall be reviewed and ruled on by the Grand Council within 15 days of the appeal.

(d) In the case of an appeal of a Grand Council decision demonstrating an error in law or fact, a Special Committee on Conflict Resolution will be struck and consist of: 1 member from each Circle, 1 member from the Grand Council, and 1 ElderThe decision and ruling of the Special Committee shall be FINAL!

15. (a) Each Circle shall establish a Women's Council to assist in the good and welfare of the Nation. A Women's Council representative nominated from the Circles shall act as a liason to the Grand Council.

15. (b) The Women's Council shall hold a separate vote within their Circles, with regard to decisions made for the betterment of their Circles.

15. (c)Each Circle may establish a Youth Group to assist in the good and welfare of the Nation. Each Youth Representative nominated from the Circles shall act as a liason to the Senate.

TERMS OF OFFICE

16. The Founders and Corporate Officers shall remain in office indefinately,or until they choose to to vacate the position themselvesThere will be a 30-day notification to the affected parties.

16.(a) These actions must be decided within 30 days.

VACANCY ON THE GRAND COUNCIL

17. Any office shall be deemed vacated if :

(a) he/she resigns.

(b) he/she has been determined to be medically and/or legally incompetent and incapable.

(c) he/she is removed from office pursuant to Section 16.

(d) should a vacancy exist, the Executive may fill it by an interim appointment until such time as an election can be held, or at the General Assembly, whichever is sooner.

MEETINGS

18. Emergency Executive Meetings may be held as needed provided a maximum of 48 hours notice is given.

19. Each head or duly appointed alternate has one Vote.

20. All meetings shall be opened and closed with a Prayer.

ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS

21. Failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings shall constitute dereliction and is cause for removal from the Executive unless a viable excuse is given.

POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE

22. All powers come from the membership.

23. Direction dealing with policy making, voting and goal setting stem from the membership.

EXECUTION OF DOCUMENTS

24. A minimum of at least 2 Nation Heads signatures are needed to execute documents and commitments where prior approval is documented by a resolution instructed by the membership.

GRAND COUNCIL ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETINGS

25. (a) 30 days notice shall be given prior to the Annual General Assembly (AGA).

(b) two members shall be selected from the membership to attend such meetings. Financial assistance shall be given by their Circles if the funds are available.

(c) There will be one GA per fiscal year in the harvest months (October-November).

CIRCLE MEETINGS

26.(a) 30 days notice shall be given prior to the General Meeting.

(b) If a meeting will be dealing with certain matters, sufficient information shall be posted with the notice.

(c) Each Voting Member shall have only one vote.

(d) Proxy votes are allowable as long as the signature of the absent member is present on the Proxy form.

VOTING MEMBERS

27. (a) All card-carrying members shall be allowed to vote at the Annual General Assembly.

(b) Subject to Section 8, all members sixteen years of age or over may vote.

(c) All members are required to pay $15.00 dollars Annual Dues.

(d) Notwithstanding all members have a voice in any meeting of the EWMNNS but only members subject to section 8 may vote.

FISCAL YEAR

28. Jan 01 to Dec 31 is the fiscal year. ALL DUES payable by Dec. 31st.

AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS

29. (a) These by-laws may be amended from time to time by the Executive at duly constituted meetings.

(b) Two-thirds majority (51%) vote of the of EWMNNS Circle's membership shall constitute acceptance of said changes.

(c) The Executive shall issue a report on any Amendments for circulation with fourteen days of the Amendments being passed, also a full report shall be issued on an annual basis.

(d) Members have the right to call a Circle Meeting to discuss the Amendments or other special concerns, giving 30 days notice to the Executive.

(e) Each Circle is charged with drafting and implementing their own policies.

BOOKS AND RECORDS

30. (a) The members of the Executive shall see that all necessary books and records required by these by-laws or any applicable stature or Law is regularly and properly kept by the Secretary.

(b) All financial documents, including yearly audits are available to all members upon 30 day written notice being given to the Secretary and/or Treasurer.

FINANCIAL COMMITTEE

31. The Executive shall appoint a Financial Committee Annually (from within the EWMNNS) to prepare the accounts for presentation to the membership at the AGA.

DUTIES OF THE SPEAKER

32. The members shall elect the Speaker of the Nation. He/she shall be the Chief Spokesperson of the Nation, and shall be a representative to all Local, Provincial and/or to all other bodies that the Nation has dealings with.

DUTIES OF THE DEPUTY SPEAKER

33. (a) The Deputy Speaker shall see that all orders and resolutions are carried into effect.

(b) In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker shall perform the duties and exercise the powers as laid out in section 32.

(c) The Deputy Speaker shall set the Agenda of the Executive meetings, having consulted first with the Executives.

(d) The Deputy Speaker shall act as Chairperson at all meetings.

DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY AND TREASURER

34. (a) The Treasurer shall have custody of the funds of the EWMNNS, and shall keep full and accurate accounts of all assets and disbursements of the EWMNNS in the books belonging to the EWMNNS, and deposit all monies and valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the EWMNNS in such Chartered Banks, Credit Unions or Caisse Populare as directed by the Executive on a regular basis.

(b) He/she shall disperse these funds as directed by the Executive, taking proper vouchers and shall render to the Speaker and the Executive at the regular meeting of the Executive or whenever it is required, an accounting of all transactions and a statement of financial position of the EWMNNS.

(c) The Secretary shall be responsible to attend all meetings and act as clerk thereof, taking minutes of all votes and proceedings.

(d) The Secretary shall be responsible for giving notice of all meetings to members of the EWMNNS.

DECISION MAKING

35. All decisions shall be made by Consensus, unless provided for specifically elsewhere in these by-laws.

FUNDRAISING

36. The Executive may authorize a Committee to enter into fund raising with third parties, should the need arise.

INDEMNITY

37. Every Executive or Officer of the EWMNNS or other person who has, or is about to undertake, any Liability on behalf of the EWMNNS or any company controlled by it, their heirs, Executors and Administrators and estate and effects, respectfully, shall from time to time, and at all times be indemnified and saved harmless of the funds of the Nation, from and against:

(a) All cost, charges and expenses which such individual(s) sustains or incurs in or about any action, suit or proceedings against him/her/them, or in respect of any act, deed, matter of thing whatsoever, made, done or permitted by him/her/them in or about the execution of the duties of his/her/their office(s) or in respect of any liability;

(b) All other costs, charges and expenses which he/she/they sustain or incur in or about or in relation to the affairs thereof, except such cost charges or expenses as are occasioned by his/her/their own willful neglect or fault.