A Constitution is the fundamental law of the nation by which the people agree to be governed. The K’ómoks Constitution outlines the Rights and Freedoms of K’ómoks Members, the roles and responsibilities of the K’ómoks Government and the relationship between the K’ómoks Government and the membership.
A Constitution is important because it is an essential element in achieving self-government. It serves as the basis for good government.
After Treaty, the Indian Act will no longer apply to K’ómoks, though members will keep their Indian status and continue to be eligible for Indian Affairs programs and services. A governance structure with law-making authority will be required to replace the Indian Act structure and to implement self-government under the Treaty. A Constitution will describe these structures and processes.
The K’ómoks Constitution will come into effect of the Effective Date of the Treaty.
All those eligible to be a K’ómoks Member, and of voting age (18+) can vote on the Constitution. This includes members who are currently on the Indian Band list and individuals who meet the Eligibility Criteria in the Treaty.
Your Constitution will become law on the Effective Date of the Treaty, after both the Treaty and the Constitution are approved in a ratification vote. There will be a good deal of consultation with K’ómoks members before this happens.
In the Constitution, where are the checks and balances? I feel uneasy about the possibility of the Executive outweighing the Legislature. How can we address that?
The KFN Constitution has been years in the making, and there have been numerous opportunities to participate. There are built-in checks and balances in the KFN Constitution because, unlike in the Indian Act where all power is vested in the Chief and Council, under the KFN Constitution you have power divided between the Executive Branch, the Legislature, and a Justice Tribunal; as well as the K’ómoks People’s Assembly.
The question about the size of the Executive compared to the Legislature is fair. You can address this by fully participating in the Constitutional forums that have taken place and that will take place by Zoom, as well as through public participation once there has been a vaccine. But you must participate to be heard.
To have a copy of the current Draft K’ómoks Constitution please Contact Fran Prince at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at the K’ómoks Administration Office at 250-339-4545.