Constitution Frequently Asked Questions2021-05-07T18:33:17+00:00

K’òmoks First Nation Constitution Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find frequently asked questions regarding the new Constitution that will come into effect with the adoption of the new Treaty.

What is a Constitution?2020-06-11T21:12:45+00:00

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.

Why do we need a Constitution?2021-04-14T23:46:25+00:00

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.

Under the Treaty, how will K’ómoks be governed?2020-06-11T21:13:23+00:00

K’ómoks will be governed as determined by the K’ómoks people, according to a structure designed by K’ómoks, and under K’ómoks Laws. The K’ómoks Government will consist of three bodies: The Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.

What is the difference between the Legislature and the Executive?2021-04-14T23:45:01+00:00

The K’ómoks Legislature has the vested power to create, review, and pass laws. It consists of anywhere from seven to 11 representatives elected by the K’ómoks membership, every three years. Its primary role is to make laws and approve the annual budget.

The K’ómoks Executive is made up of an elected Chief Councillor and additional members, who come from the elected representatives of the Legislature. The primary role of the Executive is approving policy and the overall political direction of K’ómoks. They perform day-to-day political functions, such as government relations, maintaining effective communications with members, protecting the K’ómoks First Nation economy, and ensuring the sound management of the Nation.

Who will be the first members of K’ómoks government?2021-04-15T17:32:35+00:00

The Chief Councillor and Councillors at the time of ratification of the Treaty will be the K’ómoks Government. They will serve as a transition government until the first elections are held. Elections must be called no later than six months and held within the first year after the Effective Date of the Treaty.

Under the Treaty, can K’ómoks government decisions be appealed or reviewed?2020-06-11T21:14:36+00:00

Yes. There will be an impartial and independent process for K’ómoks Members and other individuals who live within K’ómoks Lands to appeal or ask for a review of K’ómoks decisions. Currently, under the Indian Act, there is no formal process to review or challenge decisions made by the K’ómoks Chief and Council, other than in the courts. This will be the primary function of the Judiciary.

How will the Judiciary be appointed?2020-06-11T21:14:58+00:00

That has not been determined. On the Effective Date, the Legislature will have to pass a law to determine how the representatives of the judiciary are appointed.

When do we get to vote on the Constitution?2020-06-11T21:15:30+00:00

Chief and Council had planned for a vote on the K’ómoks Constitution before the end of, March 2021. However, the pandemic of Covid-19 will likely an impact on that target date.

When will it go into effect?2020-06-11T21:15:51+00:00

The K’ómoks Constitution will come into effect of the Effective Date of the Treaty.

Who can vote on the Constitution?2021-04-15T17:33:59+00:00

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.

How does the Constitution become law? A meeting in the hall or do we have to go to a court of law?2020-06-11T21:17:03+00:00

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.

What connection will exist between the K’ómoks government and residents of K’ómoks Lands who are not K’ómoks citizens?2021-04-14T23:37:07+00:00

Before the Treaty and the Constitution comes into effect, K’ómoks will negotiate procedures on how the K’ómoks government will consult with these individuals about any decision that directly and significantly affects them.

K’ómoks laws will apply to all members and non-members attending K’ómoks Institutions on K’ómoks Lands. Non-member residents will be subject to K’ómoks tax laws. Non-members will be provided an opportunity to participate in certain governmental decisions that directly and significantly affect them. This needs to be addressed in detail in K’ómoks laws.

What is the timeline for voting?2021-04-14T23:14:08+00:00

Right now (December 2020), the expectation is that K’ómoks will receive a Land and Cash offer in Summer/Fall of 2021. Based on that target, K’ómoks would vote first on the K’ómoks Constitution in Spring of 2022 and vote on a Treaty in Fall 2022. Covid-19 and elections all effect the timing of our treaty vote.

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?2021-04-14T23:13:29+00:00

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.





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