Letter To Membership – Flooding Claim Consultations

Letter To Membership – Flooding Claim Consultations

As you know, we are nearing a potential resolution of our long outstanding Flood Claim.  We, as your current Chief and Council, feel fortunate to continue the work of many previous Chief and Council’s to move this claim forward and to be in the position of hopefully bringing it to an end.  However, we cannot do this without the trust and support of our membership.

The Flood Claim is all of ours. The flooding affects all of us, and the compensation will be there to make life better for all of us.  It is therefore important that the decisions that our First Nation will have to make over the next while are made with the best interests of our present as well as our future on-reserve and off-reserve members in mind.

We are committed to doing our part to ensure that the settlement of this claim is conducted in the best interest of our First Nation.  We will do this by ensuring that the consultations that will be taking place over the next half-year will provide all members, on-reserve and off-reserve, with plenty of opportunities to inform themselves and have their say on the settlement process, the flood claim, and compensation to be provided to our First Nation.

We are fully committed to listening to the membership on issues such as:

  • How consultations and information sharing can be improved
  • What the expectations are on the ratification vote, include how the vote is conducted
  • How the settlement funds (i.e. compensation paid to the First Nation) should be managed
  • Whether some of the settlement funds should be paid out to the membership, and if so, how much

We are also taking steps to improve the consultation process in response to feedback and comments received from the membership. These steps include:

  • Hiring a Community Engagement Coordinator to be the contact person for the membership
  • Contracting an independent consulting firm specialized in community engagement to coordinate consultation activities
  • Exploring other ways to communicate updates and information on the settlement and ratification process
  • Scheduling further community meetings.

What we ask from our membership is that you trust in this process, and trust that we have the best interest of our membership and First Nation in mind when organizing and carrying out this consultation process. If you have any concerns about the consultation process or the settlement, we encourage you to share such concerns and see them as an important opportunity to improve the process.

There are plenty of examples where similar settlements have derailed or stalled because of a lack of trust in the leadership and the process that was established to engage the membership in the settlement and ratification process.  Some of these examples have been brought to our attention recently through media and Facebook.  None of us want that to happen to our settlement.  This claim has taken far too long already to be further delayed.  We all want to see it resolved.

We therefore ask that all our members work together to ensure that the consultation process that we have embarked on can continue unhindered, without obstructions and serve its purpose; that is to provide all our members with an opportunity to be informed, heard, and voice their thoughts and concerns.

Miigwetch,
NORTHWEST ANGLE #33 CHIEF AND COUNCIL

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Letter To Membership – Flooding Claim Consultations

Community Meeting – Flooding Claim Settlement

Northwest Angle #33 is holding a community meeting regarding the flooding claim settlement Canada admitted responsibility for.

  • The first is at 11am on October 2, 2021 at Angle Inlet Community Hall.
  • The second is at 11am on October 16, 2021 at Dogpaw Community Hall.
  • The third is at 11am on October 28, 2021 at Seven Generations Institute in Kenora.

For all meetings please follow all COVID-19 safety measures and guidelines (i.e. wear a mask, keep a safe distance. For the October 28th meeting – registration and vaccine proof required due to COVID-19 protocols at the location.

Questions and comments to the Band Administrator at 807.226.2858 or email [email protected]

Northwest Angle #33 Latest Band News & Updates


Normally, we would have an annual general membership meeting in December, however due to COVID-19, and to protect our members from contracting the virus, we are providing this update on the activities of the Chief and Council since being elected or re-elected to office.   It’s been a trying time and we faced many challenges with respect to providing updates and meeting with various government officials either through telephone or video conference calls.

COVID-19 Update

We are currently in Code Orange and each of the two communities are faced with different situations in terms of security and checkpoints. While Dogpaw is accessible by road and Angle Inlet is not, it becomes a difficult task to ensure that the communities remain safe and secure from COVID entering the community. We remain vigilant ensuring that this does not happen.

Dogpaw has reinstituted the Checkpoint for safety reasons as there has been several people entering the community and there were no contact tracing mechanisms in place. We had no clue as to who these individuals may have been in contact with thus putting our community at risk. We have had conference calls with staff to identify what steps needed to be put into place.

The Pandemic Plan is being updated and Monica Shebahgeget had volunteered to update the contact information part. The Pandemic Plan is a living document and is subject to changes as issues arise. Once the contact information is updated, it will be posted on the nwa33.ca website.

As Christmas is upon us and we worry about our members, we will be providing another round of COVID-19 assistance to band members both on and off reserve. If you did not provide your account information yet, please contact Darlene Sandy, band administrator at [email protected]. If your account information has not changed, since the first round, it will be automatically deposited otherwise please provide new account information as soon as possible to Darlene Sandy. Our staff are working diligently to ensure information is being processed for finance to ensure direct deposits are done in a timely manner before the holidays. The last day the office will be open is on December 18, 2020 and will reopen on January 4, 2021. However, we will be available on call during the holidays in cases of emergency.

In addition to COVID assistance, we will be providing turkeys and $100 gift cards per household for Xmas dinner to our off-reserve members as well as $50 per child for Christmas presents. Hampers will be given to on-reserve members and the staff will be buying the presents for children on reserve at the same rate as off-reserve.

There will be no Xmas dinner this year at either community but perhaps a Meals on Wheels Dinner will be organized by staff. We will have to confirm that and once we know, we will keep you posted.

Flood Claim

We know that many of you are anxious to hear about the Flood Claim.

We are meeting via conference call on December 17, 2020 with the Federal and Provincial governments to discuss the next steps as we are nearing the end of negotiations.

The settlement offer still has to go through to the Treasury Board for approval and we will keep you updated as we get information. We will then be heading to a referendum to vote on the settled amount. We are taking steps to ensure the information is going to be forwarded to all members as we receive it. Now is the time to think about what you want to do with these funds if and when the members vote yes. Our council is looking at ways we can have mass member virtual meetings via video conferencing at this time and an online voting system that is secure. The lawyers will be providing a chart for members on how the process will be taking place soon.

We will keep you posted via the Band Member/s section of the website.                     

Portfolios

We met last week in Dogpaw to assign Portfolios as follows:

  • Darlene Comegan – Economic Development Capital Projects
  • Farrell Desrosiers – Culture/Recreation Education
  • Norma Girard – Health Lands & Resources (Shared with David Paul)
  • Joseph Katcheconias – Administration/Human Resources, Housing, Operations & Maintenance
  • David Paul – Finance, Lands & Resources (shared with Norma)
  • Diane Sandy – Social Services, Membership Services, Youth Leadership Council  

Annual Audited Statements

The audited financial statements are complete and can be viewed on the FNTA on the Indigenous Services website.

We have met and exceeded the recommended ratios as set out by Indigenous Services Canada.

This means our financial situation has improved vastly from two years ago when we received a denial of opinion. Last year was a qualified opinion. It was an unqualified opinion for 2019/2020. We are still not out of the woods yet as we have several outstanding reports to do, and without accurate financial information, they are not easy to complete.

Chief and Council have decided to tackle these as soon as possible. We can now function and meet increased performance levels with accurate financial data meaning we can now plan more effectively for issues that plague us on a daily basis. We ask that you be patient with us and staff while we go through these tedious exercises.

There is a link at the bottom of this webpage – scroll to the bottom and look for ‘Financial Transparency’.

Housing

We are under a housing crisis and we will be developing a plan of action to address issues once we figure out revenues and needs. Housing is one of our main priorities, but we need to fix our stock and how we plan to do that is still under works. We will keep you updated as we go.

Hiring of Band Administrators

Northwest Angle #33 has hired two Band Administrators, one for Dogpaw and one for Angle Inlet. The reason being that we think it would be more effective to have two because we feel that each community has a person they can access on site.

Kathy Cranston was hired at Dogpaw and Darlene Sandy at Angle Inlet.

Kathy has years of experience is administration and Darlene Sandy was our administrative assistant for 20 years and understands the function of band administration.

Please give these Kathy and Darlene a chance to prove themselves. So far they have been doing an outstanding job.

Hiring two Band Administrators gives Chief and Council the opportunity to focus more on political rather than administrative issues.

The Chief and Council will be working on many files this coming year. Policy Development is one of our tasks in the coming months as we set out to roll out some drafts. We, of course will include membership with the development of these policies. These drafts will be posted on the website. Each Council member was given a task and will report on an individual basis as they complete the work they have been assigned to.

New Website & Email – nwa33.ca

We have launched the website and there are still some administrative glitches that need to be ironed out when it comes to who will be updating the website, but we hope that this is a vehicle that will give members the information and resources as it becomes available. Band Members who join will be signed up to receive SMS alerts sent directly to their cellphone.

Chief and Council as well as all Band employees have been issues new email addresses. A full list of these is available on the Band Member’s Area and these email addresses will be distributed to staff as time goes on. Please be patient as we are transitioning from one email system on Microsoft’s free email system to a secure email system on Google Workplace administrated and controlled centrally by Chief and Council.

Accessing Band Member’s Area

All Band Members are asked to sign in with your treaty number and once confirmed that its accurate, you will be approved to enter the band members section of the website.

PLEASE NOTE: Treaty numbers are highly confidential information and are governed by the Privacy Act. We take this responsibility very seriously. The website is encrypted with SSL and all information stored, sent, and received from the website server is encrypted so it cannot be hacked into.

Not even the website developer has access to all of our Treaty Numbers. Only one person in our Band is authorized by law to access the Band list, and this is who will be authorizing members to the Band Members area. It might take time as there is only one person who can do this.

We thank you for your patience and we do hope you sign in. 

SENDING YOU YOU BEST WISHES

In no way does this mean that this is the only update you will receive. We have many files to deal with and will be keeping you updated as we go.

In closing, we want to wish you a safe COVID free Christmas and wish your families a safe and Happy Holiday and Have a very Happy New year!!! 

  • Chief Darlene Comegan
  • Councillor David Paul
  • Councillor Diane Sandy
  • Councillor Farrell Desrosiers
  • Councillor Joseph Katcheconias
  • Councillor Norma Girard

New Northwest Angle #33 Website

With two geographical locations that are quite far apart, communication between the Band and its members hasn’t ever been as easy as it should. This website was built to disseminate information about our First Nation to its members, and the general public.

We have a corresponding Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/northwestangle33firstnation and we are also on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/nwa_33 so follow us if you’re on those platforms.

This website is currently in the process of being added to – bookmark it and check back periodically.

Band Member Area

Only registered Band Members will be given access to this area. You can register at the link below and will only be granted access if the Status Card number you enter is correct.