Mandate letter for Chief Advisor Shirley Kennedy

Qey Mrs. Shirley Kennedy,

I am pleased to have you as members of the Grand Council of the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation and to assign to you the political responsibilities of governance, treasury, and finance. I also designate you to assist and replace me in liaising with the General Directorate and for any meetings, representation, and responsibilities for which I may not be able to fulfill. These responsibilities are of the utmost importance and must always be exercised in the best interests of the First Nation.

The beginning of the mandate is a defining moment for WWFN and will be marked by continuity in change. Already in 2016, the members of our First Nation were sending a clear signal. They wanted WWFN to move into second gear in order to develop to its full potential. WWFN needed to regain its leadership with respect to Wolastokuk and its members. To achieve this goal, the following steps were taken:

  1. We have improved our ability to manage and govern ourselves as a nation. The separation of administrative and political roles was instituted and a team of competent and honest managers was put in place. The results have been conclusive. Not only have significant revenues been generated, but they have also been administered effectively in anticipation of structuring projects for WWFN and its members.
  1. Important relationships have been consolidated and renewed. First of all, with our members, whom we have involved in committees and who have contributed in various ways to important issues. Historic alliances have also been renewed with our brothers and sisters from other First Nations, including the Wolastoqey Nation. Finally, we have resumed negotiations with the governments of Canada and Quebec to continue our struggle towards reparation and recognition of our rights while establishing partnerships.

The members have given us a clear mandate. They agree with these directions and want us to continue them. Over the next few years, WWFN will have to consolidate its governance and build structuring projects for the nation and its members.

As Chief Advisor with responsibility for support to members and communications, you will be responsible for ensuring that an effective link is maintained between WWFN and its members. In particular, it is a priority for our members to be aware of and have access to all the services to which they are entitled. In both education and health care, the WWFN is the primary point of contact between our members and the Government of Canada, and I want to ensure that our members are well supported in this relationship. During this mandate, we will work on the rules of governance of WWFN. Changes to these rules could have concrete implications for the members and it is essential that they be consulted and informed in advance. A comprehensive communication plan will need to be developed and put in place to ensure that all members have access to the same level of information. Too often we hear members say that they are unaware of what is happening in WWFN. You will need to make sure that information gets to all members. Finally, in order to preserve the memory of WWFN and to ensure that future generations benefit from past and present teachings and situations, a comprehensive and efficient archiving system needs to be put in place. These responsibilities are yours.

The Grand Council relies on your work, ideas, and recommendations to guide its decisions in the areas of your responsibilities. The challenges ahead are great, but you are not alone. All members of the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation, including our ancestors and future generations, can guide you. Do not hesitate to inform, consult, and listen to them. The involvement of our members represents an important transparency tool that also promotes the objectives of belonging and reappropriation. Also, collaborate and work in complementarity with the WWFN’s management and directors. Clearly determine your respective roles and responsibilities. Share information in both directions in order to benefit from their knowledge while allowing them to know and implement the Grand Council’s orientations and decisions. Finally, cultivate your relationships with organizations and individuals outside of WWFN while protecting and affirming our rights.

The responsibilities assigned to you must adequately respond to the needs and reality of our members. You will therefore have to consult with the entire Grand Council and the other Chief Advisors as well as the various committees of the nation in order to ensure that you have in your hands all the information that must be communicated to the members. The General Directorate will also have to support you in this responsibility. In addition, you will have to be attentive to all our members to ensure that you reach them, wherever they are. All our members are equal and must benefit from the information in the same way. As for the archives, I am asking you to ensure consultation and coordination with all employees and consultants working for the benefit of WWFN. In addition to gathering all the information in one place, it will be necessary that it be preserved and filed so that it can be used efficiently.

In closing, I ask you to take steps to ensure the sustainability of the work you will do during your mandate. The fruit of your work does not belong to you and must remain with the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation. You must therefore take the necessary measures to ensure that your actions and initiatives are accessible and can benefit your successors and future generations.

Woliwon!

Jacques Tremblay, Grand Chief
Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation