Lax Kw'alaams Constitutional Development Survey
What Lax Kw’alaams Members Need to Know:
A constitution is the supreme law of any society. A constitution also sets out the roles and responsibilities of government. For over a century, Lax Kw’alaams has been forced to work within the Canadian Indian Act which has displaced Lax Kw’alaams inherent right of self-determination. In order to end the era of the Indian Act – the people of Lax Kw’alaams must come together and define what we want for our people – now and in the future.
A Lax Kw’alaams’ constitution is key to our nation building efforts as an Indigenous people. With a constitution we can better:
- determine our own identity and membership as a community;
- develop our own laws and manage our own territory;
- create our own government structure; and,
- establish rights of Lax Kw’alaams people.
From the time of our ancestors, Lax Kw’alaams people have advocated for self-government and the right to govern ourselves. Today, Lax Kw’alaams maintains that right of self-determination. To create a Lax Kw’alaams government and society, responsive to the contemporary needs of our people – including health, education, land management, etc. we must have a solid foundation. The Indian Act is not a solid foundation – and reconciliation demands we explore a new reality.
The purpose of this survey it to collect community input on the development of our constitution. Development of a constitution must be guided by engagement and direction from our people. To build a constitution that is uniquely Lax Kw’alaams, we must hear from all our people including: youth, elders and tribal representatives. Only we as a community can decide what kind of nation we want to be – and how we will govern ourselves.
It is the duty of Lax Kw’alaams leadership, including our hereditary leaders, and administrative staff to work together to support a process that is open and transparent. At the very beginning, the voices of membership must be heard. This survey was developed for this purpose – to hear from the people. We hope that as many members as possible will reach out to us and share their voice.
This is only the beginning – please let us know if you want to participate in a workshop or would be interested in being interviewed to share detailed input.
If you have any questions about this survey please contact our Uks Baask Reconciliation Communications Coordinator, Valeen Knott, at firstname.lastname@example.org.