The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) Chief and Council passed the Äghàałān (My Relatives) Enrollment Act on December 16, 2016.
“This may be one of the most important laws our First Nation ever passes, because it is about who we are as Champagne and Aishihik people,” said Dän Nätthe Ada Kaaxnox (Chief Steve Smith). “The Äghàałān Act ensures CAFN has a fair, consistent process for enrollment today and in the future as our nation grows.”
What is the Act about?
The Äghàałān Enrollment Act:
- Makes it clear who can and cannot enroll under the CAFN Final Agreement;
- Requires CAFN ancestry for a person to be eligible to enroll;
- Lays out a clear, fair process to ensure CAFN Citizens are enrolled in a timely fashion;
- Builds on Chapter 3 of our CAFN Final Agreement;
- Clarifies that dual-enrollment with CAFN is not allowed (i.e. people who are enrolled or status with two First Nations in Canada); and
- Is an exercise of CAFN’s powers to create our own laws under our Self-Government Agreement.
What was the process leading to the Act?
- In 2004, 2005 and 2010, Citizens passed resolutions at the CAFN General Assembly calling for work to resolve dual enrollment and to establish a fair, timely process for enrollment.
- CAFN staff and legal counsel researched options to establish the enrollment process and criteria, and considered a variety of options, ultimately recommending that an act would be the best tool for CAFN enrollment.
- In 2014, the Chief and Council passed a resolution that CAFN develop its own enrollment law.
- In July 2015, Council passed the first reading of the Act. That fall, community input on the draft Act was gathered through consultation, in CAFN communities, with the Elders Executive and Senate, a questionnaire was also developed and given out at the General Assembly and by mail, and online
- In October 2015, Council passed second reading of the Act. Work continued in close consultation with Chief and Council to confirm details on the criteria for enrollment and the definition of ancestry.
Does the Act affect my rights to access funding, programs and services?
- No, the Act does not deal with any details on the benefits of being enrolled with CAFN. Those are dealt with in CAFN policies on programs and services, which are completely separate from this Act.
The development of the Äghàałān Enrollment Act has been a (this is where I was hoping to stress the “long thought out process with”) careful process, with in-depth research and serious consideration by the Council to determine the best process and criteria for enrollment of CAFN people today and for many years to come.
The Act is available at http://cafn.ca/about/guiding-documents/laws-regulations/ .
For more information on enrollment with CAFN, please contact Lilly Smith at (867) 634-4200 ext 235 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
DID YOU KNOW?
- The purpose of the Äghàałān Enrollment Act is to create a fair, consistent process for Enrollment.
In response to Citizens (GA resolutions in 2004, 2005 and 2010) CAFN has diligently worked to create a fair, consistent, and transparent process for enrollment, with CAFN ancestry as the main basis for enrollment.
- Anyone with CAFN ancestry is eligible to enroll with CAFN.
Ancestry is the central basis for a person to be eligible to enroll with CAFN. Anyone who can trace their lineal ancestry to a CAFN person (birth parent, grandparent, or great grandparent) is eligible to apply for enrollment with CAFN.
- No one has been or will be removed from CAFN’s current Enrollment List due to the passage of our new Enrollment Act.
The Äghàałān Enrollment Act only impacts new enrollment with CAFN going forward. No one who is enrolled with CAFN has been or will be removed.
- The Äghàałān Enrollment Act builds upon the CAFN Final Agreement and exercises our Self-Government rights.
The 1993 CAFN Final Agreement lays out the basic parameters for enrollment in Chapter 3. The new Äghàałān Enrollment Act builds upon the Final Agreement by requiring CAFN ancestry to enroll, and by clarifying that dual-enrollment with CAFN is not allowed (i.e. people who are enrolled or status with two First Nations in Canada). The Äghàałān Enrollment Act is an exercise of CAFN’s powers to create our own laws, as we have the authority to do under our Self-Government Agreement.
5. The Äghàałān Enrollment Act took effect February 14, 2017 – the 44th anniversary of the day Elijah Smith and Yukon First Nation leaders presented Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow to Parliament in Ottawa.