What is a Custom Election Code?
A Custom Election Code is an important law for the governance of a First Nation community. A custom election code:
- Is created by a First Nation.
- Allows a First Nation to set its own procedures for electing its government.
- Removes the First Nation from the section of the Indian Act that deal with elections.
- Means that the First Nation does not operate under the Indian Act for governance matters.
- Is voted on and approved by the members.
- Most First Nations in BC operate under a Custom Election Code system. Iskut is already one of these communities.
Why do we need to update the current code?
Iskut already has a Custom Election Code in place. This document is called “The Iskut First Nation Band Council Election Regulations”. These existing regulations do not comply with recent court decisions and we must make changes to protect Iskut from legal challenges in the future. Additionally, our community has grown and changed since the code was first developed and we have had the chance to test what does and does not work for our community. A new Iskut Custom Election Code will better address the values of the community today and our vision for governance in the future.
While we update the code, we will be looking for input from members on questions such as:
- Who can nominate candidates for election?
- Who is eligible to participate in the voting process?
- Who qualifies as a candidate for the offices of Chief and Council?
- What will be the term of office for Chief and Council?
- How many members will be on Council and will they represent different demographics within Iskut?
- How will election results be appealed?
- Under what circumstances will council be removed, and what will the process look like?
- How will tie votes will be settled?
How will we update the code?
The Iskut Custom Election Code will be revised with the following process:
- A committee of Iskut members will prepare a draft a code.
- The code will be reviewed by all Iskut members.
- The members will vote on whether to ratify the new code or not.