Kahnawà:ke Community Decision Making Process

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Consensus reached on residency clause at Election Law amendment hearing


The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke wishes to inform the community that consensus was reached on one issue at a hearing for proposed amendments to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke Election Law.

The question posed to the community was regarding whether or not there should be criteria to hold office. Consensus was reached on the ‘Ordinarily Resident’ clause of the current law, which has been changed to ‘Kanien’kehá:ka resident of Kahnawa:ke for a period of six months prior to election.’ Exceptions can be made for work or education, as long as Kahnawà:ke is the primary residence.

Discussion took place on restrictions for candidates who have been convicted of criminal offences prior to an election, with a debate on whether summary convictions should be added.

“While we had consensus on keeping the status quo on the ‘criminal offences’ portion, the decision was based on information that was incomplete,” said Trina C. Diabo, the MCK Technician in charge of the Election Law file. “Therefore, after consulting Legal Services this morning, we will re-table this portion, with the new information, at the next meeting for better clarity.”

There was also consensus reached on the topic of Disclosure. Specifically, candidates who have current charges pending are now obligated to disclose this information when they accept their nominations. This is not a requirement in the current law.

Next topic for discussion will be whether to amend the eligibility clause regarding chiefs ending the previous term ‘in good standing’ with the suggested change: ‘…have (has) not been removed from office’ to be eligible for election. Additionally, discussion will be tabled regarding the suggested creation of a Community Advisory Board to assist the Electoral Officer until the election process is completed.

The hearing was attended by fifteen community members. The date of the next meeting will be announced shortly.

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