Abegweit First Nation


October 12, 2018

Open Letter to the Abegweit Mikmaw Nation Community from the Abegweit Mikmaw Council

October 12, 2018

Open Letter to the Abegweit Mi’kmaw Nation Community

From the Abegweit Mi’kmaw Council

Dear Community members,

Yesterday, we received the news that Chief Brian was appointed to the Senate of Canada. Like you, the Council was filled with pride. It is a well-deserved appointment for a leader who has served our community for almost 12 years and as Mi’kmaw people, we can all look forward to having our first PEI Mi’kmaw representative in Parliament. However, the Council also understands that this announcement brought uncertainty and raised many questions in the community. We are writing this morning to provide our assurance that we remain committed to the standard of leadership and governance that we have all achieved together over the last 12 years, and to answer some of the important questions that are being asked.

Section 20 of our Election Code states that:

“20 (1) Where the office of Chief or Council becomes vacant more than six months before the date when another election would ordinarily be held, the Band Council may direct the Electoral Officer to hold a special election in accordance with the Abegweit Band Custom system to fill the vacancy until the next scheduled election is called.
(2) Upon approval of the majority of the Band Council, the Electoral Officer may call a general election up to one year before the date the next election would normally be held, and may extend the elected council’s term up to six additional months.”

Taking into consideration the vacancy of the Chief’s position and the fact that our next election for the full Council would normally be held in May of 2019, we will implement the following plan, which essentially moves the election for full council forward by a month, rather than holding a bi-election for Chief and then another full Council election several months later.

• The Council will continue to serve and will share the leadership and accountability responsibilities that would normally be undertaken by the Chief.
• An election for full Council will be scheduled for a date in April 2019.
• In addition to her role as Director of Operations, Jenene Wooldridge will take on the Acting responsibilities for the Band Administrator position during this period. To be clear, we, the Council, are the elected leadership. Jenene will be assisting us and fulling this administrative function on our behalf and under our direction until the First Nation returns to its full Council complement in April.

Our community has accomplished so much over the last decade and we know we are just getting started. Change is difficult but we hope this clarity on the plan for the next few months is helpful. Please reach out to us if you have any questions. Band operations and business will continue as usual and we are looking forward to working with you and supporting each other through this transition.

Yours in spirit,
Councillor Jake Jadis 
Councillor Daren Knockwood