CTFN meetings get started

Last weekend, Carcross/Tagish officials met with First Nation members, making good on a brokered deal that ended a tense standoff in January. The meeting resulted in a committee being struck.

Last weekend, Carcross/Tagish officials met with First Nation members, making good on a brokered deal that ended a tense standoff in January.

The meeting resulted in a committee being struck. Its task over the coming months is to draft a resolution to request a review of the First Nation’s constitution.

Specifically, it will propose changes to the clan system focussing on the selection process.

The resolution is to be introduced at a general assembly in March. The goal is to have changes in place before a leadership review, to be held in October.

“We can’t come up with all the answers right now and people know that,” said Chief Mark Wedge. “But we have a process. It was a good meeting.”

The meeting focused on how the government is structured. Attendees spent little time examining services, like social assistance.

The meeting didn’t accomplish what the protesters were hoping for, said Harold Gatensby, one of the protesters who manned a barricade in January.

“We sat for two whole days, in three different groups, and there wasn’t really any mixing of the groups,” said Gatensby. “A lot of people, I think, left scratching their heads wondering ‘what did we just do all this for?’ Because we never, as a community, focused on what inspired the people to lock up the doors of the First Nation.

“People weren’t asking for constitutional review,” he said. “They want accountability from leadership and management.”

As well, October is too far away for the community to wait to have this resolved, Gatensby added.

But they are working together, he said. And that’s a start.

The hope is to hold two more community meetings, like this one, before the general assembly in March, said Wedge. (Roxanne Stasyszyn)

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