April 25, 2016
Dear Samahquam Members,
Under the 2002 Samahquam Nation Constitution Act (SNCA) Samahquam Nation Government (SNG) was given the general mandate to define, protect and exercise Samahquam Aboriginal Title and Rights. The Act provides that both the chief and SNG coordinator must jointly sign all documents on behalf of Samahquam Nation. It says that the chief and council serve on SNG during their term of office, and that band council will convene SNG.
It defines Samahquam Indian Band Council as a delegated authority of Canada, and “by this Act, a delegated authority of Samahquam Nation”. And, most importantly, it states clearly that, “Band Council, or its individual members do not independently represent Samahquam Nation.”
The chief and council of Samahquam, therefore, are in breach of the Samahquam constitution by calling for a referendum on the In-SHUCK-ch treaty, as this is a Title and Rights matter, and therefore is outside the chief and council’s authority. This breach of the Samahquam Nation Constitution Act must be a matter for discussion in the May 1 Samahquam general assembly.
Eppa (Gerard Peters), Samahquam Nation Government coordinator