Cultural Values in their Work
Chippewas of the Thames Leadership Plan to Bring Cultural Values into their Work
Recently elected leadership of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation convened to engage in dialogue and set some objectives for their elected term. They are situated in Southern Ontario and have a population of 2400 with 800 members currently living in the community.
The National Centre for First Nations Governance was invited to deliver a two day workshop for leadership focusing on, strategic planning, governance principles and community engagement. Workshop presentations reiterated the importance of effectively obtaining input from citizens and how to establish good governing structures.
Determined to work in the best interest of their First Nation, leadership emphasized the urgency to inform and engage more community members. Most importantly, they aspire to utilize cultural values and practices during implementation of project initiatives. They also discussed reviving the traditional practice of empowering their youth through connecting them to the elders of the community.
Participants shared that prior to being on council they did not entirely realize how much the Indian Act impacts the First Nation. “We were scared of self-government and were not sure if we were ready. But now with this new council, we can visibly see that things like the Indian Act and the court systems prohibit us from moving forward”, shared one council member.
Their twenty year vision is to be self-sufficient, effectively communicating with their citizens, and utilizing their traditional ways and language.