Governance Essentials for Chief and Council


This is an ideal workshop for Councils that want to understand the origins and impact of the Indian Act on their traditional systems, the enormous legal successes we have achieved with our Aboriginal  Title and inherent and treaty rights, and the role Councils can play in working towards self-governance.  Discussion includes leadership’s relationship with administration, engaging the community and an introduction to the principles of effective governance. This workshop concludes with a discussion of self-governance, including governance over territorial lands. The workshop is two full days and is delivered in your community or at an agreed upon location. The price starts at $6,400 for up to 15 people. If you are a First Nation interested in receiving a proposal, email us at

Who participates in the Governance Essentials workshop?

This workshop is for Chief & Council, senior administrators and staff who want to know more about self-governance. It can be delivered immediately after an election to help build a common understanding and sense of teamwork among new leaders. This workshop is beneficial at any time throughout the leadership’s term.

Why would leadership take this workshop?

When a First Nation is governed by a Chief & Council that better understands their roles, responsibilities and  the origins and impacts of the Indian Act, they can better utilize the resources of the community for positive change. Leadership that understands the benefits of their people’s inherent rights and title can engage their community and work towards a mandate for self-governance.

What will participants learn?

Leadership will learn about the history of the Indian Act, the limits of their roles and responsibilities as Chief & Council and how they can efficiently administer today’s Act.  Participants will be introduced to the five pillars of effective governance and learn what it takes to move beyond the Indian Act and create more effective, independent governance, including jurisdiction over their territorial lands. This two-day workshop concludes with an introduction to the Centre’s Transitional Governance Program. 

Who delivers this workshop?

This workshop is delivered by Indigenous facilitators who are governance experts and understand First Nation communities, history and law. All material used in the workshop is grounded in the Centre’s legal, academic and community-based research.

How long is this training?

Governance Essentials for Chief & Council is delivered over two full days.

Where are sessions held?

This workshop takes place in your community or at an agreed upon location. The facilitator travels to your community and delivers this workshop to as many as 15 people.

What does it cost?

The workshop starts at $6400 plus travel expenses, depending on the location of your First Nation. Funding may be available from various agencies.

More questions? Contact us at