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Election Appeal Hearing Scheduled to Start September 19

An appeal UNDER SECTION 20(5) OF THE NCN ELECTION LAW has been brought before the Appeal Committee for review. The appeal was filed on August 28th by Carl Francois and Conrad Spence against the results of the August 12th and 21st Chief and Council elections. Public notice and Information poster have been placed in the community and announced on NCN Radio. The complete public notice and directions are available at the link below.
• Notice and Directions for the Election Appeal Committee hearing

NCN Members Elect Marcel Moody for Chief
Marcel Moody was elected Chief of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation in the 2014 NCN general election, taking 913 votes compared to 379 votes for William Elvis Thomas and 326 votes for Jim Moore.

Four of Six Councillors Re-elected
Four of six incumbent councillors were re-elected including Ron Spence (565 votes), Shirley Linklater (559 votes), Patrick Linklater (514 votes) and Joe Moose (429 votes). Newcomers Willie Moore (544 votes) and Bonnie Linklater (433 votes) took the other two seats.
• More 2014 Election Results
• To view the 2014 Election Report, please click here.

Chief and Council Pass Resolution for Election Order and Eligibility to Run

On July 2, 2014 NCN Chief and Council passed a Council Resolution issuing an election order for the Chief and Council 2014-2018 Term of Office. The election date is set for Thursday, August 21, 2014 to elect one (1) Chief and (6) Councillors For more infrmation on the Election Order and Election Law please read the following documents:
2014 Chief and Council Election Law (PDF)
2014 Chief and Council Election Order (PDF).

Round 3 Meet and Greets and Trust Amendment Vote Postponed

The final Round 3 Meet and Greets explaining the PDA Supplement 2 and proposed changes to the Taskinigahp Trust that were originally scheduled for June16 - 18 and 25 have been postponed as it is taking longer than anticipated to finalize the legal wording of certain documents. In addition, Council is exploring options to safeguard NCN’s investment.  Further information will be provided to NCN Citizens as soon as possible.

New dates have not yet been identified but NCN Citizens will be notified once they are rescheduled. This delay also postpones the required vote on the Taskinigahp Trust amendments that would provide access to the final funding to complete NCN's Wuskwatim investment.

Acting Chief Marcel Moody Outlines Priorities

Tansi. As you likely all know by now, I have been appointed NCN’s Acting Chief until the elections take place August 21st and the swearing in that will take place before the middle of September.

Thanks to Chief Primrose

Click above to hear Acting Chief Moody's Radio Address

Chief Jerry Primrose for his many years of public
I would like to take a moment to publicly thank formers er vice. It is not easy being a leader regardless of who holds the position. I hope you all join NCN Council and me in wishing Jerry the very best of success as he pursues his dreams in the private sector.

We can all be proud NCN has a modern Election Law that allows for a smooth transition to occur when events like the resignation of the Chief take place. I hope that in the years ahead we will pass more of our own laws and become truly self-governing.

Going Forward – Addressing Key Issues

In the meantime, Chief and Council wants to let you know that we are keen to hear from you about key issues you believe we should be addressing. We know there has been a lot of frustration over the water situation, housing repairs and other housing issues in our community. These are critical things we hope to
develop a plan to address.

Chief and Council Focused on Community and
First Nation Priorities

I want to acknowledge we are well aware this is an election year and that you will be making decisions about who you want to be your leaders for the next four years. That aside, Council and I want you to know that from now until the election, we will continue to do our best to represent the interests of our community and our First Nation. I personally hope to visit as many of you as I can over the next few months to hear your concerns and I know other councillors are intending to do the same.

Your Support is Important

It is an honour to be serving as acting chief and I humbly ask you for your support, your assistance and your guidance as I lead our Council over the next few months.
I sincerely hope you will attend the General Assembly on April 9th to demonstrate your support for Council and, like me, your belief in NCN’s future. I know that by working together in positive, proactive ways, we can better our lives and those of our children and grandchildren. I look forward to working for you in my new role.

Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Council Announces
Resignation of Chief Jerry Primrose

Marcel Moody Becomes Acting Chief

Retiring Chief
Jerry Primrose

Acting Chief
Marcel Moody

NELSON HOUSE, Manitoba – March 26, 2014 – Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Council announced the resignation today of Chief Jerry Primrose, who is leaving to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

Council confirmed Councillor and Deputy Chief, Marcel Moody will immediately assume responsibilities as acting Chief to serve until September 2014 when the new Chief and Council will be sworn in following NCN elections in August. Moody currently holds key portfolios on council including finance, trusts, and economic development.

NCN Electoral Officer Joyce Yetman has confirmed that in accordance with the NCN Election Law, no byelection is required since the resignation came within six months of the expiry of Primrose’s term of office.

“We’re sorry to see Jerry leave council,” Moody said. “He’s made tremendous contributions to our First Nation, having served two terms as councillor going back as far as 1978 and five terms as chief beginning in 1994. He was our leader during the crucial negotiations leading to our Northern Flood Implementation Agreement in 1996, the resolution of our outstanding treaty land entitlement negotiations in 1998, and negotiations on the groundbreaking Wuskwatim Project Development Agreement that made us equity partners with Manitoba Hydro in the Wuskwatim project in 2006.

“I want to assure NCN Citizens and key internal and external organizations we are involved with that we expect a smooth transition and business as usual,”
Moody said.

Primrose said, “I have every confidence in Marcel assuming the duties of Chief and know he will provide excellent leadership for our First Nation going forward. He’s respected in the community and has served in key portfolios on Council over the years as well as serving as Deputy Chief for the past four years, so he is well qualified to assume the duties of Chief.

“This was a difficult personal decision for me, made in full consultation with my family and a focus on their long-term financial security in mind. I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and a business opportunity presented itself around Christmas, which I gave considerable thought to. Since I had already decided not to seek reelection, I determined this was the best time to move on to the next phase of my life. I held off making the announcement until now so the
First Nation could avoid a costly by-election.

“I want to extend my sincere thanks to all NCN Citizens for their support and cooperation during my many years in office,” Primrose said.

Moody has served on NCN Council for almost 14 years over two periods. In his first three terms of office from 1990 to 1996, he was lead negotiator in the successful negotiation of the Northern Flood Implementation Agreement that set the stage for NCN’s involvement in the 200-megawatt Wuskwatim Generating Station project. In his decade out of office he served as Manager of the NCN Trust Office and as Co-manager of NCN’s Future Development Team. In this later role, he was jointly responsible for the overall negotiation and implementation of all aspects of NCN’s partnership with Manitoba Hydro on Wuskwatim.

On his reelection to office in 2006 for the first of two terms, he assumed the Wuskwatim portfolio on council during the crucial construction period. Aside from duties on council, he has served as a director on the boards of Wuskwatim Power Limited Partnership, Keewatin Community College and University College of the North and as chairperson of the Nelson House Education Board. He has also served on the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council and is active in a variety of community matters. He has diplomas in business administration and in resource development and conservation.

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Chief and Council to Revise Schedule 

Timing of the Constitution and Hydro-related-agreements review process is under discussion by Chief and Council and may result in a new process schedule.  Watch for an update.

Any further changes to the draft Constitution resulting from the Round 2 meet and greets will be communicated before a vote.

Questions and Answers Document Available

The Questions, Answers and Comments document  is available for download by clicking here or on the thumbnail at right. Printed copies will be available at the Implementation Office or the NCN Government Office.

Feedback requested

NCN Citizens are again invited to provide input using the same comment form (paper or online) used in Round 1.The form provides a section on each chapter of the Constitution for your comments.


Click here to visit our Constitution Development and Review page.

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Acting Chief Responds to Critics of Wuskwatim Deal

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2014

This Hydro partnership
is working

By: Marcel Moody
Will Braun, of the Interchurch Task Force on Hydropower, in his commentary Dam deal loses shine (May 24), condemned the Wuskwatim project. Your readers should have the facts about Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation's partnership with
Manitoba Hydro.

First, echoes of the past: In the 1990s, opponents maintained we had "settled for something far less than what (we) were originally promised" when we signed on to the 1996 Northern Flood Agreement. We were portrayed as naive puppets of government and Manitoba Hydro, "being led -- like children -- into agreements that sacrifice the future of our communities in return for little more than beads
or trinkets."

Then, as now, I feel such portrayals do a disservice to my community, which voted for the agreement to build a better future.

We find it outrageous that Braun represents the people whose residential school policies helped to destroy the fabric of our communities. As my colleague Coun. D'Arcy Linklater puts it, we are trying hard to restore our spiritual, political and economic sovereignty and we wonder why people persist with paternalistic attitudes, creating turmoil in our community by questioning economic-development decisions made with the support of
our people.

By now, most Manitobans are aware of the tragic history we endured in the development of hydro in this province. We have tried to overcome this history of mistrust and move forward as a modern First Nation to create opportunities for our citizens. Since 1996, we have used the compensation from past flooding from hydroelectric projects to provide millions of dollars in programs and services for our people. We have invested in businesses that employ other Manitobans and we have used the profits of those businesses to create jobs in our community.

At one time, we were 100 per cent dependent on the federal government for our funding. That is no longer the case. Our agreements with Hydro, including the Wuskwatim project, are part of this success story.

In 2006, we voted to authorize our council to sign the Wuskwatim Project Development Agreement. As with any business deal, we explained there were risks involved. Like many projects built over the past decade, capital costs escalated and interest rates, exchange rates and export sales fluctuated. No one foresaw the 2008 global recession and its lingering effects, nor the impact new technologies, such as fracking for natural gas, would have on export electricity rates.

We need more control over our lands and resources to further develop our economy. We are not so naive as to think the Wuskwatim project will end the poverty many of our citizens live with daily. But we believe it is one more step in the right direction. We are proud of our partnership with Manitoba Hydro. While we do not always view things the same way, we can say categorically the people at Manitoba Hydro have tried to ensure there will be benefits for our people, today
and tomorrow.

Based on the assumptions made before the 2006 vote, we projected we would have about $7 million available annually from our two hydro-related trusts until our Wuskwatim investment loans were paid off. We understood that because hydro projects are capital-intensive, losses would occur in the early years and we negotiated arrangements to respond to those realities.

We have invested millions of dollars of our own money in this project by carefully managing our resources. Contrary to Braun's assertions, we are on track to receive money annually, and once the loans are repaid, the payments will grow. They may not be as high as projected; this depends on events in the North
American economy.

In the meantime, we will have funds to address serious infrastructure and housing issues in our community and to invest in other ventures similar to those we already own, such as the Mystery Lake Hotel, Meetah Building Supplies, and our Family Foods stores in Thompson and
Nelson House.

Our critics operate without full knowledge, making inaccurate or misleading statements that cause turmoil in our community. Like other First Nations, NCN is trying to overcome years of poverty, injustice and exploitation. Again, to quote my colleague, Coun. Linklater: "While we cannot ignore the effects of colonization, we can learn from it for the benefit of
all Manitobans."

Participation in resource development is one of the few significant opportunities we have, and it benefits all North Americans. We suggest Braun heed his own advice to his church leaders and "promote open, non-polarized discussion of Hydro issues." Unfortunately, given past history, we doubt that he or others who have been campaigning against hydro development in northern Manitoba will change.

Time will prove they are wrong, just as critics of our earlier hydro deals were wrong. I hope Manitobans will ignore these critics who do us a disservice. Our citizens deserve to be proud of the fact we could overcome such a negative history and move forward for the betterment of
all Manitobans.

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