Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Committee Terms of Reference
The Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Committee (TARC) is a relatively new committee of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN). TARC was established to provide guidance to staff, direction to the MCFN Negotiating Team, and to provide recommendations to Chief and Council to strengthen the assertion of jurisdiction within traditional territory based upon a strong rights-based agenda and advocacy with the governments of Ontario and Canada, as well as key private sector proponents.
The Committee’s core mandate is to develop strong, integrated and effective strategies for the advancement of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (“MCFN”) Treaty and Aboriginal Rights advocacy.
This Terms of Reference describes the function, role and reporting relationship for the Committee (note: these terms of reference were developed when the community was still referred to as Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, hence the retaining of the acronym “MNCFN” throughout the Terms of Reference):
2.1 MNCFN Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Strategy
The Chief and Council of MNCFN have determined that jurisdiction over treaty lands and waters, unceded lands and waters and MNCFN Traditional Territory will guide MNCFN decisions on relationships with other governments and private sector companies to continuously advance and strengthen MNCFN jurisdiction over management of lands and waters.
The Committee, with support as necessary from staff, MNCFN departments, legal counsel and consultants, and with resources determined annually by Chief and Council, will engage with Ontario and Canada, and proponents as appropriate, on policy and regulatory matters, as well as on key projects, proposals and developments, that may negatively impact or positively enhance MNCFN jurisdiction, rights and interests. This will include key proponent files where the exercise of Crown decisions may impact MNCFN treaty lands and waters, unceded lands and waters and MNCFN Traditional Territory for future generations.
The Committee will monitor Ontario and Canada policy and regulatory matters, and will liaise with DOCA and the MNCFN Negotiating Team on key proponent undertakings where Crown decisions are of primary importance to protecting or enhancing MNCFN jurisdiction.
The Committee will also have the mandate to develop strategies for consideration by Chief and Council relating to the resolution of outstanding MNCFN title and land claims through negotiations, or otherwise, with the federal and provincial governments.
2.2 Membership of the Committee
The Committee will consist of two elected councillors appointed by MNCFN Chief and Council, the Director of the Department of Consultation and Accommodation (“DOCA”), the Director of Economic Development and the Director of Lands, Research and Membership. Committee members may invite Negotiating Team members, staff, and technical and legal advisors to meetings as necessary.
2.3 Role of the Committee in the Consultation and Engagement Process
The Committee will receive regular reports from DOCA and the Negotiating Team providing overviews of proponent files and new proponent undertakings. Committee members will have standing with the Negotiating Team and can provide support to the Negotiating Team in the context of proponent engagement as necessary. The Committee will determine if and when specific MNCFN interventions or strategies are required to protect or enhance MNCFN jurisdiction and provide related advice to Chief and Council and appropriate direction to the Negotiating team.
2.4 Meetings of the Committee; Committee Briefings to Chief and Council
The Committee will meet once monthly, or more frequently as necessary, to discuss issues relevant to its mandate, including the review of government policy and regulatory matters that may negatively impact or positively enhance MNCFN jurisdiction and key proponent files where the exercise of Crown decisions may impact MNCFN Treaty lands and waters, and unceded lands and waters and MNCFN Traditional Territory for future generations.
The Committee will not make any decisions, or enter into any agreements, that will bind MNCFN or materially affect the rights of MNCFN or its members. All such decisions will ultimately be made by Chief and Council, or where necessary or desirable, through community approval process.
Additionally, the Committee will meet with Chief and Council for more significant strategic discussions and briefings, in conjunction with the Consultation Committee, about four times per year, on months when there is a fifth Monday.
The Committee will strive to make all decisions within its mandate and scope of authority based on consensus. Where the Committee is unable to reach consensus, it will prepare a report for the next Chief and Council briefing, setting out the nature of the issue, the majority recommendation for course of action and nature of the concerns raised. The report will not identify individual member positions, but members will remain free to speak to the issues or specifically identify their positions.