Council is planning to hold a strategic planning session in the near future. Once Chief and Council have completed some preliminary work, we would like to update and involve the membership to chart a path forward. Too many times a different Chief and Council means a different direction, yet if we involve membership, if it has your stamp of approval, it becomes a guide for our future. A long journey we can set and ensure that future leadership respects.
Improving communication with our membership is a clear priority for Council. In January we began holding Monthly Gatherings for members and their families. These gatherings have been an excellent way for us, as a Council to connect with our membership. At each Monthly Gathering we have the opportunity to listen, share information, and chat over a good meal. We have also started sharing information through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to not only improve communication with our members across the world, but with other First Nations, Indigenous organizations, and anyone interested in learning more about our rich history and culture.
This month we are releasing the first issue of the redesigned Eaglepress Newsletter. This newsletter shares information on Council meetings and activities, departments, community initiatives, culture, history, and information for you, our membership. Please let us know what you think!
We are also building relationships with governments and First Nations organizations. At home we are working with the New Credit Cultural Committee who met with Regular Council in April to discuss the MNCFN Pow wow and traditional gathering. The meeting was a very positive step forward and we look forward to discussing the possible future relocation of the Pow wow at an upcoming MNCFN Monthly Gathering.
The Pan Am Games brought tremendous exposure to MNCFN throughout our traditional territory, we are continuing on with this exposure taking every opportunity to ensure everyone knows and respects the lands of the Mississaugas. We were the host First Nation for the Little NHL and the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, both of which were held in the city of Mississauga.
We are contacted on a daily basis for input and involvement in various events and initiatives. Some of these events are very large in scale such as the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, for which we are the Host First Nation, and the World Expo 2025 bid.
An MNCFN Major Events Committee was established in April to determine and implement our involvement in such events. This committee will report to Council on a regular basis. Although most issues at this committee to date have been athletic events, we anticipate that this will evolve to include many different areas such as Health, Social and Education.
To assist with the great demand for our time and information about the Mississaugas of the Credit we have developed a Communication department that has a Director, a writer and a Culture and Events Coordinator. The Culture and Events Coordinator has been busy establishing a pool of resources for this First Nation; such as elders, cultural practitioners, and people who have special skills that can benefit the Nation at various events.
The energizing of the Mississaugas Nation is not only a much needed political alliance, it is a social
responsibility. Council met with the other five Mississaugas Nations at Hiawatha for a two day meeting and Grand entry at the Hiawatha Pow wow. We expect to move closer to a formal relationship among the Mississaugas where we work together on common challenges. All Nations have approved a contact to coordinate an elders/youth summit to discuss the history of the Mississaugas Nation. We are coordinating a leadership team of economic development people from each First Nation to look at joint financial wealth opportunities for the Nation. We will be advertising for a Nationhood symbol/logo in each of the Nations.
The Human Rights challenge that MNCFN has against the Federal Government regarding the inequity of services related to High Cost Special Needs on and off-reserve was scheduled to begin at the tribunal level this month. Chief and Council along with legal have determined that we are
going to postpone the tribunal level because of the positive steps shown by the Government in regards to settlement of the complaint.
We are actively engaged with many potential economic partners and are anticipating a wealth creation forum/strategy session that will set a strategic direction for wealth creation. The creation of wealth is a small part of our overall agenda for moving this First Nation forward but it is an important part.
The Mississaugas of the New Credit Chief and Council are unified and dedicated to the future of this First Nation.
Chief R. Stacey LaForme