Photo by Birgitte BartlettPhoto by Birgitte BartlettPhoto by Birgitte BartlettPhoto by Birgitte BartlettPhoto by Birgitte BartlettPhoto by Birgitte BartlettPhoto by Birgitte BartlettPhoto by Birgitte BartlettPhoto by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Booklet 14 -Constitution

Once the Final Agreement is in place and Kitsumkalum has a defined right to self-government, Kitsumkalum will become a constitutional democracy. A constitutional democracy is a form of government in which the structures, powers, and limits of government are set forth in a constitution. In other words, the constitution will set out the rules that will say how our government has to operate.
Our constitution will be created by the Kitsumkalum people. This work has already started and the Treaty team has been working with the community to develop it. When the time comes, our members will vote on the constitution. If we vote to adopt it, the constitution will be a document created by the peopl and voted into effect by the people. By approving a constitution that we create, we will give our consent to be governed by the future Kitsumkalum government.  
The Kitsumkalum constitution will be the supreme law for our government and people. The constitution will:

  • provide for the protection of member's rights
  • set out the rules of how our government will be structured (e.g. how many government representatives will be elected and how long will their term be)
  • set out the powers of our government
  • set out restrictions on the powers of our government
  • set out the penalties if a government action is not consistent with the constitution   

The constitution will give the Kitsumkalum government the authority to make laws that will govern our people, however these laws must conform to the constitution. If we Kitsumkalum law does not conform, it can be overturned by a court.
Our constitution can give the people the power to change members of our government through a process designed by the people if those members of government do something unconstitutional.  

                                                Kitsumkalum People
                           the people will develop and vote on the constitutuion 
                                                               ↓
                                            Kitsumkalum Constitution 
                                     sets our the rules of the government
                                                                ↓ 
                                            Kitsumkalum Government 
                       
 the government has to follow the rules in the constitution 
                                                                 ↓ 
                                                   Kitsumkalum Laws 

   The government can make laws that                the laws will govern the people, because they
   will need to conform to the constitution           agreed by vote to be governed through constitution
    

Requirements of a Constitution
The following minimum requirements be included in a Kitsumkalum Constitution:

Preamble is a statement of who the constitution belongs to, which it applies to and it's purpose
Membership is a set out in the Eligibility Chapter of the Final Agreement and as allowed by Kitsumkalum Law
Bill of Rights is a statement of rights that restricts the power of government, for example our government cannot make laws that take away our rights
Structure of government sets out what the government will look like, how it will function, and the seperation of power between the branches of government: the legislature (the law and policy makers), the executive (the staff/administration), and the judiciary (the counts)
Elections sets out who has the right to vote, how elections will run, who qualifies to run for government, and the length of the term of members government
Law-making method sets out how laws are made and how people participate in making laws
Authorities sets out what laws we can make (those listed in the Final Agreement)
Expenditures/Budgeting sets out how community money is managed and how the government will report to the people on finances
Approval/Amendments sets out how the constitution can be changed, such as the requirement for a referendum