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 15 -Government Structure and Law Making

Once the Final Agreement is in place, Kitsumkalum will have the right to self-government and will create a constitution that will set out the rules on how the government is to operate. Self-government and the constitution are explained in previous booklets. Two most impartant parts of our self-government will be:
1. The structure of our government
2. Our law making process

Paramountcy and Legal Entity
The ideas of paramountcy and legal entity are important to self-government.
Within Canada, there is a hierarchy of laws, which means all laws apply at the same time. The concept of paramountcy is used by the courts to determine what law applices when and where.  When one law has paramountcy over another law, it means that it applies when there is a conflict between the two laws. The Final Agreement states the rules of paramountcy for Kitsumkalum Laws. In some cases Kitsumklaum Law will have paramountcy over Canadian and Provinvial Law and in other cases Canadian and Provincial Law will have paramountcy over Kitsumkalum Law. In matters of public safety, Canadian or Provinvial Law usually prevail over Kitsumkalum Law.
Once the Final Agreement is effective, the Kitsumkalum Government will be a legal entity. A legal enitity can be a person, corporation or government that has the capability and power (called legal capacity) to enter into agreements or contracts incur or pay debts, sure and be sued, and to be held responsible for its actions. Currently, the Kitsumkalum Band Council is not a legal entity and everything has to be done through the Department of Indian Affairs. Individual members can gain legal capacity on behalf of the Band by establishing a corporation through BC Businiess Corporation Act. Corporations are legal entities and have legal capacity. Currently any lands owned off reserve by Kitsumkalum are actually owned by a Kitsumkalum corporation and not by the Band. 

Government Structure
The structure of Kitsumkalum Government will be set in the Kitsumkalum Constitituion, which is being developed with the community. The Kitsumkalum Government may be made up of the following government bodies:

Legislature
The word legislature means a group of people who have the power and responsibility to make legislation or laws.
The Kitsumkalum Legislature will be a group of people elected by us that will have the authority to make laws, regulations, and policies to govern our people, land and resources and the use of our land and resources by others.
The Kitsumkalum Legislature may also oversee government finances. 

Executive
The word executive means a group of people that carry out the work of government by executing and enforcing law. The executive generally have no pwers of their own but are assigned powers by the legislature through the law. The executive is appointed and can be removed by the legislature.
The Kitsumkalum Executive will be a group of people appointed by the Kitsumkalum Legislature that execute and enforce Kitsumkalum Law. The Kitsumkalum Executive may also suggest laws or regulations that may or may not be approved by the Legislature. They may also make opersational and administrative policy.

Public Servants/Staff
Public Servants or government staff are hired to work in a government department and carry out the day to day work of that government department. This includes jobs like health care workers, book keepers, and enforcement officers.

Judiciary
The judiciary is an independant government body that interupts and applies the law and makes decisions in any dispute. The judiciary includes the court systems all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Kitsumkalum will not have the authority to establish a court system in the Final Agreement will enter into an agreement to use the Provincial and Canadian court systems.
Kitsumkalum will be able to establish administrative review boards that can review administrative decision made by Government staff.  
Laws, Regulations and Policy

Public policy is an understanding by the government of what the people want and need. Public policy will guide the Legislature on what laws to make to govern the people and land.
A law or an act has the highest legal standing and requires times and review by the Legislature and the public and becomes permanent unless it is changed or repealed by the same process.
A regulation is enabled by law or act, has the force of law but takes less time and review than a law to make and change. A regulation may further explain the requirements of a law. A regulation can only be made it if is allowed by law. A regulation can only made if it is allowed by law. A regulation can be drafted by the Executive but only approved by the Legislature.
Operational policies are rules or guidance made by government to explain how a law is to be administered by the Executive and Public Servants. Policies do not have the force of law. For example, a Fisheries Act may say that permits will be issued for fishing, and the operational policy would explain how permits would be issued to members. For instance, the policy may state that members will be required to go to the fisheries office to apply for their permit or the policy may state that permits are mailed out to all members every year. 
Administrative policies are rulles made by the Executive to manage government staff, also known as public servants. An example of an administrative policy would be how mnay hours the staff have to work and how their breaks are structured.  

Making Laws, Regulations and Policy

Kitsumkalum will need a method to make laws in order to exercise the law making authorities set out in the Final Agreement. The law making method will be set out in the Kitsumkalum Constitution. 
To make a law may involve the following 5 stages. To make a regulation may only require Stages 2 to 5 of this process. To make or change a plicy, the Legislature or Executive will not need to follow these steps and can simply write a policy.