Opaskwayak Cree Nation : Chief and Council

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Box: 10880
Opaskwayak, MB R0B-2J0

Phone: (204)-627-7190
Fax: (204)-623-3819
Toll Free: 1-888-763-1566
Email: council@opaskwayak.ca

Click here for our past Chiefs


Notice is hereby given that a meeting of electors of Opaskwayak Cree Nation will be held at the OCN Veteran's  Hall on the 11 th day of July, 2013, beginning at 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, for the purpose of nominating candidates for the positions of chief and councilors on the Band Council of the said, Band for the next ensuing term. There are 8 Councillor positions and 1 position for Chief available.

The election will be held at the Kikiwak Inn on Thursday, September 19, 2013 from 9am-8pm.

Any voter may nominate candidates by using a mail-in nomination form. You can either deliver or mail-in a written nomination and a completed, signed and witnessed vote declaration for to the electoral officer before the time set for the nomination meeting OR you may nominate candidates orally at the nomination meeting. Mailed nominations not received by the electoral officer before the time set for nomination meeting are void. Also note that any elector may vote by mail-in ballot.

NOTE 1: Subsections 35.(8) and (9) of the OCN Election Code state:

(8) An Elector is entitled to nominate or second the nomination of only one (1) Elector for the office of Chief.

(9) An Elector is entitled to nominate or second the nomination of only one (1) Elector for the office of Councillor.

NOTE 2: Section 17 of the OCN Election Code requires that all candidates must submit the results of a Police Records Check and a Child Abuse Registry Check by August 9, 2013. Therefore, person who are considering running in the election are encouraged to make arrangements to obtain these checks to ensure they are processed by August 9, 2013.


Visit website for Child Abuse Registry Check or visit the Child and Family Services Office. For Police Records Check visit local RCMP detachment for required forms.


Stephanie Connors, Electoral Office Box 10730 Opaskwayak, MB R0B 2J0 or cell 204-620-2998

Or contact BDA Office: 1-888-763-1566 or 204-627-7130


Chief Micheal G. Constant

Councillors for 2011/2013 Term
Mike Jebb Jr. Clearance Constant
Philip Dorion Savanna Henderson
Lori Lathlin Terry Constant
Mike Bignell Edwin Jebb
Josephine Budd Gary Cook
Omar Constant William J. Lathlin

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Portfolio Assignments
2011 ~ 2013 Chief and Council Term

Board/ Committee Councilor
Paskwayak Business Development Corporation

Mike Bignell
Josephine Budd
Philip Dorion
Omar Constant

Band Development Authority Mike Bignell
Gary Cook
Mike Jebb, Jr.
McGillivary Care Home Gary Cook
Clarence Constant
Resource Council Omar Constant
Lori Lathlin
Mike Jebb, Jr.
Finance & Administration Philip Dorion
Mike Jebb, Jr.
Terry Constant
Lori Lathlin
Community Works & Operations Omar Constant
Gary Cook
Youth Savanna Henderson
William J. Lathlin
Terry Constant
Community Services Omar Constant
Savanna Henderson
Restorative Justice Lori Lathlin
Edwin Jebb
Community Consultative Group (Policing) Clarence Constant
William J. Lathlin
Child & Family Services Edwin Jebb
Josephine Budd
Housing Authority Lori Lathlin
William J. Lathlin
Mike Bignell
Health Authority William J. Lathlin
Gary Cook
Veterans Affairs Clarence Constant
Terry Constant
Educational Authority Edwin Jebb
Lori Lathlin
Elders Chief and Council
Bill C-31 Chief and Council
Governance Philip Dorion
William J. Lathlin
Traditional/Culture Lori Lathlin
Mike Bignell
Terry Constant
Residential School Philip Dorion
Edwin Jebb
Land Authority Terry Constant
Josephine Budd

Swampy Cree Tribal Council
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Assembly of First Nations
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak

"How does the UN Declaration affect Canada 's Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Indian Act?"

The Conservative government claims that the UN is "inconsistent" with the Canadian Charter, but this is patently untrue.  The Declaration actually enhances and reinforces the human rights protections in the Canadian Charter.  There are numerous provisions in the Declaration that safeguard individual rights.  For example, article 22 of the UN Declaration specifically provides for special measures aimed at ensuring that Indigneous women and children enjoy the right to live free from violence and discrimination.  It also provides for particular attention to be paid regarding the rights of Indigenous elders, people with disabilities, youth, women and children.  Article 42 affirms that all rights and freedoms recognized in the Declaration are "euqally guaranteed to male and female indigenous individuals."  

In exercising all the rights in the Declaration, "human rights and fundamental freedoms of all shall be respected."  Further, every provision in the Declaration must be interpreted "in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, non-discrimination, good governance and good faith". These are not only the core values and principles of Canada 's legal system but also the international human rights system as a whole.

The Declaration does not directly impact the Indian Act.  As a Declaration, it can be used in interpreting how the Indian Act should be applied.  

1) Why was the Canadian government opposing it?

The Conservative government has shown a lack of priority towards international human rights.  Despite the international nature of the Declaration, the Indian Affairs Minister has displaced the Foreign Affairs Minister in the lead role.  

In the final years of the UN Working Group on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Canadian officials played a key role in finding common ground among states and Indigenous peoples. Since the election of the Harper government, positive leadership and flexibility have been converted to reversed positions and significant attempts to weaken the rights of Indigenous peoples.

The Harper government has a strong ideological bias - this is the basis for its opposition to the Declaration. Canada has violated its constitutional duties to consult Indigenous peoples about its abrupt policy shift.  Inconsistencies with international human rights law are of little consequence. Rather, in meetings with federal officials, they repeatedly state “the Minister has strong views” and “nothing you can say will change the Minister's mind”.

Contrary to its international obligations as a Human Rights Council member, Canada is severely politicizing Indigenous peoples' human rights.  In reversing its positions, and arguing against text it helped draft, Canada has lost credibility among States concerned about the principled protection of human rights.

During the past year, Canada has been one of the most active and aggressive opponents to the Declaration, lobbying states around the world to reopen negotiations to weaken the current text. The government devoted more human and financial resources than any other state, focusing on those states with substandard human rights records.

The Indian Affairs Minister misled Parliament by claiming that the Declaration “ is inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms … with our Constitution … with the National Defence Act … with our treaties … with all of the policies under which we have negotiated land claims for 100 years.” (Hansard, June 21, 2006)  Since then, the Minister only claims the Declaration “could be interpreted” in such a manner. Even this position remains unproven.

An access to information request has revealed that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Indian Affairs recommended that Canada support the adoption of the text at the Human Rights Council in June 2006. The Department of National Defence made a similar recommendation. However, the government has rejected these supportive positions.

A government position paper was put online three months after Canada opposed the Declaration at the Human Rights Council. Canada 's positions have been refuted by Indigenous peoples as erroneous, misleading and exaggerated. Yet Canada uses this flawed document in lobbying other states.

2) Does it hold Canada accountable?

This Declaration will hold Canada accountable for human rights violations against Indigenous peoples.  The Declaration contains strong and effective human rights standards that have been endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  These international standards will be of interpretive value in judging whether Canada lives up to its human rights obligations towards Indigenous peoples.  

Indigenous representatives in Canada are calling for the implementation of the Declaration and we are confident that in the future, the government of Canada will implement this Declaration.  It is important to remember that all opposition parties of Canada support the Declaration and it is only the Conservative government (in concert with three other States - New Zealand , Australia and the US ) that oppose this critically important human rights instrument.  144 States voted to support the adoption of the Declaration at the UN General Assembly and 11 States abstained.  This historic vote sends a strong message to the world's Indigenous peoples that our rights do matter.  We are certain that the minority government's views will be overcome in the long run and Indigenous Peoples here in Canada will gain the just recognition that they deserve.

3) What does it mean for first nations in Canada ?

This aspirational instrument does not create any new rights. It brings hope and dignity to Indigenous peoples. It encourages harmonious and cooperative relations between Indigenous peoples and States.  It sets out standards by which current legislation, practices and policies applied to First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in Canada will be measured.  Over the long-term, the Declaration promotes the rights of Indigenous peoples that are necessary for their survival, dignity and well-being.


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Opaskwayak Cree Nation The Pas, Manitoba, Canada Toll free 1-888-763-1566