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Welcome : About OCN : Council of Elders

Phone: (204) 627-7193
Fax: (204) 623-3819
Toll free: 1-888-763-1566


  1. The Council of Elders is established by Chief and Council in order to bridge the past and the present of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The Opaskwayak Cree Nation wants to retain and gain from the spiritual guidance, sage advice, life and work experience of the Elders of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation by appointing them to the Council of Elders.
  2. To qualify as an Elder, a person must be acknowledged as:
    • an Opaskwayak Cree Nation member;
    • having had an exemplary lifestyle;
    • a spiritual leader;
    • a community leader;
    and there shall be no minimum age to be eligible to be a member of the Council of Elders.


  3. There will be six members on the Council of Elders. Whenever there is a vacancy on the Council of Elders, Opaskwayak Cree Nation members shall nominate members who qualify as Elders to fill the vacancy. The Chief and Council will then determine who shall fill the vacancy from among the qualifying nominees. Chief and Council shall, in making this determination, take into account the following considerations:
    • the family groups of the nominees;
    • the geographical location of the residences of the
    • nominees; and,
    • the gender of the nominees;
    and shall appoint the nominee whose appointment will result in the most equitable representation on the Council of Elders of persons from the various family groupings and geographical locations on reserve, and of both genders.


  4. The Council of Elders are encouraged to attend all regular Opaskwayak Cree Nation Council meetings. The Elders will appoint themselves to the various Committees and Boards of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. There will be two Elders on each Committee/Board.
  5. The Elders will meet by themselves at least twice in a calendar year to acquaint themselves with their roles and with Chief and Council and the various Committees/Boards, and to assign each other to the various Committees/Boards.
  6. The duties of the Council of Elders will include the following:
    1. Attend Regular and Special Opaskwayak Cree Nation Council meetings.
    2. Attend respective Committee/Board meetings.
    3. Attend all Community Meetings that are called by Chief and Council.
    4. Open and close Opaskwayak Cree Nation Council and Committee/Board meetings with a prayer.
    5. Help Council and Committees/Boards in spiritual matters.
    6. Relate to and help Council and Committees/Boards in matters of Opaskwayak Cree Nation interest.

  7. The Elders will have no voting privileges at Council, Committee or Board meetings. Elders are encouraged to participate in all matters which are brought before the Council, Committee or Board for decision.
  8. Elders who attend Opaskwayak Cree Nation meetings and who are suspected of being under the influence of intoxicants or illicit drugs will be asked to leave the meeting.
  9. The Chairperson of a Committee or Board is responsible for informing the Elders of his/her Committee's/Board's upcoming meetings.
  10. The Elders will be charged with the responsibility of making recommendations to Council on retaining, reintroducing, and reviving traditional practice to Opaskwayak Cree Nation meetings.

    (a) "Appointee" shall mean an appointee of any Committee or Board;
    (b) "Band Council Resolution" shall mean a resolution passed by the consent of a majority of the Chief and Council at a duly convened Council meeting where a quorum of Chief and Council is present;
    (c) “CCommittees and Boards" shall mean all Opaskwayak Cree Nation entities appointed by Chief and Council, whether incorporated or not;
    (d) "Council" shall mean Chief and Council of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation;
    (e) "Council of Elders" shall mean the group of Elders appointed by Chief and Council to provide them with advice and spiritual guidance;
    (f) "Councilor" shall mean a Chief or Councilor of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation;
    (g) "Relative" shall mean:

    1. a spouse, including a person who is not married to the Councilor or Appointee but who the Councilor or Appointee represents as his or her spouse;
    2. any child, natural or adopted;
    3. any brother or sister, natural or adopted; and,
    4. such other person as Council may, by policy proclaimed in a Band Council Resolution, determine to be, or may in a particular situation designate as a Relative.
    (h) "Serious Offence" shall mean an offence for which the conviction of a Councilor or Appointee would, in the opinion of the majority of Council, result in prejudice to the interests or reputation of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation if the Councilor or Appointee continued in his or her elected or appointed position.


  11. An Elder may be dismissed from the Council of Elders for serious misconduct which reflects unfavorably on the Chief and Council. This shall include any conduct, which is inconsistent with the role of an Elder as a spiritual and community leader. This shall also include any conduct which is inconsistent with the spirit and intent of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Code of Conduct.

  12. An Elder can resign from the Council of Elders by informing Chief and Council of his or her decision to do so.


  13. Honorarium will be paid to the Elders in accordance with policy approved by a majority of a quorum of Council


  14. These Terms of Reference may be reviewed from time to time and changes made when the need arises.

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Opaskwayak Cree Nation   The Pas, Manitoba, Canada    tel 1-888-763-1566    email