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GWA’SALA-‘NAKWAXDA’XW NATIONS

Capacity Development Plan Building Governance C apacity

M ay 2012

Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations: Governance Self-Assessment/Capacity Development Plan


Purpose of Report:   

To provide a plan framework for Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations (G-N) governance capacity. The plan summarizes the needs/gaps and key recommendations from the governance capacity assessment report. The capacity assessment report and the capacity development plan capture main highlights of the assessment processes. Refer to the capacity assessment report for a fuller understanding of the G-N governance assessment surveys, including descriptions, strengths, and other details.

Definition of Governance: Traditionally, governance for G-N represented a “way of life”.  The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) defines governance in the present day as: Establishing rules to coordinate our actions and achieve our goals. As societies, the institutions we create to make rules and enforce them, we call “government”.

Definition of Governance Capacity: What does governance capacity mean? One research paper notes that capacity building can be a very expansive concept and may include the following:   

Human resource development, the process of providing individuals with the skills and access to information, knowledge and training that enables them to perform effectively. Organizational development, the elaboration of management structures, processes and procedures including management of relationships between the different organizations and sectors (public, private and community). Institutional and legal framework development, legal and regulatory changes to allow organizations, institutions and agencies at all levels and in all sectors to enhance their capacities. (http://fngovernance.org/ncfng_research/richard_missens.pdf.)

Governance capacity refers to the combination of people, organizational abilities, institutions, resources, authority, and practices that enable G-N to reach its goals.

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Background: G-N recently participated in 2 separate evaluation processes to better understand, and plan for, its capacity for future governance. Specifically, to plan for governance after the date the G-Ns’ treaty comes into effect (Post ED). The two evaluation processes are related to each other but separate. The first involved a review of G-N’s current organizational structure, program and service delivery mechanisms, and management capacity under a Treaty Related Measure or TRM. The goal is to understand what gaps exist and how they may be addressed in the transition to Post ED. The second evaluation involves governance self-assessment tools developed by the BCAFN. G-N was invited to pilot two self-assessment tools that the BCAFN created as part of its Governance Toolkit. The self-assessment tools assess the effectiveness of First Nations’:  

“governing body” “administration”

G-Ns’ participation in both evaluation processes was exemplary.  In the BCAFN processes, about 20 people engaged in meaningful dialogue at the workshop session regarding assessment of the governing body (mix of chief, councillors, some senior staff and hereditary chiefs). In regard to self-assessment of the administration, 9 of the 11 senior staff requested were able to participate in the on-line survey. 1 As a result of the participation in the 2 governance evaluations, several recommendations have been made, as well as transitional recommendations. 2 Transitional recommendations refer to what can be done to help transition to self-government once the treaty comes into effect. For the purposes of this capacity development plan, only key recommendations are selected. These lay the groundwork for other recommendations as they span across programs and are regarded as important building steps. The capacity plan covers a 5 year period from 2012-2016. Recommendations are grouped as follows:    1 2

Governing Body Human Resources Administration

The survey groups have not been able to review results to date, and thus the results are to be regarded as unofficial at this time. The evaluations form part of the G-N governance capacity assessment; see governance capacity assessment report for further details.

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Governing Body Recommendations The BCAFN self-assessment tool addresses 6 main components of “effective governance”:      

Developing a Clear Vision/Direction Working Together Effectively Information to Support Quality Decision-Making Overseeing and Supporting the Administration Maintaining Positive Relations with Citizens & Stakeholders Being Accountable & Realizing the Vision

Recommendation Summary: 1. Update custom election code which governs selection of elected chief and council. Clarify hereditary leadership selection and roles and how to coordinate between elected and hereditary leaders. 2. Finalize and adopt a Constitution for the development of laws, policies and by-laws. 3. Develop procedures for making laws, including when laws should be subject to community consultation or a vote by G-N members. 4. Develop a strategic planning process that allows for consideration of the needs, priorities, opportunities and risks to GN Nations and citizens. The process should provide for coordination between all program and management areas and allow for an annual review and update of the strategic plan. 5. Strategic goals and objectives need to be linked to the Nation’s vision.  For each goal there needs to be an identification  of person responsible; time frame, and measure of progress. The goals and objectives should follow the G-N Comprehensive Community Plan and should be reviewed and revised annually by Council with input from managers, Treaty, etc. 6. There needs to be an established process to evaluate performance; at least annually there should be an evaluation of the governing body’s effectiveness against strategic goals and objectives.

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Governing Body Recommendations Activity/Output Update Election Code

Tasks Legal advisory resource to review existing election Code for strengths & weaknesses; Review other First Nation Election Codes to determine best practices. Compile research data for the Treaty Advisory Committee (TAC) feedback and direction. Use social & other media to obtain feedback from off-reserve members. Present draft amendments to community.

Time F rame Year 1

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Meet with Chiefs, elders and other knowledgeable community leaders to gather information on hereditary leadership; also gather data from historical materials; Assess governance model options using clear concepts for the selection and role for hereditary leadership. Present for legal and community review.

Year 1

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Review draft Constitution with community (forum to be discussed with TAC, Council, Elders); Incorporate feed-back into a document for approval

Year 1

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Consultant or staff resource to incorporate feed-back; Legal Advisor

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Hold meeting or retreat with senior managers to detail their operational planning process and future strategic planning needs;

Year 2

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Lead staff to be identified for facilitation of staff meeting & discussion

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Consult on strategic planning facilitator for the initial sessions to begin building a coordinated strategic planning process that encompasses all programs.

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Strategic planning session to examine relationship of strategic plan to CCP; develop links and implementation plan for both.

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Role of Hereditary Leaders

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Finalize & Adopt Constitution

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Develop Strategic Planning Process

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Minimum Resources Funds for legal advisory consultant and 3-4 TAC meetings; community meeting. Consider using CCP process for review.

4-6 community interviewers with some training in interview and recording techniques, including data storage; Designation of project supervisor or contractor hired for this purpose.

Year 3

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Transitional Recommendations: 1. Review key Laws developed by other First Nations and collect materials and agreements in a database for potential future model development (Financial Administration Act, Education, Government Organization Act, Elections Act, Property Taxation, Land Act, Fisheries, Wildlife, Migratory Birds & Renewable Resources, Child and Family Act, Culture & Heritage Act, and so on). 2. Develop a database of agreements and protocols G-N has with local, regional, provincial and national bodies. This would include First Nation governments and organizations, as well as federal, provincial, and municipal bodies.

Human Resource Recommendations Human resource planning asks:    

Is there adequate staff to carry out activities for G-N after the date the treaty comes into effect? Do existing staff have the skills and knowledge needed for new or expanded program and service activities? What does G-N need to enhance its ability to manage staff? What are the needs of community members to help prepare for new positions within the administration and community, and/or for their own potential businesses?

Highlights of human resource issues: 

Including seasonal staff, there are approximately 80 G-N staff for all programs, including the Band Operated School. The population of G-N is 906 as of April, 2012. The population is also young, in 2006 the median age was 20.1 years (2006 Census data); About 28% of G-N members who answered a human resource survey (total responses were 198) stated they had completed grade 12 with a Dogwood or high school diploma; approximately 22% want to obtain a diploma or certificate, and 14% stated an interest in a university degree;

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 

The 2 top ideal careers noted from the survey are: 1) teaching or working with children and youth, and 2) trades, such as carpentry, plumbing or mechanics. Further, almost half of the community members are interested in owning their own business; Administrative jobs are the least popular (3.5% interested); Top barriers to careers are lack of education & work experience; caring for dependents, and health issues.

Recommendation Summary: 1. Hire a Human Resources Coordinator and an Assistant for the G-N administration, school and any future corporations/societies. 2. Consult with the First Nations Public Service Secretariat (FNPSS) Mentorship Program Pilot. FNPSS are piloting a new program for mentoring employees of First Nations administrations in the areas of: Finance, Human Resources, Records and Information Management, and Policy Development. 3. Update and adopt administrative tools: personnel policy, conflict of interest guidelines, performance evaluations, and a code of conduct. 4. Consult with program managers on the human resource capacity tool developed by the BC Treaty Commission (detailed look into staffing for each program area, including overall development of an HR plan). 5. Try to negotiate with companies and businesses operating in G-N Territory for training and employment opportunities and funding. 6. Assess available funds and opportunities for training members and begin developing training plans and programs in priority areas.

Transitional Recommendations:  

Ensure human resource tools are in place and up-to-date with current labour laws, such as personnel policies, benefit packages, and health and safety policies and procedures. Natural Resource Manager, Education, Social Development, Economic Development, and the Nanwakolas Council, strike up a Committee to examine all of the current initiatives, and what can be done to build the capacity of membership to assume natural resource careers now and in the future.

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

Meet with the regional Aboriginal Skills Employment Training Service (North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society) to gather tools on job description development, recruitment and training.

H uman Resource Recommendations Activity/Output Update & adopt human resource tools: personnel policy, code of conduct, staff performance, conflict of interest & standardized job description templates. HR Plan

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Employment Readiness for Members

Time F rame Year 2

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Minimum Resources Human Resource Worker

Consult BCTC HR toolkit and begin development of an HR Plan; Meet with senior staff to forecast staffing needs within next 5 years; develop succession planning process.

Year 3

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Human Resource Coordinator

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HR plan should detail essential skills of existing staff and gaps; assess services of First Nations Public Service Secretariat (FNPSS) Mentorship Program Pilot regarding assistance with initiative.

Year 4

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Human Resource Coordinator

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Consult N. Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society on employment readiness & training programs; Coordinate training proposals between programs; determine feasibility of employment readiness committee.

Year 2 & 3

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Education Coordinator Economic Development Social Development Human Resource Coordinator

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Staff Mentorship/Professional Development

Tasks Gather existing policies & procedures and discuss with senior managers; HR Coordinator update human resource tools; Consult professional bodies and/or legal advisor regarding labour standards

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Administration Recommendations  The BCAFN self-assessment tool addresses 5 key components of “effective administration”:

    

Building a Strong Administration (structure and management systems e.g., physical environment, performance management systems, and information-system infrastructure, etc.,) Supporting an Efficient Law-Making Process Delivering Quality Programs and Services Managing and Allocating Resources Prudently Successfully Managing Change

Recommendation Summary:

1. There is a need for a Financial Administration Act that sets out financial management laws and policies. 2. Develop formal risk mitigation processes. 3. While G-N’s information management system meets current information needs, there should be a system that meets  future needs and includes broad policies to support the management of information. 4. Complete and adopt Land Use/Marine Plan; develop process for review and amendment. 5. G-N has reasonable access to information, including some research and best practice information. There is a good flow of information throughout the administration, but could improve the flow and access to information with partners and the community. 6. Program and service development planning should reflect the Nations’ vision and the strategic direction of the  Governing Body, as well as community needs and organizational mandate. 7. Develop an operational planning process where managers work with the Band Manager to develop operational plans specific to each area of operations and allows for the implementation of the strategic goals and objectives of the Governing Body. 8. G-N responds to and manages change or new challenges as they arise. There is a need for a systematic approach and process to anticipate, respond to, and manage change including contingency plans.

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9. An assessment process is needed which allows for the identification of areas for improvement based on events, process and outcome measure data, and other sources. A dministration Recommendations Activity/Output

Tasks -

Development & Adoption of a Financial Administration Act

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Enhanced Information Management System

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Completion & Adoption of a Land Use and Marine Use Plan

Time F rame

Consider reviewing the templates for laws and policies set out by the First Nation Finance Authority to see which ones are relevant to GN at this point in time. A good start would be basic budgeting and spending bylaws and policies. Legal advisory to draft Act and relevant bylaws for appropriate leadership/staff review.

Year 2

Develop records management policies and records storage plans; consult the First Nations Public Service Secretariat (FNPSS) on records management or a similar professional organization. Develop standard methods for collection, coding, classifying and entering data. Review information technology plan that addresses website maintenance, use of email, word processing and so on.

Year 3

Land Use Plan requires management details; needs a process for adoption, review and amendment. Consult with Treaty, Natural Resources & TAC on review and consultation process.

Minimum Resources -

-

-

Year 3

Legal Advisory Finance Manager/Band Manager Leadership Feed-back

Designate a managerial or administrative support staff as lead staff for the enhancement initiative. Legal Advisory to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Designate a managerial staff to champion the review & planning/consultation regarding the Land and Marine Use Plans.

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A dministration Recommendations Activity/Output Enhanced Process to Design Programs & Services (not only based on need & mandate, but also vision and governing body strategic direction).

Tasks -

Formal Change Management Process

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Formal Program/Service Assessment Process

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Improved Information Sharing -

Time F rame

Complete & adopt strategic planning process, including defined relationship with comprehensive planning process. Review program models with First Nation and other governments. Strategic plan to be used as a tool for operational plans and program/service designs. Senior management committee to assess current and future program and service needs.

Year 5

Development of an annual scan of the internal conditions, external factors, events, trends and relationships that might impact on administration and the governing body. Create or enhance process to adjust strategic plan, goals, objectives, or resource allocations as might be needed after annual scan.

Year 4-5

Gather assessment/evaluation processes currently in use. Collate strengths and gaps in a discussion paper for staff. Elicit feed-back and test a process that can be used across programs & allows for the identification of areas for improvement based on events, process and outcome measure data, and other sources. Enhance communication plan and processes. Plan to include identification of all stakeholders, partners and potential information needs. Consult other First Nations information sharing processes (Tsawassen & Sliammon)

Minimum Resources -

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Planning/administrative resources to assist with development of change management process.

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Lead Managerial Supervisor and Senior Administrative Support

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Communication Officer Staff meetings to identify information/communication needs and processes.

Year 4-5

Year 4

Senior staff to form program and planning committee. Internal or external facilitator of strategic planning sessions.

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Transitional Recommendations:   

Meet with the First Nations Taxation Commission, the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics, and related associations for advice on developing training plans for financial administration and taxation functions. Promote administrative careers; consult with G-N education coordinator and North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society. Complete research and discussions with Sasamans Society on child and family service management and exploring what it could look like. This process will include a full review and assessment of the MCFD Aboriginal-specific programming and the funds that are connected to it. G-N will be able to assess appropriate program service delivery mechanisms for this high profile topic. G-N Nations has a large young population.

Summary and Conclusion The governance capacity assessment under the TRM and the BCAFN processes are important steps toward re-building governance. Senior staff, elected chief and councillors, and hereditary leadership, has been variously challenged in to think critically about their current and future governance and administrative practices. The evaluation has been an exercise to identify what is working well and where there may be gaps. This capacity development plan report focuses on the gaps and recommendations only (refer to the governance capacity assessment report for fuller details). The assessment and subsequent report is not comprehensive; important departments were not reviewed (e.g., Public Works, Social Development, G-N School) and the larger ones only had a cursory review. Despite this, however, the data provides a good start at making a governance capacity plan. This is because the governance, human resource, and administration recommendations address key foundational elements of governance that span all programs and operations. The work plan needs further operationalization and related details. Given the expansiveness of the topic, it is necessary that these details be developed in the office, community and other work/social settings by the people impacted, and/or working with them. Quoting from BCAFN’s workshop handout:

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“This process of reform must start at the community level and be based on each Nation’s vision, leadership and  culture. Governance must be developed from the ground up… [The Governance Toolkit] can be used by  leaders, staff and citizens to help develop their own governance critical path and workplan” (p: 3).

References & Related Links BC Assembly of First Nations:  “Governance Toolkit: A Guide to Nation Building” http://www.bcafn.ca/ BC Treaty Commission: A Human Resource Capacity Tool for First Nations//Planning for Treaty http://www.bctreaty.net/files/pdf_documents/BCTC-HRToolBook.pdf

First Nations Public Service http://firstnationspublicservice.com/ Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations Website: http://www.gwanak.info/home Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda’xw Nations: Completed Module One and Two – BCAFN Toolkit Self-Assessments Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations: Governance Treaty Related Measure Final Report -Assessing Governance Capacity Missens, Richard.  “Sovereignty, Good Governance and First Nations Human Resources: Capacity Challenges” http://fngovernance.org/ncfng_research/richard_missens.pdf

Sasamans Society http://www.sasamans.ca/index.php/about-sasamans Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics http://www.tulo.ca/ 12

Capacity Development Plan-TRM 2012  
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