RFP: Ratification Officer
MLCN signed Treaty 6 in 1876 and received reserve lands pursuant to that Treaty. MLCN’s reserve lands are located approximately 85 kilometers north of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Further, MLCN acquired 35 acres of land in Saskatoon’s Sutherland district in 1988. The land was acquired four years prior to the signing of the Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement. An “urban reserve” was established making it the first in Canada.
In 1919, Canada obtained a surrender of 8,960 acres of MLCN reserve lands.
In 2014, MLCN submitted the 1919 Soldier Settlement Board specific claim under Canada’s Specific Claims Policy, alleging, among other things, that Canada failed to comply with the surrender provisions of the 1906 Indian Act and that Canada breached various pre and post-surrender fiduciary obligations by consenting to a surrender that was exploitative, failing to ensure the First Nation adequately understood the terms of the 1919 surrender, failing to obtain proper compensation for the surrender, improperly managing the surrender proceeds and failing to reserve the mines and minerals in the surrendered lands for the benefit of the First Nation.
By letter dated August 25, 2017, Canada accepted the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation 1919 Soldier Settlement Board specific claim for negotiation under the Specific Claims Policy.
Canada and MLCN have negotiated terms of settlement as contained in the Settlement Agreement in order to achieve a full, fair and final settlement of the Claim.
A ratification vote must be conducted in accordance with the Settlement Agreement’s Voting Guidelines for the estimated 1600 of majority age band members.
The intent of the elected Ratification Officer is to implement a ratification vote with MLCN membership with respect to whether to approve the Settlement Agreement and Trust Agreement.
MLCN invites Responses from professional firms who have experience in conducting First Nation votes to assist MLCN in carrying out the ratification vote for the 1919 Soldier Settlement Board specific claim in a manner that complies with and abides by the rules and procedures set out within the Voting Guidelines.
The role of the Ratification Officer as set out within the Band Council Resolution (BCR) and Voting Guidelines is considerable and essentially encompasses all matters relating to the vote. The Ratification Officer has a broad discretion to implement the mechanisms and structures necessary to ensure a fair, efficient and transparent vote.
One of the primary challenges raised by MLCN’s vote process stems from the significant geographic distances between its members. MLCN’s members are situated in numerous locations across the country. MLCN is dedicated to ensuring that all its members have an equal opportunity to vote.
It is important to note that the Ratification Officer must operate within the confines of the BCR and Guidelines. At all times, a Ratification Officer will have the authority to employ the services of Deputy Officer(s) for the purposes of assisting with the execution of their duties. Note, however, that the Ratification Officer will ultimately be responsible for ensuring that their duties have been fully discharged.
Finally, MLCN shall not be obligated in any manner to any Respondent or otherwise, unless and until a written agreement has been duly executed between MLCN and such Respondent setting out the terms upon which the Respondent will be retained by MLCN.
Deadline for submission is Dec 5th, 2021 at 5:30 CST.