Economic development corporation announces new governance structure
The Six Nations of the Grand River Economic Development Corp. says its new governance model will give elected band council at least $1.4 million a year, or, 40 per cent of its annual free cash.
The announcement came last week with the SNGRDC saying the goal of the remodelled governance structure was to better serve the Six Nations people and create a better relationship with band council.
There are three major changes under the enhanced structure: a new long-term funding agreement; divestiture of properties; and an amalgamated governance model of SNGRDC.
Under the new model, Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council will receive a minimum annual funding commitment from the Economic Development Trust (EDT) for the next 15 years. The annual commitment is 40 percent of SNGRDC’s post audit free cash or $1.4M, whichever is greater.
“This will allow the Elected Council and its departments to plan for the long-term needs of the community,” SNGRDC said in a press release. “Eliminating the EDT application requirement for the elected council saves resources and time for both the elected council and the EDT, which will result in direct financial savings.”
SNGRDC says the funding agreement provides parameters in which elected council can utilize the proceeds but funding must be directly tied to a community need as outlined in the 2019 Community Plan.
In order to use receive that money, Band Council will be subject to reporting and disclosures, keeping in line with the current EDT funding agreements. As part of the reporting process, the band council must produce an annual report detailing where the funds were directed.
Going forward, Band Council will no longer be eligible to apply for EDT funding.
“This will enable the EDT to streamline their focus towards other general applicants and grassroots level initiatives,” the press release noted.
As of December 2022, the Economic Development Trust (EDT) has re-invested just over $16.6M into community priorities, of which, Band Council departments have received $12.4M.
A number of properties will also be divested back to band council.
When SNGRDC separated from Band Council in 2015, all Economic Development properties and operations were transferred to SNGRDC. At that time, SNGRDC entered into a management agreement to manage these properties and operations on behalf of the Elected Council.
It has been determined that certain properties cannot be developed due to political factors which are beyond the control of SNGRDC. As such, below is a list of properties that will be transitioned back to the Elected Council:
-Oneida Business Park – undeveloped lands (current building will continue to be managed by SNGRDC
-431 West Street, Brantford
-Former School #5 & Former School # 7
-Port Maitland property
-A6N Yard (former Martin Bus Property); A6N is re-locating to the Oneida Business Park
-Old Internet towers – Mohawk Road, Chiefswood Road and Cayuga Road.
In addition to the above, Six Nations Tourism, including Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks and Chiefswood National Historic Site, will transition to Band Council.
SNGRDC said the transition will allow for greater funding opportunities through grants which are not currently available to Six Nations Tourism as a subsidiary of SNGRDC. Six Nations Tourism will remain located in Chiefswood Park and continue to collaborate closely with SNGRDC on tourism-related offerings.
There will also be an amalgamated SNGRDC Governance Model.
The amalgamation will consist of shifting from three governing boards, consisting of 15 different board members, to one consolidated board comprised of 9 members. The members of the new consolidated board are Janis Monture, Justin Porter, Audrey Hill, Alaina VanEvery, Andrew Joseph, Phillip Johnson, Rachel Martin, Erica Martisius, and Myka Burning.
This new model will see new committees developed to oversee the current functions of the Advisory Committee and Board of Trustees. Consolidating the current model into one board will result in cost savings.
There will be no interruptions to community services offered by SNGRDC and Elected Council under this new agreement.
“We are pleased to see this agreement take effect after months of hard work and collaboration with Elected Council,” said SNGRDC CEO Matt Jamieson. “This new governance model will allow both entities to operate more efficiently to maximize economic benefits to the Six Nations community. SNGRDC remains committed to our goal of achieving autonomy by 2030 and we are excited to continue to serve the community under this new, enhanced model.”
Elected Chief Mark Hill said the new model will strengthen the working relationship between council and SNGRDC.
“We are excited to develop more strategic and long-term plans to meet community needs and better serve the Six Nations Community in unity with SNGRDC.”