Elected Council testing new political structure

Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council is studying a new governance structure that aims to improve efficiency by eliminating committee meetings and adding another political liaison meeting to its monthly roster of meetings.

Called Kentyohkwa (meaning ‘group’ in Mohawk) the study takes place until Oct. 31. Council will gather feedback from other councillors and senior administrative staff.

The structure aims to streamline the way council operates by making the most efficient use of time, resources, and staff.

SNGR said it hopes the new structure gives council more time to address community issues and focus on political advocacy.

The study was delayed due to the Covid pandemic.

Over the past few months, council has been discussing how to best implement this new structure.

Under the Kentyohkwa Structure, there will be two significant changes. First, committee meetings will be temporarily placed on hiatus and all items that were discussed during committees will not be discarded, but rather shifted to the appropriate council meeting to be more effectively addressed and resolved before full council.

To accommodate this increased workload, the second major change happening under the Kentyohkwa Structure is the addition of another political liaison meeting. Political liaison meetings will happen on the second and fourth Monday of every month at 9 a.m.

Council says under the Kentyohkwa Structure, the community’s access to elected officials will not change. The process to have an issue placed on the Council agenda remains the same.

Furthermore, all council meetings will continue to be held virtually and will still be livestreamed on Facebook for community members to view.

Council said the Kentyohkwa Structure is not fixed and will continuously evolve to best serve council and the community. As council progresses through the preliminary study period, the community will be kept informed through a mid-term update in October and a final report in November.

Council had held various committee meetings on Wednesdays focusing on issues encompassing human resources and infrastructure, which will be temporarily suspended under the new structure.

Council said it hopes that by eliminating those committees and adding the issues to political liaison meetings, it will eliminate administrative delays and allow issues to be addressed more quickly.

Committee issues have historically been brought to general council meetings for final approval. General council meetings occur on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m.

General finance meetings occur on the first and third Monday of every month at 9 a.m. and under the new structure, political liaison meetings will occur on the second and fourth Monday of every month at 9 a.m.

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