OHSWEKEN, ON – On Monday November 2, community members gathered at the Six Nations Community Hall to attend Six Nations Band Council’s annual general meeting. Included at the meeting was a presentation given by Chief Ava Hill on the projects and meetings conducted by band council in 2014-2015.
After mentioning the new water treatment plant, the new fire hall to be completed in January, and the new elder and youth centre; Chief Hill explained that the council established the development corporation.
“We just highlighted some of the projects, and how they are their own Six Nations Development Corporation and they will go off and have their own community meeting and this just highlights some of the projects that they worked on in the past,” said Hill.
The projects included the Brant Gate Solar Farm Project, First Solar Walpole Project, NextEra Energy Summerhaven Project, Niagara Region Wind Project, Port Dover and Nanticoke Wind Project, the Welland Ridge and Norfolk Bloomsburg, Port Ryerse Wind Project, Grand Renewable Energy Project, Riverbend Estates Housing Development Project, and Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm.
“They are estimating about $100 million dollars will come back into the community from these projects over the next twenty years,” said Hill. “And the Development Corporation will go out and seek more projects so we can start generating more revenue for our community, so that we can fill some of those gaps,” she said.
Chief Hill then explained that to reach additional funds for some of the projects, Council has met with several provincial and federal officials including Prime Minister Designate Justin Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair, Rt. Hon. Paul Martin and Premier Kathleen Wynne.
“I think if people look around in the community, they can see that we’ve been here for two years and I think that we’ve done a lot in the past two years. A lot of infrastructure is going on and part of that is that we’ve established a relationship with a number of provincial officials and we’re hoping to establish a relationship with the federal officials now that we have a Liberal government in there,” said Hill, explaining that since meetings with several municipalities and officials have taken place, many projects have started to come to fruition.
After mentioning some of the involvement in the Pan Am and Para Pan Am Games, Director of Finance Gary Phillips was introduced to present the audit.
“Our overall revenues have only increased slightly year over year, by roughly $1 million dollars,” said Phillips. “So year over year, it’s only a marginal increase,” he said as he began to explain governmental transfers.
“The federal government under the INAC, you can see there is a decrease of roughly $4 million dollars. And that’s due to the water treatment planet,” he said. “So when you take that $4 million out, year over year there’s been no increase in federal monies from INAC. Which adds to the problems that we have; staffing issues, aging buildings we can’t invest in because we have insufficient funds,” he said, as he explained that many of the increases are donations for specific project such as the new fire hall.
The audit itself is available on the “Six Nations Elected Council” Facebook page and through Central Administration (519-445-2201). The Six Nations Band Council website (www.sixnations.ca) will provide the full meeting in its entirety.