The Indian Head First Nation Band, which was disbanded in the wake of the formation of the Qalipu First Nation Band, is being reformed due to a strong interest.
That’s according to Tianna Butler, one of the organizers of a public meeting on Thursday for anyone interested in the reformation that had 58 adults in attendance.
The meeting was open to residents of Stephenville Crossing, Mattis Point and Stephenville.
Butler said in addition to those in attendance they had a number of emails and calls from people who couldn’t attend but want to be part of the band.
At the meeting a vote was taken on reforming the band and the vote was unanimous, with no objections to moving forward.
Butler said planning has been ongoing for some time now and she got interested after returning to the area from Fort McMurray in 2016.
She was interested in the Mi’kmaq cultural revival movement and got a job as a band support officer at No’kmaq Village (Flat Bay).
She said seeing the types of programs they are involved with and the void of such programs that the Indian Head First Nation Band used to be involved with, she spoke with Hayward Young and they decided to work towards the re-establishment of the band.
Butler grew up in Stephenville Crossing and now resides in Stephenville.
“This is the time as we’re hearing a lot of frustrations from people who feel they are not getting a chance to voice what they need,” she said. “There are people who feel their identity is being taken away and they want education and cultural programming back.”
She said what organizers want a grassroots movement in place so people are being heard, listened to and programs are being implemented to help them in their daily lives.
“Our communities and families are being divided. It’s time for us to come together as a people and be heard,” Butler said.
She said they now have a meeting planned for 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 with the intentions of electing an interim council. The location will be announced once they have it nailed down.
The interim council will be in place for a one-year period with a mandate from the members that night as organizers are determined this will be community driven and the council will only do what its members wants it to do.
About the proposed re-established Indian Head Band Council:
A non-status council representing Mi’kmaq people of Stephenville, Stephenville Crossing and Mattis Point.
Members don’t have to be a status member of another band.
Open to everyone who meets the Mi’kmaq membership criteria.
Council will review former bylaws, constitution and membership criteria during interim year.
At the end of the interim year, an election will take place for a council serving a three-year period.
Intention is to approach funding agencies for programming.
Council will seek ways to unite its people, grow its communities and encourage a sense of pride in identity as Mi’kmaq people.
Source: Tianna Butler