At Sheguiandah First Nation, there’s going to be an election this year, in the fall. No doubt there will be some changes. Maybe there won’t be.
But in the meantime, their official business of the community is stagnating in significant ways as those elected to form a council manage to avoid sitting down together.
This has already been the case since late last summer but it’s discouraging to think that until there is an election this fall that will perhaps clear the air, the business of the community could be interrupted in this way for over a year.
When chief and council did agree to sit down together on neutral ground in Sudbury in mid-February, nothing was resolved. Some councillors refused to act because they said they had not been provided with sufficient information in order to make decisions. Another meeting, scheduled for last week, once again in Sudbury, did not take place and so the stalemate/standoff continues.
There are two sides in the matter, evenly dividing the council and while each side feels the members of the other should resign or somehow leave office, it’s clear after all of these months that this isn’t going to happen.
It is time for the chief and council to meet in order to deal with at least some community issues. Some things, over which the difference of opinion is just too divided, will have to wait until after the fall election or be dealt with by band management.
But there will be issues which, for the good of the community, should be dealt with by the elected officials.
Virtually everyone has been in situations and has had colleagues that they wouldn’t have chosen themselves but they’ve had to “hold their noses” as the saying goes, and deal as collegially as possible with the issues before them for the good of the larger organization.
Surely that can begin to happen in Sheguiandah, with the understanding by all parties that they are only meeting under the duress imposed on them by the circumstance of necessity.