Cowichan Tribes Governance

Self Governance

The National Centre for First Nations Governance states there are five key areas in the components of first nation's governance:
  • The People
  • The Land
  • Laws & Jurisdiction
  • Institutions
  • Resources
Applying these concepts to Cowichan Tribes we can see that much of this work has been done already through the Treaty process and our delegated sub government institutions such as Quw'utsun Syuw'ents, Ts'ewulthtun Health & Lalum utul Smun'eem agencies.

The key word to self government modis is "self" and we, Cowichan Tribes is the "self" for our future.  How we plan for our future services and how this impacts future generations.

The People, currently Cowichan Tribes boasts over 5000 members, over half of the population live on reserve.  However, many of our members are off reserve, away from our traditional territory and even out of the country.  It is very diverse in terms of population and in its geographic representation.

The Land, our land which is a fragment of our original territory has been affected by a dense growing population.  In the future we can plan on more issues regarding this; however our resolve has never been stronger to protect what we have left and what we will attain through the Treaty process.

Laws & Jurisdiction, meaning our regulation (Band Resolutions or Bylaws) is a growing field.  We already have some delegated authority in Child  Safety issues, fisheries, and Community Justice.  Cowichan Tribes does not have three attorneys in its membership.

Institutions, as mentioned, Cowichan Tribes has developed quite a few agencies to provide services.  Each is successful in what they do and provide.  However growing edges might be in the areas of cultural alignment and transparency and fairness resolutions.

Resources, simply means our businesses, our employees, revenue sources, and financial management.  A big portion of this means capacity building, meaning developing our own talent to fill the roles we need for the future of managing our resources.  This includes all our departments helping to steer our youth into meaningful education tracts and life experiences that benefit the future of Cowichan as a whole.

Much of this also means coming to grips with colonial thinking.  The important aspects of this process will be in showing the importance of healing from colonial thinking, capacity building, and enabling the big picture thinking.  This big picture is our shared future as Cowichan People.