Bylaws and Policies

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee Standing Orders

1 Mandate

  1. In accordance with Bylaw 100 of the University of Alberta Students’ Union, the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee:
    1. Shall make recommendations to Students’ Council on the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action;
    2. Shall assist, after discussion with students, Students’ Council in identifying Aboriginal student priorities;
    3. Shall write a yearly report to Students’ Council detailing Aboriginal student priorities;
    4. Shall ensure adequate engagement, as defined by this committee in section (7), is completed by the Students’ Union in identifying Aboriginal student priorities;
    5. Shall develop strategies for the respectful implementation of Aboriginal knowledges and teachings;
    6. Shall foster collaboration between the Students’ Union and Aboriginal students;
    7. Shall work with Students’ Council committees in implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and representing and hosting discussion with Aboriginal students;
    8. Shall request reports from the Students’ Union Executive Committee on its advocacy for and with Aboriginal students;
    9. Shall periodically produce reports on the Executive Committee of the Students’ Union in relation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Political Policy, the Aboriginal student priorities defined by this committee, and its overall advocacy and representation of Aboriginal students;
    10. Shall compile a public report on the representation of and collaboration with Aboriginal students, as well as all relevant advocacy work, done by Students’ Council;
    11. Shall recommend to the Students’ Council, representatives to sit on committees, councils, etc., both internal and external, whose main focus is Aboriginal students;
    12. Such groups as outlined in Standing Orders, Appendix A;
    13. Holds the authority to determine the criteria and application process for student-at-large and de facto representative positions on this committee;
    14. Shall ensure that cultural sensitivity training is provided to Students’ Council;
    15. Holds the authority to make alterations to the Acknowledgement of Traditional Territories;
    16. Holds the authority to make alterations and renew the Students’ Union Political Policy on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Political; and
    17. Shall ensure the Students’ Union collaborates with Aboriginal elders on all relevant matters, with relevant being defined by this Committee.

2 Meetings

  1. Quorum of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall be six (6) permanent voting members.
  2. The Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall hold a meeting, coordinated through the Speaker of Students’ Council, before the first meeting of its Students’ Council in order to:
    1. elect a chair from within its permanent voting membership,
    2. set initial standing orders; and
    3. adopt a meeting schedule for its first trimester.
  3. The Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall establish a meeting schedule on a trimester basis, in advance, with the trimesters being:
    1. May to August,
    2. September to December, and
    3. January to April.
  4. Additional meetings of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee may be called by either the Chair or six (6) permanent voting members of the Committee, with the exception of Standing Orders 5(1)(a), and provided that:
    1. every permanent member has received at least seventy-two (72) hours’ notice of the meeting, or
    2. every permanent member consents to the meeting taking place.
  5. Meetings of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee may be cancelled by:
    1. a simple majority vote of the Committee to amend the meeting schedule,
    2. the unanimous consent of all permanent members to the cancellation, or
    3. if there are no items present on the Committee’s agenda.
  6. Meetings of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee are open to the public, unless the Committee moves in camera.
  7. Should a meeting occur without an elder present, the committee may not move any new business. They may move to approve the agenda, minutes, discussion, and adjournment only.

3 Membership

  1. Permanent membership of this Committee is eleven (11):
    1. Three (3) members of Students’ Council;
    2. Two (2) members of the Executive Committee;
    3. Two (2) members of the Aboriginal Student Council, as appointed by the Aboriginal Student Council and ratified at Students’ Council;
    4. Three (3) Aboriginal Students-at-Large, ratified by Students’ Council;
    5. One (1) elder, as chosen by the Committee, as a non-voting member.
  2. Should a vacancy on the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee occur, then the Committee shall recommend the nomination of additional member(s) as per section 3(1).
  3. All thirty-eight (38) Student Council voting Members shall be voting members of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee.
    1. those councillors must provide the Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours notice
  4. Up to thirty-nine (39) self-identifying Aboriginal undergraduate students currently enrolled at the University of Alberta, shall be voting members of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee, provided that:
    1. those students must provide the Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours notice;
    2. those students provide proof that they have self-identified as Aboriginal at the University of Alberta; and
    3. those students would not include self-identifying Aboriginal members of Student’s Council.
  5. For the purposes of this Committee, ‘self-identifying Aboriginal students’ are those who have either registered as such with the University of Alberta or are those who identify as Indian, Inuit, or Métis under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  6. Selection of the elder shall be the responsibility of the preceding years’ committee.

4 Chair’s Responsibilities and Duties

  1. The Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall be a permanent voting member.
  2. The Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall not be a member of the Students’ Council Executive Committee.
  3. The Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall be selected by the following process:
    1. The first round of nomination shall be open to only permanent self-identifying Aboriginal members of the committee
    2. In the event that no permanent self-identifying Aboriginal member of the committee is nominated, the second round of nomination shall be open to all permanent members of the committee.
    3. Upon the election of the Chair, notice of the appointment must be sent to all relevant Aboriginal student groups on Campus, as outlined in 1(l).
    4. In the event that no appropriate chair is found, the elder will become the interim Chair with the administrative support of Discover Governance until a suitable candidate is selected among other members of the committee, not including those priorly removed.
  4. The Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall:
    1. arrange for the booking of a meeting room, when necessary, for meetings of the Committee;
    2. arrange for the preparation and distribution of the Committee agenda;
    3. moderate debate at meetings of the Committee;
    4. respond to the questions of members of the Committee in a timely fashion;
    5. assign duties to members of the Committee, such duties pertaining to the fulfilment of the mandate of the Committee;
    6. schedule an annual KAIROS Blanket Exercise for Students’ Council following the Council by-election;
    7. present, or arrange for a presentation, to non-Students’ Council members of the Committee an outline of governance at the Students’ Union, with specific emphasis placed on bylaws and political policies;
    8. maintain the Standing Orders of the Committee;
    9. ensure suitable traditional medicines are available for use during the smudging ceremony portion of meetings;
    10. submit reports to Students’ Council, as required;.
    11. submit reports to Aboriginal groups on campus as listed in 1(1)(l) on a trimesterly basis (or as requested) of the progress and direction of the Committee.
  5. Should the Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee be absent from a meeting of the Committee, the Committee shall then elect an interim chair from within its permanent voting membership for the duration of the meeting.
  6. The Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee may be removed from the post of chair by a simple majority vote of the Committee, whereupon a new chair shall be elected from within the permanent voting membership of the Committee.
  7. The Chair shall work with the Speaker and Administrative Assistant to ensure the logistical needs of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee are met.

5 Member Responsibilities and Duties

  1. The Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee may recommend to Students’ Council, by a simple majority vote, the removal of any permanent standing member who is not carrying out their duties in contributing to the fulfillment of the mandate of the committee or harbours views which contradict the purpose of the Committee.
    1. In the event that a committee member is found to be harbouring views which contradict the purpose of the committee, the Chair and Elder shall be notified
    2. Upon notification of such behaviour, the Chair and Elder of the committee shall;
      1. Meet with the accused committee member to discuss their behaviour
      2. Decide if the issue was deliberate or ongoing, and if a meeting of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall be called to discuss the conduct and continued membership of the member at hand.
    3. In the event the Chair and Elder determine the actions of the accused member are deliberate or ongoing, the Chair will call an additional meeting of the Committee to debate the continued membership of the member at hand. This meeting will include:
      1. A closed session of the committee without the accused member in attendance to discuss the conduct of the accused
        1. No motions shall be considered in this portion
      2. An additional closed session of the committee with the accused member to discuss the conduct of the accused and to decide if a recommendation should be made to council for the removal of the accused member who is not carrying out their duties in contributing to the fulfillment of the mandate of the Committee or is harbouring views which contradict the purpose of the Committee.
        1. A motion of this type need only be passed by a simple majority
    4. In the event that a standing member is removed from the committee they shall be replaced by someone from the same classification
    5. “harbours views which contradict the purpose of the Committee” are defined as those:
      1. that are inherently racist;
      2. promote hate speech; or
      3. with malicious intent, actively contradict the stated purpose of the Committee.
  2. Permanent members are required to attend all meetings of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee.
    1. Failure to attend or send an appropriate proxy to 50% of the meetings in a trimester will result in immediate removal from the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee.
  3. Members shall be considered present should an appropriate proxy be appointed and attend, or by sending in their written thoughts on all agenda items to the chair.
  4. Any member of the Executive Committee who fails to fulfil the reporting requirements as outlined in Standing Orders 13(1) may be reported to Students’ Council, by a simple majority vote.
  5. Permanent members are responsible for carrying out tasks assigned to them by the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee or Chair.

6 Elder Protocol

  1. The selection of an elder is to be the responsibility of the preceding year’s Committee.
  2. The Chair, in partnership with the rest of the Committee, and the Students’ Union Vice-President Finance, will select an Elder whose appointment mandate is for the following year.
  3. In selecting an elder, the Chair, along with the rest of the Committee, will work in partnership with the following individuals/organizations:
    1. Indigenous Advisory Office;
    2. Aboriginal Student Services Centre;
    3. Advisory Committee on Elders, Protocol, and Teachings; and
    4. Students’ Union Vice-President Finance.
  4. The elder selection process will follow the University of Alberta’s Elder Protocol document and the four tenants of the Elders Leadership and Resource Council Working Paper.
  5. The purpose of the elder is to provide guidance for the Committee and to ensure that it acts in the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation. In addition, the elder will aid the Committee in the completion of its mandate; specifically, that outlined in Section 7.
  6. In the event that no appropriate chair is found under Section 4(3), the elder will become the interim Chair with the administrative support of Discover Governance until a suitable candidate is selected among other members of the committee, not including those priorly removed.
  7. Should an elder be seen as harbouring views which contradict the mandate of the Committee, or are viewed to be in abuse of power, the Committee will convene in camera to discuss said issues. Such discussion are to be done in with the elder and in accordance with the organizations outlines in Section 16(3).
  8. In the event that Section 16(7) occurs, the removal of an elder requires a simple majority vote.

7 Proxies/Guests

  1. To appoint a proxy to the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee, the member thereof must provide a notice to that effect to the Chair of the Committee.
    1. stating the name and e-mail address of the eligible member who will serve as proxy,
    2. indicating the duration of the appointment, and
    3. that is signed by the appointing member of the Committee or e-mailed to the Chair of the Committee no later than two (2) hours prior to the Committee meeting.

8 Discussion and Reports

  1. As per Standing Orders 1(d), the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee will create an annual Aboriginal Collaboration Framework which will define the parameters of ‘adequate collaboration’ through meetings with various Aboriginal stakeholders.
    1. This is to occur before the second trimester of Students’ Council.
  2. Once the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee has created the Aboriginal Collaboration Framework defined, it will present its findings to both the Students’ Union and Students’ Council.
  3. In addition to an Aboriginal student Collaboration Framework, the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee is responsible for the creation of three annual (3) reports:
    1. Report on Aboriginal Priorities
      1. The purpose of this report is to fulfil the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee’s mandate, as set out in Standing Orders 1(c).
      2. This report is to be completed no later than April 30th of any given year.
      3. The findings of this report is meant to have a proactive capacity; meaning that the details of the report are to be followed by the next session of both Students’ Council and the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee.
      4. This report, once reviewed by Students’ Council, will both guide the Executive Committee’s advocacy on Aboriginal issues and ensure adequate Aboriginal Student collaboration is completed.
    2. Report on Executive Committee Advocacy
      1. The purpose of this report is to fulfil the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee’s mandate, as set out in Standing Orders 1(i).
      2. This report is to be published twice a year, with the publication dates being no later than, respectively, November 10th and April 10th.
    3. Report on Students’ Council Aboriginal Representation
      1. The purpose of this report is to fulfil the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee’s mandate, as set out in Standing Orders 1(j).
      2. This report is to be completed no later than January 30th.
  4. Reporting by the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee is to follow Aboriginal Student Collaboration Framework created by the Committee.

9 Administrative Assistant Duties

  1. The Administrative Assistant of the Students’ Union will:
    1. Book meeting rooms for meeting of the Committee.
    2. Book Minute Takers for each meeting of the Committee.
    3. Structure agendas for each meeting based on the Orders of the Day submitted by members of the Committee and any referrals from Students’ Council.
    4. Notify the Committee of meetings through the agenda.
    5. Distribute the agenda and minutes to each member of the Committee.
    6. Ensure paper copies of the agenda are printed for the Chair to bring to each meeting.

10 Records

  1. The Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall ensure attendance is taken at each meeting of the Committee
  2. In the event that a Minute Taker is not present at a meeting of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee, the Chair shall assign the task of recording the minutes of the meeting to one of the members of the committee.
  3. Members of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee may amend their comments in the minutes to better reflect the recording when the minutes are being approved by the Committee.
  4. The Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall, after each meeting of the Committee, submit to Students’ Council a report including:
    1. any decisions made by the Committee acting under the authority delegated to it by Students’ Council;
    2. any recommendations made by the Committee to Students’ Council;
    3. any standing orders adopted by the Committee; and
    4. the last approved Minutes of the Committee.
  5. The trimesterly Chair’s Report shall be approved by the Committee prior to its inclusion onto the Students’ Council Order Papers.

11 Rules of Order

  1. The Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee will use their discretion in administering an informal style of Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct the business of the meeting.

12 Orders of the Day

  1. Right of Submission by Committee Members
    1. Any voting member of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee may submit Orders of the Day to be considered by the Committee.
  2. Order of Business for the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee shall be:
    1. Introduction.
      1. Call to Order.
      2. Prayer/Smudging Ceremony
      3. Approval of Agenda.
      4. Approval of Minutes.
      5. Chair’s Business.
    2. Old Business.
    3. New Business.
    4. Discussion.
    5. Confirmation of Next Meeting Date.
    6. Adjournment.
  3. Deadline for Submission
    1. Orders of the Day must be submitted to the Chair of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee and the Administrative Assistant to the Students’ Council by noon on the business day prior to the Committee meeting.
  4. Publishing
    1. The agenda package for the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee will be published in the following manner:
      1. an electronic copy will be e-mailed to the Committee members two (2) days prior to the meeting, and
      2. paper copies will be provided at the Committee meeting upon request.
  5. Special Orders
    1. The Order of Business notwithstanding, the Chair may designate any Order of the Day a Special Order.

13 Presentations

  1. The Students’ Union Executive shall provide:
    1. a comprehensive presentation to the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee of all goals relevant to the mandate of the Committee by June 30.

14 Executive Committee Reports

  1. Each member of the Executive Committee shall provide, upon request, a written report to the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee on their advocacy activities and those of the entire Executive Committee, as they relate to Aboriginal Students.
    1. An oral report may be provided in lieu of a written report.

15 Standing Orders

  1. The Standing Orders of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee may be amended by a simple majority vote of the Committee, with such changes being reported to Students’ Council.
  2. The Standing Orders of the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee do not expire, but shall be reintroduced at the Committee’s first meeting.

16 Confidentiality

  1. All members shall ensure the security and confidentiality of sensitive information that comes into their possession by virtue of their membership on the Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Committee.

17 Appendix A: List of Aboriginal Groups

  1. Council on Aboriginal Initiatives.
  2. Aboriginal Student Services Centre.
  3. Aboriginal Student Council.
  4. Native Studies Students’ Association.
  5. Aboriginal Focus Group.
  6. Faculty of Native Studies.
  7. Indigenous Law Students’ Society.
  8. University of Alberta Indigenous Affairs Office.
  9. Alberta Public Interest Research Group.
  10. Native Studies Course Requirement.
  11. Aboriginal Students Office at Augustana Campus