Liard First Nation holds elections every three years to elect a Chief and Liard First Nation holds elections every three years to elect a Chief and four Councillors. The current Council was elected for a three-year term on June 29, 2020. The elected Council serves the people and directs Liard First Nation government administration, appoints boards and committees, represents LFN members and reports to the General Assembly of the First Nation.
The role of the Chief
The Chief must provide leadership and direction to the Council, government, and community as a whole. This means that the Chief has significant additional responsibilities, on top of those assumed by regular Council members, associated with their role.
The Chief is principal spokesperson for the First Nation. The role of spokesperson involves providing the clear voice of leadership within the government itself, as well as the community, and beyond.
The Chief is responsible for leading LFN, ensuring that LFN rights, titles, and interests are represented and protected in all processes and decisions. Often this involves negotiating with representatives of other governments and speaking with the media. In order to fulfill this role, the Chief must act as the main communicator, or liaison, between Council and other governing bodies, the administration, and the General Assembly. The position of Chief is like a communication conduit between all of the governing bodies, and also to the community.
The role of Council Members
Council members need to understand the basic structures and processes of government, and know how these relate to the work Council does. In particular, Council members must become very familiar with the First Nation’s governing documents, agreements, and the policies that affect Council process and procedure.
Members of the Council must understand their role in developing policies and regulations, and how these are then put into action by the government administration. Council members must also be aware of how Council communicates with and relates to the other LFN governing bodies and the administration. Communication and negotiation with corporate interests, other governments and the media is also important.
Council members are required to attend Council meetings, General Assembly meetings, and other meetings and events involving different community, business and intergovernmental interests. They participate in meetings by listening, discussing issues, and offering points of view with respect, thoughtfulness, and clarity. To prepare for meetings, they must read documents and information relating to government processes and Council issues. They work with the other Council members in a cooperative way and learn to be part of a cohesive group dynamic, speaking with “one voice,” and ensuring Council solidarity.
They abide by rules, policies and procedures guiding Council behavior, and act and speak with the knowledge that they are role models for the community. They make decisions based on fairness and quality for the betterment of the whole community.