The Chief and Council of the Uchucklesaht Tribe is pleased to announce the ratification of the Constitution of the Uchucklesaht Tribe.
In a vote held June 16, 2007 those Uchucklesaht people eligible to vote under the Maa Nulth treaty spoke loud and clear that the first major step in ratification of the Maa Nulth Treaty has been taken with their support.
By a vote of 85 to 0 with 2 spoiled ballots ( a 98% “Yes” vote), they approved the Constitution that had been crafted by their community over the past 5 years. The Constitution sets out the basis of the governance system they will utilize under Treaty and the Rights, Privileges and Responsibilities that will exist for their members.
The participation of 87 voters represents 60% of the eligible voters of the Tribe.
Chief Charlie Cootes expressed his excitement at the participation and satisfaction at the result. He said, "We have worked very hard to get to this point and it is gratifying to see the work meet with the approval of the people." He went on to a say "We can't rest on our laurels. We still have to get the Treaty and Band votes before the people and see them successfully passed. That will be a challenge for all of us but this result gives us inspiration to get on with the work that must be done.
Martin Sam, one of the Uchucklesaht Hereditary Chiefs (Hawiith) and Councillor for the Tribe stated “I am very happy with the outcome. It is the result of a lot of hard work. Now we can move on to the Treaty"
Carla Halvorsen, a young Uchucklesaht member who has been active in working on Treaty said "Because this constitution was put together by our membership, I was confident that it would pass. I see this Treaty as something great for the future and our generations to come."
The vote on the "Treaty" document and the vote on the “Transfer of Band Assets” from the Indian Act Band to the Uchucklesaht Government will be held in October.