Aboriginal Action Circle – January 25th, 2012

Aboriginal Action Circle


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

5:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Ottawa Regional Office – 15, Holland Ave.

Lise-Bélanger Boardroom


In attendance :Edward Martin (Chair), Albert Dumont (Elder), Les Meizcan, Toni Mathews, Glenda Eagle, Marie-Louise Larocque, Charlotte Jacobs, John Jewitt, John Henri Commanda, Victoria Boucher 

Guest Speaker: Sylvie Smith on behalf of Michael Desautels

PSAC Rep: Stephanie Penwarden



Brother Albert opened the meeting with a smudging ceremony.



Brother Edward called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.




Brother Edward announced that the AAC will be holding its Annual General Assembly (AGM) in February 2012. He also announced that he will not be running for the position of Chair come the AGM. He encouraged all members of the circle to run for elected office, and especially for the position of Chair.

The circle proceeded to round table introductions.




m/s/c            Brother Les/Brother André


That the agenda be adopted as presented and amended.


A discussion takes place on the role of the Chair and who should be acting as Chair given Brother Edward had resigned previously.


Sister Charlotte mentions that Brother Edward had resigned.


Sister Stephanie confirms that the chair of the Committee is Edward. PSAC advocates that after a period of reflection from the REVP, the resignation was rescinded.


Sister Charlotte asks more details and who made this decision.


Sister Stephanie mentions that Brother Larry Rousseau (REVP) has offered a ruling on this.


Sister Charlotte mentions that after the healing and discussion circle, the REVP had confirmed that this decision was one to the AAC to take.


Sister Stephanie will have REVP send an official email to the circle.


Sister Vickie confirms that this was not clear after the healing circle.


Sister Stephanie reiterates that she will ask Brother Larry send an official email tomorrow to the circle


Sister Charlotte mentions that the circle should have a say on this and that this decision was made in a directional way


Brother Edward confirms that the circle should have a say. However, there are no terms on how to proceed when someone steps down. He mentions that he is regretful for how this decision was made. He asks for the committee’s indulgence at this point. The agenda is full for tonight.


Next meeting will be the AGM (Sister Stephanie will be running the AGM) at which point elections will be held and the elected person will take over the Chair of the AAC.

Sister Vickie speaks that at the Talking Circle things were discussed and they remain disrespected.


Brother Les mentions that this is the meeting we have now, no meaning wasting time discussing this. The AGM, being one meeting away will allow the circle to have its voice.

Sister Charlotte requests that Brother Edward asks to chair this meeting and provide apologies to the circle.


Brother Edward mentions that he made a mistake by resigning before an AGM. Some disagreements occurred on behalf of the AGM sub-committee. For the first time, decisions were being made without the knowledge of the circle’s executive committee. Normally direction is requested from the PSAC and from the REVP’s office. Emails were sent that had decisions made in them. Decisions were not supposed to be made by the sub-committee. Decisions were meant to be made by the circle. He reiterates that he is very sorry. He continued by mentioning that mends were made at the circle. It was understood at the November meeting that any ideas from the sub-committee should be relayed to the circle.


Sister Charlotte mentioned that the circle spoke to direction, leadership, integrity, responsibility.  


Sister Glenda says they were volunteers and they were only making plans. They shouldn’t be disrespected. She expects respect as a volunteer.


Sister Toni says she didn’t see the sub-committee making decisions. She had hope that these ideas would be brought to the circle’s next meeting. It was a matter of perception. Everyone in the room and at the circle’s meeting should be making decisions for the AGM.


Brother Edward mentions that if its felt that he shouldn’t be chairing, then someone else can certainly come up and chair this meeting.


Sister Charlotte doesn’t think it’s up to her however she doesn’t feel that a resolution had been established.


m/s/c  Sister Marie-Louise/Brother Les

3 are recording their abstinence: Sisters Glenda, Vickie, and Charlotte


That Brother Edward remains the chair for this meeting.




Feb 14 – Have a Heart Day (Historic event)


AFN appealing a decision by the CHRT to dismiss the tribunal

This appeal is being heard on February 13, 14, and 15.


We are a group of supporters, teachers, activists, labour groups, etc., acting to get people out to support the Child Caring Society and the AFN which are organisations that support schools for all children in Canada.


First Nations and Child Caring Society appeal of the HRT (Blackstock – 2007)

Inquiry on why this case was dismissed.


HRC, Amnesty, CS, Cheifs of Ontario, AFN are presenting arguments as to why it is wrong to dismiss this case. This should be held at the Supreme court building.


A meeting took place to develop a plan.


When 100 supporters were gathered, the location was changed to the Federal Court on Sparks where the capacity is now 30 rather than 100.


Elementary schools were meant to bring their students but there will no longer be enough room. Permits were obtained to have this gathering on Parliament Hill at 10 :30on the 14. As many people out as we can. Schools may not be able to make it seeing as they were meant to be inside the court.


Schedule is as follows:

10 :45 to 11 :15media coverage

11 :20-11 :30Charlie Angus will speak and sing with children (Diamonds in the snow)

11:30 Demo from Families of Sisters and Spirit


Worthwhile causes will be present.


T-Shirts can be ordered by contacting Sylvie or Michael D. Requests must be in by tomorrow for them to be available by Feb 14. They fit small. They are $25 each.


Is there any info on Facebook?

There will be tomorrow.


Informal networks will work for this.




m/s/c  Sister Marie-Louise/Brother John Henri


Thatthe minutes be approved as presented and amended.




Sister Glenda had to fix a location and date. The nearest date is March 3 at the Gatineau Regional Office. The room is reserved for the entire day.


Brother Larry and Elder Dumont will be present.


The resource-person was approved for 3.5 hours.


There will be a smudging, a guest book for attendees to sign, and a caterer if money allows it. A potluck will be held if budget does not allow.


Sister Charlotte in order to increase membership has tried to secure an iPad 2 to have as a door prize. As of today, she has not found that donation. She is still working on that. Plan B will be discussed accordingly.


Sister Vickie in the goal to indigenize the labour movement had to make a poster. She also has to approach a drummer to accompany her. Also researched for aboriginal presence – 2 venders related to our circle to come display crafts and arts. One was touched. They will not be charged but their fee could be to provide a gift to the speakers. They are refined artists. This may encourage other public servants to become active with the Aboriginal Action Circle.


Ideas were thrown without knowledge of finances, time, etc.


Charlotte is to send poster to André for distribution.


Sister Viola was going to approach guest speakers for the AGM. She contacted other equity groups and other committees (Young Workers, Men’s Action, etc.)



Budget items :


Drummers : $100

Meals : (donated refreshments) + $300

Elder : $100

Speakers : 2 $150 per speaker ($300)

Gifts : donations

Medicine : tobacco pouches (Donations)

MAX $800


S/Toni asks whether or not the AGM will be considered the February meeting. (Budget rollover)


Also the ROD from our Nov 23 meeting indicates that some money should be carried over from 2011 to 2012 ($629).


TOTAL of $875


Last year’s budget was $400 (honorarium and food were covered separately). We went over these costs by over $423.


S/Toni: How many people are we forecasting?


B/John Henri mentions that because of pending cuts people may not want to partake in PSAC activities, which is why he would estimate a maximum of 20-25 people.


S/Toni mentioned that she would provide some refreshments at her own expense.

S/Vicki could provide some drumming at the AGM, also at her own expense.


B/John Henri mentions that some locals have budget for donations. Once the plan is in place, he can write a letter and try to access this money.


Honorarium is $100 for a schedule of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Sisters Seguin and Fitzpatrick and Brother Sullivan will be invited to our AGM.


S/Toni will donate a stainglass to one of the guests.


m/s/c  John Henri/Marie-Louise


Thatthe AAC AGM take place on March 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 200 Portage (Gatineau Regional Office), and that $800 be the AGM Budget as allocated by the circle. Should there be changes required, the sub-committee is asked to communicate this need to the circle via an email motion prior to the expenditure.




B/John Henri would like to see this list approved and brought fwd to the new executive committee to be prioritized then, come the new chair. The responsibility of moving these priorities forward should be on the circle itself, not on the chair only.


m/s/c  Marie-Louise Larocque/Toni Matthews


Thatthe work plan be accepted as presented and it be prioritized at the March meeting




Members have until March 1 to request to attend the convention on behalf of your local.





S/Charlotte mentions that things went well. The kiosk was by the bathroom. 194 signatures were collected and $214 was collected by selling 50/50 tickets. Would do it again.


S/Vickie mentions that she wouldn’t repeat the experience because it was hard to promote a petition that had no mention of aboriginal workers.


B/John Henri said the difficulty he had was that the event was taking place on three floors and it was hard to follow the chiefs and the participants of the convention. It was a success and he would do it again. Meeting lots of people from other regions.


B/Edward says it was a success and it increased AAC’s visibility of the AAC and fundraising. Third day didn’t run as smoothly as the 1st and 2nd day. We had a guest drawing a name for a ribbon shirt. Only one shirt was given away instead of both. He presented the cause of his scrolls at our AAC kiosk. Sister Vickie told him to take the scrolls and leave because it wasn’t relevant to our circle.


S/Charlotte says that he may have been misunderstood.


S/Toni mentioned that he was left alone because the two AAC members who were meant to show up did not, which left Derek alone.


B/John Henri mentionedthatwe need committed people for the hours decided on. The reason the second shirt wasn’t donated is because it was meant for Brother John. These are wonderful opportunities for the AAC to have the front and centre spot at such events. People can know who we are. Congrats to our committee and the members who participated to this event.


B/John J. Mentions an administrative point that we need to have a red/green box with supplies for the kiosk (cisors, pens, tape, etc.), a cash box, etc




S/Toni – my son and granddaughter had a blast. The food was good. They felt very welcome.


S/Vickie – it’s a reminder that we helped a good cause – our committee should be proud of that activity – thank you Albert for that initiative


B/John Henri – He had two of his sons with him. One of his son took time off from his part-time job to come here. We realize we take alot for granted and we don’t want to do that anymore.


B/John J. Asked why would we only do this for Christmas? Elder Dumont does it all the time and he will announce it more at the next times.


B/Edward mentions that with new workplan and executive committee, we can perhaps look forward to more events like this.




Sister Stephanie mentions that there are forms to register for the NAPC course for Aboriginal peoples but that the course is designed for new union members.




S/Toni provided a clarification on Taxi Chits:


3 year budget forecast – $200/year


It is up to the committee to cover these costs.


Each request needs to be brought to the circle. How specific do we want to be regarding these costs? Should we increase this budget amount? We can’t provide bus tickets and any other transportation costs within budget.

B/John Henri throws this back to the PSAC rep. What do other committees do?

S/Stephanie explains that MDAC provides transportation for each meeting. Nobody take cabs, only buses and carpool. PRIDE does not reimburse any costs.


Elder Albert would like to raffle off a shirt and use that money for taxi.

The AAC will Raffle the shirt at the council meeting Saturday, March 3.


S/Toni will make a list of people who drive to the meeting and in what direction and we could develop a transportation list and make arrangements from there.




Brother Les’ ELVIS costume

He purchased the Elvis suit, and he has asked for 50% of the value of the suit. He will offer the suit to the AAC whenever the committee requires the use of it. $50 was the value of the suit.


DIFFERED to the March Meeting


m/s/c      Sister Toni/Sister Marie-Louise


Thata ribbon shirt be raffled off in order to collect funds for safe transportation to and from regular AAC meetings. Selling of tickets will start at the NCR Council meeting. The draw will take place at the May 23 meeting.


S/Steph    Salvation army strike all week. Come in support!

              Feb 5 community dinner for labour outreach at the Jack Purcell Centre (Elgin)





AAC AGM on Saturday March 3