St Mary’s First Nation
150 Cliffe Street, Fredericton, NB E3A 0A1
- (506) 458-9511 T.F. (888) 445-6644
October 9, 2021
Chief and Council, October 5 – Minutes, Motions, and Summary
The meeting was opened with a prayer by Sakom Polchies, followed by an update regarding the agenda. Primary talking points addressed handling of turkey hampers and gift cards for SMFN members, homelessness among community members during the winter months, updates from the Emergency Measures Operations team, Security team updates and a small update regarding the need for loan renewals on the homes on Bear Drive and Gabe Acquin.
There were two motions made, as seen below:
Motion 1: A motion to remove the security checkpoint gates following Halloween, effective November 1, 2021, until further notice. (Due to issue with plowing around these gates) Motion Passed.
Motion 2: A motion to sign loan CMHC loan renewals for the homes on Bear Drive and Gabe Acquin. Motion Passed.
Verbal approval was granted to authorize the distribution of $50 Walmart gift cards to off-reserve members in lieu of a Thanksgiving turkey hamper. Citizens of St. Mary’s First Nation residing in the US will have theirs mailed out slightly later in time for American Thanksgiving (In November.) Moose hunt registration, funding and other details were provided to Chief and Council for review.
Chris Brooks was present to provide a proposal for a temporary solution to the homelessness problem affecting some members. There’s a potential for a short-term loan of trailers suitable for habitation by members over the winter months to reduce their risks during the extreme cold seasons. This equipment is available due to the progress made on another project which has yet to be established, so provided the trailers are kept in good order, there should be minimal issues with loaning them over the winter. Total would be three trailers on loan, with support staff being ideal to provide some guidance of the individuals most likely to be a good fit in these trailers due to their knowledge of and interactions with many of the prospective occupants. Chief and Council formally thanked Chris Brooks for his continued dedication to assisting the community in ways beyond his official capacity.
Additional suggestions to address the homelessness concerns was the discuss long-term rates with local hotels or motels to house individuals with nowhere to stay during the winter. Uncertainty on the viability and cost of this approach led to the discussion being set aside for the time being.
SMFN Emergency Measures Operations gave a briefing on the state of affairs regarding the updated COVID-19 policy. Some pushbacks from a handful of individuals, but the overwhelming majority were supportive of the measures as implemented. Inquiry from council on whether the policy would be improved if rapid testing were implemented for all staff; EMO said while that would be ideal, there’s not enough tests available at present to make that viable. EMO emphasized the need for confidentiality to be maintained on the results of workplace testing, as there had been an expression of concern from individuals at one facility following a positive test result.
Chuck Paul provided a briefing on the state of the community safety plan, gated checkpoints at night and the installation and deployment of security cameras in the community. Key takeaways were that more volunteers would be needed to continue the gated checkpoints in the future, as without volunteers, security must pull its patrol car staff to man the gates as well as sometimes requiring overtime work. This has led to exhaustion of some members of the staff, particularly those who end up working two shifts in a day. Additional staffing for security is to be evaluated, as well as a review of the drug policy for security workers regarding cannabis use. At present, any use of cannabis is prohibited, but this may not be necessary given the legal status of the product now.
Chief and Council wished to send a formal congratulations to Brady Paul in recognition of their appointment as a chair at AUS. “That’s a big step in a journey to go abroad and develop one’s career (…) hopefully bringing that knowledge home to the community eventually” said Sakom Polchies.
Chief and Council remain committed to maintaining the health and safety of our nation. The next Chief and Council meeting will be held on October 19, 2021. If citizens have input on the above issues or any other concerns, please contact a member of Chief and Council or Band Administration by calling the band office or via their listed contact information on the community website.