The Development of the P’egp’íg’lha Governance System
- The St’át’imc had its own social organization and practiced its own form of governance prior to European contact. The Indian Act established an elected Chief and Council system based on majority rule placing larger families of the community at an advantage.
- Many T’ít’qet members expressed dissatisfaction with the elected system during the development of the Community Vision Study in 1993.
- A Family Head study was completed in 1994 recommending establishment of a governance system comprised of family representation.
- In 1995 this matter was placed on the agenda of a general community meeting and a motion was passed approving the establishment of a new governance system.
- In 1997 a self-government working group was assigned by the Elders to develop this concept further.
- The work to establish a model of governance more reflective of our traditional ways of life and decision making processes included many years of research and reflection by the working group, the Councils and the T’ít’qet people
- There were a number of community consultation sessions held during this time.
- In 1999, in a workshop, the community came to the conclusion that:
“We are the P’egp’íg’lha of the St’át’imc Nation and we intend to move away from the Indian Act system of governance”
- In September 2002, the P’egp’íg’lha Council came into being at a community ceremony when the families stood up their representatives.
- The community pulled away from being governed solely by an Indian Act system but did not do away with the elected Chief and Council system because of INAC’s programs and services.
- The role of the P’egp’íg’lha Elders Council was formalized at that time.