Toquaht Nation’s governance, as defined in our Constitution, is based on three pillars: the People’s Assembly, Council, and the Executive Branch of Council (the Executive):
- The People’s Assembly includes the entire masčim (people who make up the community). They meet quarterly to give direction and input to the Toquaht Council.
- The Toquaht Council is made up of two hereditary leaders and three leaders elected by Toquaht citizens. The Council is responsible for advancing initiatives and enacting laws, known as acts, on behalf of Toquaht citizens.
- The Executive is composed of members of council who are appointed to hold a specific portfolio. They are responsible for overseeing the management of the government administration and developing regulations or policies as needed.
Toquaht Nation government is separate from its corporate structure, which oversees Toquaht businesses. Refer to the Corporate Structure page for more information.
Refer to this graphic to see how the pillars of government work with the government administration and corporate entities.
The People’s Assembly
The People’s Assembly is held at least four times per year, typically once every season. This provides an opportunity for our masčim (citizens) to participate in their government’s business. The masčim can learn about what initiatives and programs staff are working on, and provide input in these matters. They also have the opportunity to give direction and input to the Toquaht Council. For example, if Toquaht citizens pass a resolution at a People’s Assembly, Toquaht law requires Council to consider the resolution and vote on it.
Each People’s Assembly typically focuses on a specific area:
- Spring: Review and approve budget plans for the coming year
- Summer: Get updates on the work underway to implement the Strategic Plan
- Fall: Presentation of the financial audit for the previous year
- Winter: Get updates on work done throughout the year
The Summer People’s Assembly is held in-person at t̓uk̓ʷaaʔatḥiic hišimyiły̓ak (Toquaht Gathering Place) in Macoah, while the other assemblies are held virtually via Zoom. All citizens are sent invites by email, so ensure that your contact information is updated with the Toquaht Government office. You can check the Community Calendar to find out the date and location of the next People’s Assembly.
Toquaht Nation’s governance structure is a unique blend of hereditary and elected leaders, referred to as a “hybrid” governance structure. Council comprises two hereditary “standing” seats and three elected members who serve four-year terms. Any Toquaht citizen who is at least 18 years old can run for election to become a member of council.
The primary responsibility of the Council is to advance the success of Toquaht Nation. As stewards of the nation, council members are responsible for upholding the integrity of the nation’s affairs. They enact Toquaht acts, which are then implemented by the Toquaht Government Administration.
Toquaht Council (2023–2027)
The current Council, except for the hereditary leaders, was elected on October 6, 2023. They will serve until October 2027. The members of the Council are:
Committees of Council
Council appoints individuals to serve on various committees to provide advice to the government on different matters. Each committee has its own rules for appointment. The current committees include:
- Economic Development Committee: provides information to assist the Executive in overseeing economic development and reports to Council on economic development activities of the Toquaht Nation.
- Finance Committee: helps Council manage and control the finances of the Toquaht Nation.
- Citizenship and Enrolment Committee: makes decisions regarding granting and revocation of Toquaht Citizenship, and after the initial enrollment period, granting and revocation of enrollment under the Maa-nulth Treaty.
- Fish & Wildlife Committee: develops recommendations on Fish & Wildlife matters, including domestic harvest distribution, salmon enhancement, stock assessments, and the Toquaht commercial fishery, and brings those to Council.
- Treaty Implementation Committee: provides information to assist Council in fulfilling the obligations of and exercising the rights of the Toquaht Nation with regards to Chapter 27 Implementation of the Maa-nulth Final Agreement.
Executive Branch of Council (the Executive)
The Executive is a group of council members appointed by Council to oversee specific portfolios. The current portfolios are:
- Community Services
- Lands, Public Works, and Environmental Protection
- Resource Harvesting
The Executive ensures the enforcement of laws enacted by Toquaht Council and develops necessary regulations. They work closely with the Director of Operations of Toquaht Nation’s government administration, who manages daily operations and financial administration.
Visit the Organizational Structure page for more information on government administration and staff roles.