The Métis Nation of Ontario Women’s Council

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Regional Women's Representative

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Introduction

This document was finalized in July 2020 and reflects the current structure of Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO). It will evolve as the MNO government structure evolves. It is based on the Terms of Reference of the Métis Nation of Ontario Women’s Council (MNOWC). If there is a contradiction between this document and the Terms of Reference, the Terms of Reference would supersede.

Authority and Responsibility 

The Women’s Council, collectively, is the authority for the MNOWC. As a member of the Women’s Council, a Regional Women’s Representative (RWR) acts in a position of trust for the women of the region they represent and are committed to Our Statement of Purpose as stated in our current Terms of Reference. The Women’s Council is responsible for the effective governance of the MNOWC as detailed in the Terms of Reference.

Requirements

Requirements of the Regional Women Representative includes:
 

  1. Must be elected through the proper MNO electoral process.
     

  2. Must be a woman MNO verified citizen living within the region they are running to represent.
     

  3. Ability to fulfill RWR duties.
     

  4. Are willing to meet these duties as an unpaid volunteer.
     

Term

RWRs are elected every 4 years at the Annual General Assembly (AGA). If a elected woman leaves before the 4 years, the process within the Terms of Reference will be followed.

General Duties

A RWR is fully informed on MNOWC matters and participates in the Women’s Council’s deliberations and decisions in matters of policy, finance, communication, committee recommendations, fundraising, proposal writing, public education and advocacy.

 

The Regional Women’s Representative must:

 

The RWR must:

  1. Be willing to work together collaboratively within MNO and adhere to the MNOWC Code of Conduct while conducting MNOWC business.
     

  2. Be committed to working on behalf of the Métis women in Ontario and represent their region by bringing forth women’s voices to MNOWC.
     

  3. Attend regularly scheduled MNOWC meetings in person, online and/or by teleconference.
     

  4. Meet and nurture relationships with the Community Council Women Representatives (CCWR) in your Region. Compile issues to bring to MNOWC with possible recommendations on moving forward in addressing them. Attend, support and assist CCWRs in your region with any activities being organized in their communities, as MNOWC budget allows.
     

  5. Communicate with CCWR via phone, e-mail, zoom or text on a regular basis or whenever important information needs to be disseminated.
     

  6. Distribute up-to-date minutes of regular MNOWC meetings to the CCWR.
     

  7. Develop and maintain positive relations with MNO organization and leadership, provincial and national organizations such as Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) and Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO) to strengthen the MNOWC mandate.
     

  8. Prepare budgets, submit receipts and complete reports for any funding for Regional Women Representatives, using MNO templates, and as required.
     

  9. Be willing to develop knowledge and skills in one or more areas of MNOWC governance: policy, finance, communication, fundraising, proposal writing, public education and advocacy.
     

  10. Assist with development, estimations & preparation of proposals by giving input and feedback into the process.
     

  11. Support and participate in fundraising events.
     

  12. Review the Terms of Reference, annually, and recommend changes to the MNOWC.
     

  13. Maintain and implement an evaluation tool to identify MNOWC strengths and areas for development and do an overall review once every 4 years.
     

  14. Maintain an updated listing of any committees or boards where you represent MNOWC; this listing will be held with the MNOWC Secretary.
     

  15. Attend the MNO AGA and MNOWC Annual General Meetings (AGM).

Compliance

RWRs are expected to fulfill their duties to the best of their ability. RWRs that do not attend three consecutive meetings, without cause, will be contacted. If there is no satisfactory reason, the citizens who elected that RWRs will be informed and options will be presented to them: do nothing, hold a new election or appoint a replacement.

Budget and Expenses

RWRs are provided with a limited budget, when available, that is disbursed through reimbursement of specific expenses.

Estimated Time Commitment
  1. Monthly MNOWC Meetings – 2 hours per month for a minimum of ten months (18 hours annually) including a minimum of 1 in person meeting (2-3 days).
     

  2. Committee Meetings – 20 to 40 hours depending on committee (20 hours annually).
     

  3. Fundraising – 20 to 40 hours annually depending on fundraising activities.
     

  4. Additional Emails/Texts/Telephone/Zoom Calls – 16 hours annually.
     

  5. Public Education – depends on individual RWR goals for their region.
     

  6. AGA – Attend 2 to 5 days.
     

  7. In-Person Meetings – Annually attend a minimum of one in-person meeting 2-3 days at a time.
     

  8. LFMO AGM (3 days).
     

RWR community visits within your region as budgets allow.

President 

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The role of the MNOWC President will be to:

  1. Oversee and guide the MNOWC towards accomplishing their mandate. 
     

  2. Work in conjunction with the MNOWC Women Representatives and the CCWRs in supporting women citizens of the MNO in the province to carry their voices at all MNOWC Meetings and General Assemblies.
     

  3. Prepare a written report for monthly MNOWC meetings.
     

  4. Ensure the agenda is distributed one week before the MNOWC meeting by the Secretary.
     

  5. Work closely with the Elder(s) to ensure that the MNOWC Code of Conduct is always being followed by members of the MNOWC.
     

  6. Provide a leadership role in following and adhering to the MNOWC Code of Conduct.
     

  7. Maintain ongoing communication amongst the Council between MNOWC meetings.
     

  8. Follow the complaint process when there are specific complaints against MNOWC members, including working with the Elders and keeping the MNOWC member informed about the complaint against her.
     

  9. Ensure financials are received by the treasurer & then distributed to MNOWC two (2) days before regularly scheduled meeting.
     

  10. Be a signing officer along with Treasurer for contracts, documents or any instrument in writing requiring the signature of the MNOWC.
     

  11. Maintain regular contact with Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO), MNO Chief Operating Officer & MNO Chief Strategic Officer and be able to report to the PCMNO when requested.  Continue to lobby for a voting seat at the PCMNO table.
     

  12. Represent the MNOWC on the Board of Governors of LFMO & any other provincial/national group.
     

  13. Stay updated on current women’s issues, government announcements and report regularly to MNOWC.
     

  14. Serve as ex-officio member of all MNOWC committees and attend their meetings when needed.
     

  15. Act on behalf of the MNOWC in case of emergencies.
     

  16. Promote the MNOWC Statement of Purpose within Ontario and Canada.  
     

  17. Represent the MNOWC to the media when directed by the MNOWC.
     

Term

President will be elected every 4 years at the AGM. If a President leaves before the 4 years is completed, the process within the Terms of Reference will be followed.

Chair

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In addition to the duties and responsibilities outlined in the RWR role description:

  1. Provide leadership to the Women’s Council.
     

  2. Ensuring the Women’s Council adheres to its Terms of Reference and set policies, including the Code of Conduct.
     

  3. Confirms there is a quorum at MNOWC meetings.
     

  4. Chairs meetings of the MNOWC.
     

  5. Signs MNOWC minutes to attest to their accuracy.
     

  6. Encourages RWRs to participate in meetings and activities.
     

  7. Keeps the Women’s Council discussion on topic by summarizing issues.
     

  8. Keeps the MNOWC activities focused on the Council’s mandate.
     

  9. Ensure evaluation tools for the MNOWC are developed, approved and implemented.
     

  10. Assumes the role of Acting President should the elected President be unable to, temporarily, perform her duties.
     

  11. Assumes the role of Interim President should the President position become vacant, until the next MNOWC
    regularly scheduled election pursuant to MNO Electoral Code, Part A, Article 10.

     

  12. Makes sure that committee chairwomen are appointed as required.
     

  13. Orients new RWRs to their role and appoints a mentor (MNOWC Women’s Rep), as needed.
     

  14. Ensure smooth transition for new MNOWC Chair.

Vice Chair

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In addition to the duties and responsibilities outlined in the RWR role description:
 

  1. Acts in the absence of the Meeting Chair.
     

  2. Learns the duties of the Meeting Chair and keeps informed on key issues.
     

  3. Works closely and assists as consultant and advisor to the Chair.

Secretary 

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In addition to the duties and responsibilities outlined in the RWR role description:
 

  1. Keeping copies of the current Terms of Reference with attached role descriptions, Code of Conduct and MNOWC policy statements.
     

  2. Ensure MNOWC has current listings of RWRs and CCWR.
     

  3. Ensure MNOWC maintains a file on each of the RWRs which will include but not limited to contact information, letters on file, Code of Conduct issues, awards/recognition etc.
     

  4. Ensure that MNOWC is notified through email of meeting dates & times.
     

  5. Prepare the MNOWC agenda for meetings with input from the RWRs. Distribute the MNOWC agenda one week before the meeting. 
     

  6. Bring the official minute book to meetings.
     

  7. Keep records of MNOWC attendance.
     

  8. Keep accurate minutes of meetings, including recording all motions and decisions at meetings.
     

  9. Sign MNOWC minutes to attest to their accuracy.
     

  10. Record all corrections to minutes.
     

  11. Keep copies of minutes with any attachments of both MNOWC and Committee meetings.
     

  12. Distribute copies of minutes to MNOWC & CCWRs promptly (within 5 days) after meetings.
     

  13. Conducts general MNOWC correspondence.
     

  14. Ensure records of all MNOWC correspondence is kept.
     

  15. Ensure the recording of motions for changes at General Meetings and Assemblies.
     

  16. Ensure members are notified of General Meetings.
     

  17. In the absence of the Chair and Vice Chair, she will chair MNOWC meetings until the election of an alternate Chair.
     

  18. Ensure smooth transition for new MNOWC Secretary.
     

Treasurer 

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In addition to the duties and responsibilities outlined in the RWR role description, this position also includes:
 

  1. Give regular reports to the MNOWC on the financial status of the Council.
     

  2. Keeps financial reports and bank statements on file and ensure a copy is placed in Minute Book. 
     

  3. Ensure that accurate accounts of MNOWC receipts and disbursements for MNOWC related expenditures are maintained.  
     

  4. Ensure RWRs have submitted their budgets for any approved funding they receive. Copies of these budgets are placed in Minute Book.
     

  5. Will provide an annual financial report to the Secretary and present a report at the AGM for the MNOWC.
     

  6. Be a signing officer along with President for contracts, documents or any instrument in writing requiring the signature of the MNOWC.
     

  7. Ensure smooth transition for new MNOWC Treasurer.

Elder

 

An Elder will be appointed by the MNOWC. The role of the MNOWC Elder will be to:
 

  1. Attend regularly scheduled meetings, committee meetings, trainings, gatherings, etc.
     

  2. Attend AGAs & AGMs.
     

  3. Open and close at the above activities.
     

  4. Share teachings and offer guidance as needed.
     

  5. Bring teachings, history, culture and guidance to the MNOWC. 
     

  6. Role model the Code of Conduct at all times. 
     

  7. Support the MNOWC President as part of the MNOWC Conflict Resolution process.
     

  8. Assist the Women’s Council in preserving our MNOWC story.
     

If the Elder is appointed and not elected Council members of the MNOWC, she will not have a vote.

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Liaison Roles

The liaison roles support the effectiveness of the MNOWC to be responsive to the issues that are arising in other parts of MNO and increase the ability of the MNOWC to apply a Métis gender-based analysis.

 
MNO Youth Council

MNOWC liaises with the MNOYC (Métis Nation Youth Council) through their Women’s Representative. The MNOWC Regional Representative where the MNOYC Women’s Representative resides will liaise and include her in all normal communication with women’s representatives.

MNO Veteran's Council

MNOWC liaises with the MNOVC (Métis Nation Veteran’s Council) through their Women’s Representative. The MNOWC Regional Representative where the MNOVC Women’s Representative resides will liaise and include her in all normal communication with women’s representatives.

MNO 2SLGBTQ+ Working Group

MNOWC liaises with the MNO 2SLGBTQ+ through their Women’s Representative. The MNOWC Regional Representative where the MNO 2SLGBTQ+ Women’s Representative resides will liaise and include her in all normal communication with women’s representatives.

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Partner Relationships

 
Community Council Women's Representatives

CCWR have a key role to play in the effectiveness of the MNOWC. CCWR inform their Regional Women Representatives (RWR) about the needs and concerns of women in their Council area.