MCT Constitutional Convention delegates received a crash course on the MCT Constitution from Tadd Johnson and Syngen Kanassatega in July. The purpose of the training was to give the delegates a better understanding of when, how, and why the Constitution was created.
"It is a lot of information to wrap your head around," said Tadd Johnson. "It is a challenge to take hundreds of years of information and sum it up in a few hours."
Understanding the current Constitution is necessary as delegates consider whether or not amendments should be made. The constitution training was given to provide knowledge to the delegates so they in turn will be able to explain it to whomever has the desire to know.
"We know we are not going to be experts," said Birdie Roberts. "We want to learn so we can tell others and add to the conversation. We want to get a pulse check from the community to see what the community wants and understands so that they can make an informed decision."
The delegates are formulating ideas to "get the community engaged" so the community can then "inform us as to how they want us to proceed," Birdie said.
The Constitution was written in the 1930s by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and approved by members of the six member bands of the MCT.
It was later revised, but in recent years, members of the MCT Tribal Executive Committee (TEC) agreed to hold a Constitutional Convention to consider amendments to the existing Constitution or a new Constitution.
The Constitutional Convention officially began last fall with the choosing of 10 delegates from each reservation. Meetings are held at rotating locations on the six MCT reservations on the third Friday of each month.
For ongoing updates, links to helpful materials, and copies of the MCT Constitution and other documents, visit https://millelacsband.com/government/statutes-policies/constitutional-convention-information.
Or simply go to millelacsband.com and look for the link to Constitutional Convention Information.
Please share your ideas with the delegates from your district: District I, Danielle Smith and Curt Kalk; District II, Michael Davis and Tom Benjamin; District III, Birdie Roberts and Maria Costello; Urban, Al Olson.
See the article below and future issues of Ojibwe Inaajimowin for more information on delegates.