Membership Application

ONTARIO COALITION OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLE

MEMBERSHIP AND REGISTRY CODE

 FEBRUARY 2013

 

1. OBJECTIVE

 
1.1 The objective of this Code is to ensure that the membership and registry system of the Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People (OCIP) is on a sound footing.  Such a system is essential for Aboriginal peoples to assert and benefit from our Aboriginal rights and interests and to realize our goal of self-determination.
 
1.2 Information that OCIP will collect as part of this Code will be used for the following purposes:
• Determining eligibility for membership & possible harvester certification
• Compiling and issuing voters’ lists
• Determining eligibility to run for office
• Communicating with members
• Providing information to regional or local communities
• Verifying eligibility for various Aboriginal-specific programs
• Conducting research 
• Generating non-personal statistical data 
• Conducting intergovernmental relations
• Conducting the day-to-day administration of the registry
• Developing a genealogical database
 

2. DEFINITIONS

 

2.1 For the purposes of this Code
 
“OCIP” means the Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People, a not for profit corporation incorporated under the laws of the Government of Ontario
 
“AGA” means the OCIP Annual General Assembly as set out in Section 15 of the OCIP By-laws
 
“Board“ means the OCIP Board of Governors as set out in the OCIP By-laws
 
“Registrar” means the individual appointed by the Board of Governors to manage the Membership Registry
 
“Immediate Family” means father, mother, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, cousins and spouse
 
“Aboriginal Ancestry” means being a direct descendant of at least one ancestor who was Indian (status or non-status), Métis or Inuk.
 

3. INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

 
3.1 OCIP will have five classes of individual members:
• Full member, who must be of Aboriginal descent, 18 years of age or older and who must not be a Status Indian residing on an Indian Reserve established by the Indian Act or other federal legislation
• Youth member, who must be
o under 18 years of age and  
o a child of a full member or 
o of Aboriginal ancestry
• Social member, who must be 18 years or older and 
o Be sponsored by a full member and
o Belong to the sponsor’s immediate family; 
• Associate member, who must be 18 years or older and is in the process of proving their Aboriginal ancestry in order to become a Full member (time limit two-years )
• Meritorious member, who must be 18 years or older and is appointed by the Board of Governors
 
3.2 Only Full members can vote in OCIP elections and be eligible to run for elected office
 
3.3 The Board may suspend individual members for actions that are highly detrimental to the interests of OCIP or that brings the reputation of OCIP into disrepute.  Suspended individuals who are Full members are not eligible to run for a position on the Board or continue to sit on the Board.
 
3.4 The AGA may terminate the membership of an individual who has been suspended by the Board.  An individual whose membership has been terminated may not re-apply for membership for a period of 10 years.
 
3.5 The AGA or the Board may terminate the suspension of a member.
 

4. COMMUNITY MEMBERS

 
4.1 On the recommendation of the Board, the AGA may approve community memberships.  To be eligible to vote or run for office in OCIP elections, individual members of these bodies must become full members of OCIP through the normal application and registry review process as set out in this Code.
 
 

5. MEMBERS WITH HARVESTER RIGHTS

 
5.1 For those Full members claiming harvester rights in the Province of Ontario, the Registrar may require additional information from these individuals including a description of their traditional territory and any additional relevant information such as a firearms safety certificate.
 
5.2 The Registrar will ensure that the Registry will record those individuals claiming harvester rights and will be able to readily retrieve this information.
 

 6. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

6.1 The AGA is responsible for approving this Code and any amendments to it, with the exception of specific amendments referred to in other parts of this Code for which the Board has responsibility.
 
 6.2 The Board is responsible for
• Appointing the Registrar;
• Monitoring the performance of the membership and registry system to ensure that it is effective and efficient, that it is run in a politically neutral fashion and that it is in conformance with this Code;
• Taking any corrective action necessary;
• Making any amendments to the Privacy Procedures appended to this Code;
• Ensuring that the membership and registry system has adequate resources to meet its objectives;
• Setting fees for applications for membership and membership renewals.  Such fees will not exceed $100 per transaction;
• Establishing an appeals procedure as set out in this Code; and
• Approving Meritorious memberships.
 
6.3 The Registrar is responsible for
• Approving any application that meets the criteria for individual memberships, except for Meritorious memberships;
• Managing the membership and registry system in a manner that is effective, efficient, politically neutral and in conformance with this Code;
• Providing where possible assistance to individuals seeking to provide proof of Aboriginal ancestry;
• Ensuring that the privacy procedures attached to this code are respected and implemented; and  
• Reporting regularly to the Board of OCIP and senior managers, if any, on the performance of the membership and registry system.
 
6.4 Individual members are responsible for
• Ensuring that changes to their personal information are reported to the Registrar in a timely fashion.
 
6.5 To ensure a politically neutral process for establishing OCIP membership, the Registrar must not be a member of the Board or be part of the immediate family of any member of the Board.
 
6.6 Section 6.5 will apply only if and when OCIP has adequate resources to hire a Registrar.
 

7. APPLICATIONS

 
 7.1 An applicant to become a Full member of OCIP must provide the following:
• Full name, current address, phone number and e-mail address;
• Birth certificate;
• Proof of Aboriginal ancestry;
• The name of any spouse including common-law partner;
• The names and dates of birth of any children;
• The full name and date of birth of his or her father and mother, if known;
• The name and description of his or her traditional territory;
• A passport quality photo;
• The following signed declaration that he or she:
o self-identifies as an Aboriginal person;
o will be loyal to the goals and objectives of OCIP and will at all OCIP functions be courteous and respectful of others;
o understands and agrees with OCIP’s privacy procedures appended to this Code; and
o if a Status Indian, does not ordinarily reside on an Indian Act reserve or a reserve created by other federal legislation.
 
 7.2 Proof of Aboriginal ancestry will entail at least the following:
• for status Indian, proof that the individual is registered under the Indian Act;
• for non-status Indian, genealogical proof through a family tree that the applicant is a direct descendant of an Indian person using the best evidence available;
• for Métis, genealogical proof through a family tree that the applicant is a direct descendant of a Métis person using the best evidence available (many historic documents identify mixed-race Aboriginal individuals using terms other than Métis. including but not limited to chicot, bois-brule, half-breed, French breed, other breed, etc.); 
 
• for Inuk, 
o proof that he or she is a beneficiary of a comprehensive claim or is a direct descendant of such a beneficiary or 
o genealogical proof through a family tree that the applicant is a direct descendant of an Inuk using the best evidence available.
 
7.3 It is up to the Registrar to determine whether the best evidence available of Aboriginal ancestry as presented by the applicant is credible.
 
7.4 An individual adopted as a child by parents, at least one of whom was of Aboriginal ancestry, can become a Full member of OCIP, even if neither of his or her biological parents were of Aboriginal ancestry.
 
7.5 The Registrar will provide a membership card with a distinct number to all applicants meeting the requirements to become Full members.
 
7.6 An applicant to become a Youth member must provide:
• full name, current address, phone number;
• birth certificate; 
• the name and OCIP membership number of at least one parent who is a Full member; or
• if the youth does not have a parent who is a Full member of OCIP, he or she must provide proof of Aboriginal ancestry.
 
7.7 An applicant to become a Social member must provide:
• full name, current address, phone number, e-mail address;
• birth certificate;
• the name of the full member of OCIP, the immediate family of whom the applicant belongs;
• a letter from the Full member requesting a social membership for the applicant.
 
7.8 The Board may appoint well-deserving individuals as Meritorious members. Such individual need not have Aboriginal ancestry.
 
7.9 The Registrar may appoint an applicant as an Associate member for a two-year period, pending the review and approval of his or her application for Full membership.
 
7.10 The Registrar will only consider those applications meeting all of the requirements for membership.  The Registrar noting any missing evidence will request further documentation required to complete the application.
 
7.11 The Board may modify the list of documents required for applicants for individual members without recourse to the AGA for approval.
 
7.12 The Board may enter into agreements with other affiliates of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples with the aim of simplifying application procedures for members moving from one region to another.
 
 

8. Protection of Privacy

 
8.1 The Board and Registrar will ensure that the protection of privacy procedures attached as an Annex to this Code are adhered to.
 
8.2 The Board has the authority to modify these privacy procedures where appropriate so long as these modifications are consistent with applicable laws. 
 

9. Appeals

 
9.1 When resources permit, the Board will establish an appeals mechanism open to any individual whose application for Full membership has been denied by the Registrar.  The Board will also establish a fee for making an appeal, such fee not to exceed $300.
 
9.2 When communicating a denial of Full membership to an applicant, the Registrar will inform the applicant of the appeal mechanism and how to make use of it, once established.
 
9.3 An applicant may not appeal if the Registrar judges his or her application to be incomplete.
 
 

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