Managing Conflict of Interest - Video Transcript

Benefits of the conflict of interest policy to our membership in our organization as a whole is that it brings a high level of integrity.

It protects individuals, and it gives a level of confidence to everybody knowing that any decisions or business that we conduct as a nation is going to be done with the highest level of integrity, trust, respect, and honor.

The types of conflict that occur in our community are typically the relationships that are so ingrained in our community.

So all of the leadership are our members, and related to everyone in this community.

So it's very easy to be in a situation where we're in a conflict.

Due to the small populations of many First Nations, conflicts of interests are gonna arise, but it's understanding where to draw the line, and where not to draw the line.

For example, many people will have a close relationship with a friend, or they may not have a close relationship with the cousin.

Prime example of where conflicts of interest can arise, and where you need to draw the line.

The policy that all the policies that Tzeachten have developed have, in essence, helped our council progress in so far is that it's now policy that they've developed, and it's implemented by staff.

And so it's kind of removed them from those critical decision areas, and the policy itself is what speaks to how things are going to be determined, and how people are chosen for certain projects, and and who works where.

And it's done a wonderful job in taking the council out of that role, and actually putting it into policy.

And it's done, its defended by future generations as well, to future generations of elected officials.

The OCN (Opaskwayak Cree Nation) conflict of interests process is something that's ongoing.

Sometimes it's something we review on an annual basis, bi-annual, monthly, or as needed.

We make sure that we try to address it as quickly as possible, and at the lowest level possible to make sure that it doesn't grow into something that it shouldn't be.

Chief and Council manage the conflict of interest based on the fact that many Councillors have experience, and when the new counselors come in, they've all signed the forms and the new counselor doesn't really understand, not sure if they're in a conflict, they will ask the council.

The council then we'll make a decision if they are in a conflict, and ask them to leave.

Or they will feel that they aren't in a conflict, and ask them to stay to make the decision.

I love this First Nation and how they manage conflict of interest.

It really comes from the top down, and so the tone is set at the council level and then it filters down to senior management and then down to staff.

In particular, our chief and council, they sign a declaration at the beginning of their term where they disclose all conflict of interest.

And during meetings, if they're discussing business that has something to do with a vested interest that they have in another company, or a family member they excuse themselves from the table.

The benefit of the conflict of interest policies for the community allows our leadership and staff and entire organization to be focused on the activities that need to be done and not on family and emotion.