Chief and Council
The Songhees Nation Chief and Council represent Songhees members and are responsible for the Nations lands and assets. A Chief and five Councillors are elected under the First Nation Elections Act to four-year terms.
Songhees Election records since the 1950s reflect exceptionally stable leadership. Chief and Council meetings are held twice a month, with a notice posted in the Songhees monthly newsletter. Decisions are made by consensus. Songhees Council Resolutions require a quorum of four Council Members.
General Community Meetings are held four times a year with an Annual General Meeting each fall. Information Sessions and Open Houses engage members periodically on Community priorities and projects. Advisory Committees, representing the Families, provide advice and feedback to Council on important matters such as Membership, Finance and Audit and Constitution development.
A major focus for the Chief and Council is exerting Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and protecting and exerting Songhees jurisdiction over land and resources. Songhees Nation is actively pursuing self-government, aiming to be out from under the Indian Act by 2027.
In recent years, Songhees has developed collaborative relationships with Local Governments in Lək̓ʷəŋən territory. The Nation actively engages with the City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt, Town of View Royal, District of Oak Bay, District of Saanich, and the City of Colwood.
The Nation fosters relationships with other regional partners such as the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, South Island Prosperity Project, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Destination Greater Victoria.
Council Responsibilities Include the following:
- Community Engagement
- Exerting Aboriginal Rights and Treaty Rights
- Protecting and Exerting Jurisdiction over Land and Resources
- Intergovernmental Affairs and Political Advocacy
- Representation at First Nation Leadership gatherings
- Representation on advisory and governance boards
- Lawmaking and Policy Development
- Strategic Planning
- Financial Management Oversight