Alberta, Canada, regional Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Sawridge First Nation - Petition

General Typology

Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Alberta, Canada
Political level
Local Name:
Sawridge First Nation - Petition
Normative Level:
Legally Binding:
Legally Defined:

Article 1: Interpretation
1.(1) The definitions in this section apply in this Constitution:

“Elector” means a person who is
a) 18 years of age or over;
b) a Member; and
c) not otherwise disqualified, pursuant to this Constitution, from voting at elections or referendums of the First Nation;

“First Nation” means the Sawridge First Nation which is recognized and governed by this Constitution, For greater clarity, the Sawridge First Nation was formerly known as the Sawridge Indian Band which has governed itself since time immemorial and which was an original signatory to Treaty #8 which was signed on June 21, 1899;

“General Assembly” means the body established by Article 13 of this Constitution;

Article 13: Meetings
General Assembly of The First Nation
13.(1) The Council shall convene a Regular General Assembly of the First Nation at least once in each calendar year and within at least 15 months after the last-held Special General Assembly or Regular General Assembly.

Special General Assembly of The First Nation
(2) The Council shall call a Special General Assembly within forty-five days of the receipt of a petition, duly signed by at least twenty-five per cent of the Electors, calling for such an Assembly.

Article 15:
Laws of the First Nation
Legislative Jurisdiction
15.(1) Subject to this Constitution, the First Nation may make Laws of the First Nation in relation to the following subject matters:
1. Referendum and Election procedures
2. Council Procedures
3. Taxation and Licensing
4. Expenditures
5. Land Management, zoning, development and land use.
6. Law and Order
7. Traffic
8. Administration of Justice
9. Protection of Minors and Dependent Adults and their property
10. Culture, traditions and customs
11. Health and Hygiene
12. Welfare and Social Services
13. Marriage, divorce, separation and matrimonial property
14. Custody, Placement and Adoption
15. Wills and Estates
16. Trusts
17. Education
18. Natural Resources
19. Infrastructure
20. Environment
21. Trespass and nuisance
22. Public games, gaming, sports and amusements
23. Recreation
24. Animals
25. Weapons
26. Intoxicants
27. Local Institutions
28. Policing
29. Businesses and Corporations
30. Any other matter, activities or things relating to the First Nation, its members, lands, moneys or property.

(2) The Electors of the First Nation in Assembly shall constitute themselves as a Legislative Assembly to propose, pass, amend, and rescind laws of the First Nation. In addition to legislative activity, the Legislative Assembly may discuss and debate matters of importance, may pass motions and resolutions, establish its procedures and rules,
(3) In acting as a Legislature, the Electors of the First Nation explicitly state they are acting by virtue of their inherent powers of self-government, and are not acting as any federal body, agency, commission, or tribunal of Canada.
(4) A proposed law of the First Nation may be proposed a) by the Council, b) by the Chief or a Councilor, c) by the Elders Commission, or d) by any member or members supported by a petition signed by at least 25% of the Electors of the First Nation.
(5) Notice of the proposed law of the First Nation will be provided in an official Notice of General Assembly sent to the Electors of the First Nation.
(6) For the General Assembly to be called to order at least 12 Electors must be present.
(7) The General Assembly will first attempt to reach consensus on all decisions. If consensus cannot be achieved, the vote will be carried by a simple majority providing that on other than a vote to adjourn, no vote will be valid unless at least 12 Electors vote in favour. A higher level of majority may be required within the proposed Law.

Article 21: Amendment to Constitution

When An Amendment Is Effective
21.(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (4), an amendment to the Constitution is effective and in force on the day it is approved by seventy-five percent (75%) of the votes cast in a referendum held for the purpose of amending the Constitution, provided that at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the Electors vote in the referendum, or on such later date as is set out in the amendment.

Percentage of Vote Required
(2) Where a provision of the Constitution requires approval for any purpose by a percentage of Electors greater than seventy-five percent (75%) of the Electors or in which over seventy-five percent (75%) of the Electors have voted, an amendment to that provision may be made only with the approval of at least that same percentage of Electors and with the same percentage of Electors voting.

Change of Term of Office

(3) Any amendment to the Constitution dealing with the term of office of the Council shall not come in to force until the next election following the amendment.

Petition re Amendment
(4) If the Council receives a petition signed by twenty-five percent (25%) of the Electors of the First Nation requesting that a referendum be held in relation to a proposed amendment to the Constitution, the proposed amendment shall be placed on the agenda of the next General Assembly of the First Nation and that General Assembly shall determine if a referendum shall be ordered to determine the matter.

References: Constitution of the Sawridge First Nation, 2009 (accessed July 17, 2021)

Subject Matter:

To request a referendum be held in relation to a proposed amendment to the Constitution,


Electors of the First Nation
Decision maker:
Electorate of the First Nation


Number Of Signatures:
Available Time:
Turnout Quorum:
75% of the electorate votes
Approval Quorum:
75% of the votes cast
Geographical Quorum:
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
Specify Collection Mode:
Wording Of Ballot Question:
Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance: