Governance Policy

Oodenaw: Urban Indigenous Consulting Cooperative

Governance Policy

Oodenaw is a community-oriented cooperative guided by Indigenous values. This governance policy outlines the structure, roles, responsibilities, decision-making process, and mechanisms for termination and succession within the cooperative.

1. Cooperative Structure 

Oodenaw operates with an inclusive and non-hierarchical board structure. All board members have equal standing and contribute to the decision-making process.

2. Decision-Making Process 

Decisions within Oodenaw are discussion-based, emphasizing mutual understanding and respect for diverse perspectives. We prioritize consensus-seeking over simple majority voting.

3. Meetings 

The cooperative holds regular open communications among board members and members. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is conducted for collective decision-making. 

4. Financial Management 

Oodenaw currently shares financial management using a cooperative spreadsheet. As the cooperative grows, a designated financial officer or committee will be appointed to oversee financial matters.

5. Membership Criteria and Admission 

Membership in Oodenaw is open to individuals who work on contracts with the cooperative and support its services and values. Becoming a member is based on working on projects with Oodenaw and demonstrating alignment with cooperative values and ways of working. Oodenaw maintains a majority Indigenous membership for both its board and workers at all times.

6. Termination of Membership 

The board may terminate a member's membership if:

  • The member engages in conduct detrimental to the cooperative.
  • The member fails to fulfill financial obligations to the cooperative after receiving notice.
  • The member breaches a material condition of an agreement with the cooperative and fails to rectify the breach after receiving written notice.
  • The member engages in any criminal activity.
  • The member fails to take an appropriate level of responsibility towards the completion of a project that they agreed to complete. 
  • The member unnecessarily damages a relationship with a client and/or community.

Ultimately, the decision to terminate membership is contingent on a consensus decision from Oodenaw’s board, with some exceptions, such as in conflict of interests with one of the board members. In cases where there is a conflict of interest or a conflict involving one of the board members, the board may act upon a majority decision.  

Termination Process:

7. Investigation and Notice: If allegations arise, the cooperative will conduct a thorough investigation and provide the accused member with written notice about the allegations and the reason for potential termination.

8. Opportunity to Respond: The member will have a reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations and present their perspective.

9. Review by a Committee: An impartial committee (either made up of board members or members at large) will review the investigation findings and make a recommendation regarding termination.

10. Board Decision: The board of directors will consider the committee's recommendation and the information provided by the member to decide on termination.

11. Appeal Process: The member has the right to appeal the termination by filing an appeal within 7 days after receiving the notice. During the appeal process, the member will remain a member until a confirmation vote by a simple majority at a general meeting.

12. Succession Plan 

Oodenaw employs a succession plan to ensure continuity and leadership development:

  • Identification of Potential Candidates: Potential candidates for board positions are regularly identified based on their skills, experience, and commitment to the cooperative.
  • Mentorship and Training: Board members mentor potential candidates and provide them with training opportunities to prepare for board roles.
  • Nomination and Election Process: The nomination and election process is outlined in the governance policy, allowing for self-nominations or nominations by other members, followed by a board decision. 
  • Term Limits and Rotation: Board members may have term limits to ensure rotation and fresh perspectives on the board, with staggered terms for continuity.

This governance policy establishes a transparent and inclusive framework for the operation of Oodenaw: Urban Indigenous Consulting Cooperative. It reflects our commitment to community-based decision-making, accountability, and succession planning. The policy will be reviewed periodically and amended as necessary to meet the evolving needs of our cooperative.