September 2022 Community Update: Kentyohkwa Structure

As we enter September, Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council (SNGREC) will be testing a new political structure called the Kentyohkwa Structure. To determine whether this new structure is the best fit for Council, there will be a preliminary study period from September 6, 2022, to October 31, 2022, during which feedback will be gathered from Councillors and Senior Administration on the efficacy of the Kentyohkwa Structure.

The intention behind this new system is to streamline the way Council operates by making the most efficient use of time, resources, and staff. The hope is that Kentyohkwa, meaning ‘group’ in Mohawk, will allow Council more time to address community issues and focus on political advocacy.

A discussion of this nature concerning governance would normally have occurred at the beginning of Council’s term in office, however, these discussions were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few months, SNGREC have been engaging in strategic discussions grounded in research, analysis, and feedback to determine how to best implement this new structure.

Under the Kentyohkwa Structure, there will be two significant changes. First, committee meetings will be temporarily placed on hiatus and all items that were discussed during committees will not be discarded, but rather shifted to the appropriate Council meeting to be more effectively addressed and resolved before full Council.

To accommodate this increased workload, the second major change happening under the Kentyohkwa Structure is the addition of another Political Liaison meeting. Moving forward, Political Liaison meetings will be occurring on the second and fourth Monday of every month at 9:00am.

Most importantly, under the Kentyohkwa Structure, the community’s access to their elected officials will not change. The process to have an issue placed on the Council agenda remains the same. Furthermore, all Council meetings will continue to be held virtually and will still be livestreamed on Facebook for community members to view.

The Kentyohkwa Structure is not fixed and will continuously evolve to best serve SNGREC and the community. As Council progresses through the preliminary study period, the community will be kept informed through a mid-term update in October and a final report in November. As Council works to adjust to this new structure, feedback and questions from community members are encouraged and appreciated.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Kentyohkwa mean?
Kentyohkwa is a Mohawk word meaning ‘group’.

When does this new system come into effect?
The Kentyohkwa Structure preliminary study period began on September 6, 2022, and will conclude on October 31, 2022.

How is this changing the way Council operates?
The two major changes to the operations of SNGREC will be the temporary hiatus of committees and the addition of another Political Liaison meeting. The Kentyohkwa Structure is intended to streamline the work of Council to put them in a better position to focus on political advocacy and serve the community.

All items that are normally discussed during committee meetings will be transitioned to the agenda of the appropriate Council meeting to be addressed.

Why is there a preliminary study period? What happens after that?
The purpose of the preliminary study period is to conduct an analysis on the effectiveness of the Kentyohkwa Structure in addressing current inefficiencies. After the completion of the study period on October 31, feedback will be gathered from Councillors and the findings will be presented in a final report. The final decision on whether to proceed with the Kentyohkwa Structure will lie with Council.

What is happening to the Council Committees?
Under the new system, Council committees are temporarily being put on hiatus during the trial period to re-assess their effectiveness, and the items on the agendas of committee meetings are being transitioned to the appropriate Council agenda. This will eliminate administrative delays and allow issues to be addressed in a timelier manner.

What is the schedule of Council meetings?
General Council meetings occur on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:00pm. General Finance meetings occur on the first and third Monday of every month at 9:00am. Political Liaison meetings will occur on the second and fourth Monday of every month at 9:00am.

Will Council meetings still be open to the public?
Yes, Council meetings will continue to be held virtually and will still be livestreamed to Facebook for community members to view.

Why is Political Liaison now happening twice a month?
To accommodate the increased number of items on the Political Liaison agenda due to the temporary hiatus of committees, an additional Political Liaison meeting was added. This will allow for more time to engage in meaningful discussion, address and resolve issues, and effectively allocate more time and resources towards political advocacy.

How do I submit a topic to get on the Council agenda?
The process to get on the Council agenda remains the same under the Kentyohkwa Structure. If you are interested in placing an item on the agenda, please reach out to or stop by the front desk at Central Administration to obtain a form.

What does the Kentyohkwa Structure mean for me as a community member? How does this affect us?
The Kentyohkwa System will not impact the delivery of services to the community, nor will it impact the community’s access to Council.