Six Nations band employees have choice to honour passing of Queen Elizabeth II

By Bree Duwyn

Writer

Six Nations band offices will be open as normal during the State Funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, but band staff will be provided time to honour her.

Six Nations Elected Council  (SNEC) decided those who wish to take time to honour Queen Elizabeth’s passing during her funeral Monday, Sept., 19, 2022, are welcome to do so.

SNEC discussed the issue during a general council meeting on Tuesday (Sept. 13).

Councillor Hazel Johnson brought the topic to council, saying Monday will be a national holiday and day of mourning for her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She questioned how Six Nations will approach the day due to the historic relationship between Indigenous people and Queen Elizabeth II.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier this week  Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II  will be market as a federal holiday Monday. Ontario is not marking it as a holiday.

All Six Nations schools will be closed. Six Nations schools are staffed largely by federal employees.

CEO Darren Jamieson said that despite the long-standing relationship with the Queen acknowledging the holiday brings both pros and cons. He said it was a political discussion in which SNEC would have to make a decision.

Councillors said that the community may have different opinions on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Councillor Helen Miller said she thinks the community is split on honouring the day.

Councillor Nathan Wright agreed and said he had also heard from both sides, but mostly people with more “passionate” feelings toward not honouring the Queen.

While acknowledging the past and continuation of the Crown’s relationship with Indigenous people, Jamieson said SNEC has a large number of  non-Indigenous staff who may wish to observe the Queen’s funeral.

Councillor Michelle Bomberry agreed, but said that it did not need to be just non-band members. She said that anyone who wishes to honour the Queen’s funeral should have the opportunity to do so.

Aside from that, it will be “business as usual” said Councillor Wright.

Jamieson said there could be a proposed hour of time for people to watch the funeral and honour the Queen.

In a Facebook post, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation said  the band offices will operate as normal.  Chief and Council agreed that MCFN will not be observing the federal holiday and all operations will operate as normal.

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will begin Monday (Sept. 19) at 6:00 a.m. EST, at the Westminster Abbey in London, England.

The United Kingdom has also declared the funeral day as a bank holiday.

Other Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand, have announced public holidays. Australia’s holiday will be marked on Sept. 22 and New Zealand’s will be Sept. 26.

 

 

 

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