Re-Elect John Alan Jack to
Huu-ay-aht First Nations Council
Hello, my name is John Alan Jack and I'm running to be re-elected to the Huu-ay-aht First Nations Council. My parents are David McIvor and the late Sandy Gallagher (Jack). My grandparents on my mother's side are Ernest Jack and the late Shirley Jack (Chester). I have two younger brothers, Richard and Jackson, and almost all of my family lives on the Island.
I grew up in the Parksville-Qualicum area. My grandfather and his family relocated there in 1969, and it is there that my mother met my father. I was lucky to have a loving and dedicated family where I had the good fortune to go on and do them proud by attending and graduating from university. In 2004, I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Distinction in the field of Global Studies, which is a combination of politics and economics from an international point of view. I started to work with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations in the development of the Huu-ay-aht Constitution, the law that protects our rights and establishes our responsibilities as Huu-ay-aht citizens.
From there, I became more involved with the Huu-ay-aht. In fact, I followed in my mother's foot-steps by working for the Nation in pursuit of treaty. Before I was first elected to Council, I held staff positions such as Enrolment Coordinator, Assistant to Chief & Council and Communications Coordinator as well as being an active member of the Governance Committee.
My Experience and Accomplishments
Since being elected to serve on Council in June 2009, I have been assigned the portfolios of Finance, Economic Development and Communications. In addition to these important duties, I was still involved in treaty-related activities through the Governance Committee and continued attendance at treaty meetings between the HFN, the provincial and federal governments and other Maa-nulth nations where we worked together to get to the Effective Date.
As Chair of Finance, I oversaw the successful test-run of the strict new law created to ensure that we manage Huu-ay-aht public money in an efficient, transparent and accountable manner. Through the Huu-ay-aht Financial Administration Act, the government was able to create and publish a comprehensive three year strategic plan that set out our budgetary priorities and follow through in a detailed and accountable budget. This has allowed us to hit the ground running when it came to managing our finances after the Effective Date of the Maa-nulth Treaty.
As Chair of Economic Development, I worked with my colleagues to do things that are fundamental to success in business. In addition to work on development projects, we consulted with the people and created a robust strategic plan that would guide us in future projects. Then, we created the Huu-ay-aht Development Corporation: a company owned by the HFN but run as a business. By removing ever-changing politics from business decisions, we enable our companies to be more successful through better management decisions and greater profits. When our businesses are run well and run successfully, we will have more revenue to the HFN and our people will have a greater chance at having careers that can last a lifetime rather than jobs that can often be temporary.
My Approach and Priorities
Now that we are self-governing, now that we have control over natural resources and now that we have the money to make a real difference in the lives of the people we serve, it is my belief that our government should make the best decisions for the good of all Huu-ay-aht no matter who they are or where they live. First and foremost, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations is a community of people. If we are to succeed as a community, we must do what we can to give our people a real shot at making their lives better. This requires honest, open, and informed decision-making. We need to be able to make hard choices for the good of the community and we need to carry out our decisions to the best of our abilities.
Following this line of thought, it is my strong belief that our people are our greatest asset, especially our youth. While we do have successful business operations and other sources of revenue, these all fall short when compared to the potential we have within ourselves. Just as we need to unlock the value in our land and resources, we need to unlock the value within each of us.
To do this, we must have a comprehensive approach to education that ensures that our children and youth have the same opportunities for success that any other person has in Canada. As a Member of Council, I would push for increased education spending that would not only fund university degrees but accredited trades as well. In addition, I would seek new opportunities to improve basic education for students on our lands that involve parents and grandparents in the process with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of students going on to pursue post-secondary education and training.
Re-Elect John Alan Jack to Council
Having been on staff and in government, I have become familiar with all facets of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. In my time with the Nation, I have developed a passion for this community and its people. And it is in the Nation that I find the center of my life, my driving force. I seek the honour of representing you, the people of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, and it is to you that I promise that I will work to ensure that this treaty improves the lives of all Huu-ay-aht.