Constitution and By-Laws



The Division hereby established shall be known as the National Aboriginal Student Services Association (NASSA), a Division of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS), hereinafter called the Division.


The Division shall undertake activities that improve accessibility and enhance the post-secondary education of Aboriginal persons. Activities include, but are not limited to, those that contribute to the field and professional development of persons engaged in the provision of services to Aboriginal students in Canadian colleges and universities. One major activity to be undertaken is the education of the CACUSS membership, the colleges and the universities about Aboriginal people.

The Division shall also undertake to assist institutions of higher learning to become welcoming environments where Aboriginal peoples can successfully pursue educational goals while maintaining their cultural identities.

The Division will also work towards, but not be limited to, the following goals:

  • Promoting Aboriginal cultural awareness/participation in all areas of post-secondary institutions
  • Enhancing the abilities of all Student Services providers to effectively respond to the needs of Aboriginal peoples
  • Developing a national network of Aboriginal post-secondary Student Service providers
  • Increasing Aboriginal representation at CACUSS general assemblies and through conference presentations
  • Serving as a resource to CACUSS and post-secondary institutions
  • Encouraging the development of cross-cultural competency among student service professionals in order to better support Aboriginal students and
  • Becoming involved in any issue, initiative or program designed to better provide for Aboriginal student success at post-secondary institutions.


The Division will actively seek affiliation and collaboration with other organizations concerned with the provision of services to Aboriginal persons, including but not limited to CACUSS (Canadian Association of College and University Student Services) and others to be determined from time to time.


  • IV.1. To hold membership to the DIVISION, one must maintain individual, or have institutional membership in the ASSOCIATION.
  • IV.2. Membership in the Division shall be of one type: individual, and shall be as outlined in the By-laws attached hereto.


The officers of the Division shall be as set forth in the By-laws.


The membership fee and other financial obligations shall be as prescribed in the By-laws of the Association and the Division.


  • VII.1. There shall be an Annual Meeting of the Division. Other meetings may be called at the discretion of the Officers of the Division or as prescribed in the By-laws.
  • VII.2. Place and quorum of meetings shall be as specified in the By-laws.


Committees and Commissions may be formed as the affairs of the Division make them necessary or advisable. The conditions under which these Committees and Commissions may be formed and shall function shall be as specified in the By-laws.


English, French and visual languages shall be the official languages of the Division.


The Division shall have the authority to adopt or amend its By-laws. The By-law or amendment of a By-law shall take effect immediately when adopted or amended by the Division, providing it is in compliance with the Constitution. The Division may, at its Annual Meeting, by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present, adopt such amendments to this Constitution as it deems necessary for the management of the affairs of the Division, provided that notice of motion is given to the membership in writing at least thirty days before the Annual Meeting at which the amendment is proposed.



  1. Membership types: Membership in the Division shall be of one type: individual.
    1. Full Members: Full members shall be those persons who earn their living in a recognized post-secondary institution and who devote a significant part of their time to the area of providing support to Aboriginal students.
    2. Student Members: Student members shall be persons who have an active interest in the area of providing support to Aboriginal persons and are enrolled in a recognized post-secondary institution. Student members shall not be eligible to vote, nominate candidates for office or hold office.
    3. Associate Members: Associate Members shall be individuals who provide support to Aboriginal students in post-secondary education and who have an active interest in the area but are not employed within the field. Associate members shall not be eligible to vote, nominate candidates for office or hold office.
    4. Honorary Members: Honorary Members shall be individuals who are nominated by a member and accepted by majority vote of the Division Membership at an Annual General Meeting, whose contribution to the field of service provision to Aboriginal students is considered extraordinary and worthy of recognition by the Division. Honorary Members shall not be eligible to vote, nominate candidates for office or hold office.
    5. Life Members: Members who have retired from their position in a post-secondary technical school, college, or university may be granted Life membership. Such membership shall be granted to an individual by a vote of the Board of Directors upon recommendation of a Division. Life members shall be exempt from payment of dues to the Association and the Division but shall retain all the rights and privileges of dues-paying members, except shall not be eligible to vote, nominate candidates or office or hold office.
  2. Procedure: Any person desiring to become a member of the Division shall make application to CACUSS and indicate NASSA as their Division of choice. The officers of the Association shall notify the applicant of the action taken on his/her application. A person shall become a member of the Division upon his/her election to membership and the payment of his/her dues.
  3. Membership in Good Standing: Members in good standing must pay their annual dues and maintain their membership in CACUSS and NASSA. A member in good standing shall be entitled to attend meetings of the Division, to vote and shall be eligible to hold office in the Division, with the exceptions as identified in By-law I (1b, 1c, 1d).
  4. Membership Fees: Established by and payable to CACUSS with no additional fees associated with Divisional membership. Annual Division fees for members and any change in fee structure must be approved by a majority vote of the membership at its annual meeting, providing written notice (electronic communication) of the proposed change has been given to the membership at least (30) thirty days prior to the annual meeting. Honorary and Life members are exempt from annual membership fees.
  5. Conflict of Interest: Where conflict of interest occurs, members shall identify that Conflict and abstain from voting.


  1. Composition: The officers of the Division shall be the Co-Chairs, Past-Co-Chairs, Secretary-Treasurer and one representative from each province or territory whenever possible.
    The Executive Committee shall be the Co-Chairs, Past-Co-Chairs, and Secretary/Treasurer.
  2. Powers and Functions:
    1. To establish policies to govern the affairs of the Division.
    2. To exercise such other powers and function as may be necessary or desirable in the best interests of the Division and not in conflict with the Constitution and the By-laws of the Division or CACUSS.
    3. To recognize and address the needs and concerns of interest groups within the Division when it is deemed advisable and in the best interest of the membership.
  3. Meetings of Officers:
    1. The Officers shall meet twice a year, once at or immediately following the annual CACUSS conference, and the second to be held at an alternate site and time to be determined by the Executive Committee. Attendance can be in person or though telephone or electronic communication.
    2. The Executive Committee shall meet when necessary throughout the year.
    3. The Officers shall meet upon the call of the Co-Chairs or a majority of the Officers.
    4. Quorum at meetings of the Officers and the Executive Committee shall be reached when there is representation from the four (4) cardinal directions.


  1. Selection of Officers
    1. Members in good standing of the Division are able to be selected for office. Selection will be done at the Annual Meeting. Nominees for Regional Representatives of the Division must be working within the region and will be selected by the members from within that region. A shared leadership model shall be followed and gender parity shall be maintained where possible.
    2. Terms of Office: The terms of office commencing at the Annual General Meeting, for the Officers of the Association shall be: Co-Chairs: one year, Past-Co-Chairs: One year, Secretary-Treasurer: One year, Regional Representatives: One year.
    3. Interim Appointments: Should a representative of the board, other than a Co-Chair, be forced to vacate the role during the term of the appointment, the board will make an interim appointment until the next Annual meeting.
  2. Duties of Officers
    1. The Co-Chairs shall be the chief selected officers of the Division, shall preside at the annual meeting of the Division, shall be Chairpersons of and preside at meetings of the officers. Subject to confirmation of the other officers, the Co-Chairs shall appoint the members of all committees, except as otherwise specified in the By-laws, and shall be ex-officio members of all committees (except as otherwise specified in the By-laws). The Co-Chairs shall perform the duties customary to the office, and shall submit an annual report for publication. In the event that one of the Co-Chairs vacates the position in midterm, the other Co-Chair will carry on until the next Annual meeting. One co-chair shall be selected by the officers to represent the Division on CACUSS board for the year.
    2. The Past-Co-Chairs shall conduct the annual selection of officers, shall serve as liaison to affiliated organizations and generally assist the Co-Chairs.
    3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall, in addition to serving as Secretary, assure the receipt and expenditure of funds in accordance with the directives established by the officers. The Secretary-Treasurer shall perform the duties customary to the office and provide a financial report to the secretariat.
    4. The Regional Representatives shall serve as officer of the Division as prescribed by the By-laws of the Division and maintain liaison between the members of their region and the Executive. They shall promote membership and identify or represent the needs of members. They will serve as principal contact between the CACUSS conference committee and the Division, when these conferences are hosted within their region. They will make at least one "regional news" submission to the Newsletter and encourage submissions by others.
    5. None of the selected officers of the Division shall receive any compensation for their services as such to the Division. The necessary expenses of the Division may be paid from the funds of the Division under the policies established by the officers for such payments.


  1. Annual Meeting: The Division shall hold an annual meeting at the time and place fixed by the officers, who shall give written notice (and electronic mail) thereof to the membership not less than thirty (30) days prior to the time so fixed. The Co-Chairs shall preside at the annual meeting.
  2. Quorum: Quorum at any annual meeting shall consist of at least 25% of the membership in good standing.


  1. Fiscal Year: The Fiscal Year of the Division shall be May 1 to April 30 of the following calendar year.
  2. Control and Management: All property of the Division shall be subject to the control and management of the Officers.
  3. Use of Funds: No appropriation of Division funds shall be made without the approval of the officers.
  4. Any grant monies obtained by the Division will be used for the sole purposes of the Division.


  1. Nature of Committees: All Committees and Commissions shall be established on an "ad hoc" basis, subject to annual review and evaluation by the officers.
  2. Appointment of Committees and Commissions: Committees and Commissions shall be appointed by the Co-Chairs, subject to ratification by the officers.
  3. Committee and Commission Reports: Each Committee or Commission shall formally report to the officers concerning its activities, accomplishments and future plans, and shall keep the officers informed at all times concerning its work.


Amendments to the Division’s By-laws may only be made at the Annual Meeting, by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present, or by the officers of the Division, subject to ratification at the annual meeting.


Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail at all meetings, unless there is a conflict with the Constitution and/or By-laws, in such a case the Constitution and/or By-laws shall take precedence.

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