Ontario Aboriginal Lands Association (OALA) provides networking, peer support and training opportunities for First Nation Lands Managers in Ontario. The association is a SmartBallot beta-tester. We spoke with OALA coordinator Jessica Pickett about how her organization uses SmartBallot to communicate more effectively with membership.
Could you tell us a little bit about the OALA?
I have actually worked with the OneFeather team (which developed SmartBallot) before in my previous role as the Land Management Coordinator for Aamjiwnaang, a band government in southwestern Ontario, Canada. We never knew if our membership was getting notified about votes and surveys, and OneFeather helped us better manage and monitor outcomes.
With Ontario Aboriginal Lands Association (OALA), we have similar considerations when contacting our membership. We're an organization of committed First Nations in Ontario.
The purpose of our association is to actively network towards the enhancement of professional development and technical expertise in land management issues. OALA provides networking, peer support and training opportunities for First Nation Lands Managers in Ontario.
What is the nature of OALA membership?
OALA membership consists of lands managers and lands technicians working for First Nations across Ontario We currently have 50 members out of 133 First Nations in Ontario and are always looking to increase membership to share the benefits OALA has to offer.
When you become a member of OALA you automatically acquire membership to the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA). NALMA membership is made up of the 8 Regional Lands Association across Canada.
Since our membership is distributed all across Ontario, we need a solution like SmartBallot to make member management simple and efficient.
What does your membership vote on?
Membership votes on a variety of issues, including:
- Elections for the Board of Director positions
- Regionally specific training initiatives
- Work plans for the association
- Annual financial statements
There are other issues that members will vote on as well.
How does SmartBallot solve a problem for your organization?
Due to the vast geographic distribution of our members and competing projects/issues lands managers often deal with, SmartBallot will allow us to communicate adequately with each member and reduce the issue of reaching quorum with our members. We also feel SmartBallot will allow us to engage our members by soliciting their input and participation in a practical manner.
SmartBallot is a voting registration and vote management tool that makes it easier for organizations to engage and communicate with membership, conduct mission critical voting events, carry out legitimate decision-making and reduce the costs and strain of administrative management.