Band Councillors Steer Clear From Talk Of Tragedy

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 13:39



A band council meeting on the Saskatchewan reserve where two little girls froze to death last week didn’t even touch on the topic because of “cultural protocols”.


Chief Robert Whitehead, of the Yellow Quill First Nation, says it was a contentious gathering that carried on long-established rifts between himself and many council members.


But he says the tragic deaths of three-year-old Kaydance Pauchay and her one-year-old sister, Santana, were not directly addressed.


Whitehead says in his culture, they don’t talk about the dead for a while after things like this happen.


The Yellow Quill reserve is battling alcohol abuse, high unemployment and a lack of suitable housing.


The First Nation also has political and financial difficulties, and has been under third-party management since 1999.


Whitehead says he came under attack yesterday by “bullies” on the band council and he responded by taking away the portfolios of individual members.


(courtesy of The Canadian Press)