Black Lake Election Dispute Focus of Band Assembly

Tuesday, January 20, 2004 at 15:08



For the second day in a row, community members in Black Lake are gathering together to try to resolve the band’s ongoing election dispute.


Both the school and the local clinic are closed to make sure there is a good turnout at today’s band meeting.


Yesterday, a similar meeting was held in the community involving representatives from Indian Affairs and the Prince Albert Grand Council, but nothing was resolved.


Black Lake has been in a state of confusion ever since a controversial election last week.


Almost 250 band members took part in that vote, which was ordered on appeal of another controversial election held a year ago.


Last week’s election had to be held in a pool hall, because the incumbent chief and council are challenging it in court.


Now, the community has two people claiming to be chief and two groups of people claiming to be the band’s council.


Indian Affairs is refusing to recognize either group until the community reaches a solution or until the courts deal with the matter.


However, it could be months or even a year before the Federal Court of Canada makes a ruling.