Indian Affairs Backs Besieged Chief at James Smith

Friday, June 04, 2004 at 14:07



There could be a heated discussion at a meeting today in Melfort involving protesters from the James Smith Cree Nation and the department of Indian Affairs.


After months of controversy and turmoil on the reserve – Indian Affairs has announced it is now recognizing Mike Marion as chief of the James Smith band.


Supporters for the band’s former chief, Walter Constant, have been trying for months now to get him reinstated ever since he lost a January election to Marion in a close vote earlier this year.


Contant’s supporters claim an appeal launched by Constant over the results of the vote wasn’t handled properly by Marion and a further review needs to be done.


However, Indian Affairs spokesman James Parker says a recent recount done by a law firm in the band’s area confirms Marion’s win in the election.


Issac Daniels, an elder on the reserve, claims the matter isn’t over and they will voice their objections to Marion’s leadership at a meeting with INAC officers later today.