Indian Affairs Monitoring Band Election Dispute
Tuesday, December 16, 2003 at 14:29
Indian Affairs is continuing to monitor an ugly election dispute on the Black Lake First Nation.
Over the weekend, the RCMP was asked to remove 3 people from a nomination meeting because of disorderly conduct.
That nomination meeting was held in a pool hall, because band officials wouldn’t give the chief electoral officer keys to the local band hall.
The returning officer has ordered a new election for December 29th — a decision that was reached at a recent band assembly.
The band members present at that meeting also voted to remove the chief and council, after reviewing a notice of appeal served by two failed candidates for chief that alleged that off-reserve members were flown into Black Lake for their votes in the last election using band funds.
However, Indian Affairs spokesman Trevor Sutter says the department will still continue to recognize the current chief and council until a decision is made on the validity of the new election.
Sutter says the department’s main responsibility is to ensure programs and services are still being provided to band members, which Sutter says seems to be the case.