Indian Affairs Staying Out of Black Lake Dispute

Tuesday, December 02, 2003 at 14:06



Indian Affairs says it won’t intervene in an ongoing election dispute in Black Lake.


Two failed candidates for chief in the band’s last election have launched an appeal, alleging band funds were used improperly in the lead-up to last January’s vote.


The men launching the appeal want a new election called, but it’s unclear if that will happen.


Indian Affairs spokesman Trevor Sutter says because Black Lake has its own band custom election code, the department can only offer to mediate.


Sutter says the only time Indian Affairs can get involved in an election dispute is if there are two or more people claiming to be chief.


But Sutter says the department can’t intervene if the band’s appeal mechanism isn’t followed — that’s a matter for the courts.


Sutter adds it’s very rare to have Indian Affairs step into any kind of election dispute involving a First Nation.