Joseph Defends Handling Of Ahenakew Affair

Friday, April 04, 2008 at 16:10



The chief of the FSIN is defending the way he dealt with the David Ahenakew situation this past week.


Chief Lawrence Joseph was questioned yesterday about whether his leadership would be in question about how he handled Ahenakew potentially being reinstated into the FSIN senate.


Last week, the FSIN held a closed-door meeting and the chiefs present voted to reinstate Ahenakew to the senate.


That drew sharp criticism from the Premier and the Minister of Indian Affairs, both asking the FSIN to reconsider.


Joseph stood by the decision all week, saying Ahenakew had made a mistake and deserved a second chance because he has since apologized for calling Jews a disease in 2002.


Ahenakew announced yesterday that he won’t accept the offer to rejoin the FSIN senate, because he believes the government was using the controversy to punish First Nations people.


Joseph says if anyone questions his leadership, it will be put forward at a future FSIN assembly.


He also says he was following directions — and adds he has not received one call for his resignation.


Meantime, the First Nations leader who led the outcry against Ahenakew’s reinstatement says he thinks the former national chief will try to get in again.


Shoal Lake Cree Nation Chief Marcel Head says he believes Ahenakew and his supporters will renew their efforts in the future.


Head notes there were previous attempts to reinstate Ahenakew prior to the March 28th meeting.