PBCN Chief Dismisses Allegations of Nepotism

Tuesday, October 07, 2003 at 14:50




The chief of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is responding to criticism he’s received in recent months over the operation of a new band-run smoke shop in Prince Albert.


Some urban band members are angry that Ron Michel’s brother, George Michel, has a stake in the new business, and are calling it a case of nepotism.


Chief Michel says his brother’s appointment was conducted through a band council resolution voted on by other council members, and says his brother is simply the best person to run the new business.


Chief Michel says the band will likely adopt new conflict-of-interest guidelines in the New Year, but is indicating that it won’t change his brother’s involvement with the tobacco store.


Urban members have also been calling for more profits from the smoke shop to be directed to programming and services for urban members. The chief says it’s too early to divert money that is needed to keep the business operating.