Protest Underway at James Smith Cree Nation

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 13:42



It appears that a band dispute at the James Smith Cree Nation is entering a new phase.


This morning, protesters on the reserve blocked both roads leading to the band office.


The conflict stems from an election held in January which saw challenger Mike Marion defeat incumbent chief Walter Constant.


Supporters of Constant claim the election was unfair and an appeal of the vote wasn’t handled properly.


They also want Indian Affairs to step in and let them know who’s in charge.


However INAC spokesperson Lisa Nidosky says, right now, the department is refusing to recognize either side as chief until the situation makes itself clearer.


She adds it’s up to the band to sort the situation out, even if that means going through the courts.