RCMP Intervenes in Rowdy Band Nomination Meeting

Monday, December 15, 2003 at 13:28



The returning officer for the Black Lake First Nation has ordered a new election to take place in the community on December 29th.


The date was announced at a nomination meeting held this past Saturday.


That meeting was moved to a local pool hall after chief electoral officer Eileen Bruno was denied access to the local band hall.


The development was the latest twist in what’s become a very contentious election dispute in Black Lake.


The incumbent chief and councillors have not been available for comment, but it’s believed they do not recognize the results of a band assembly on November 28th that ordered them out of office and a new election be called.


The members present for that assembly voted in favour of that action by a vote count of 51 to 3 after hearing allegations that off-reserve members were flown into Black Lake for their votes in the last band election, using band funds.


At this past Saturday’s nomination meeting, emotions were running high and Bruno had the RCMP escort 3 people out of the meeting for disorderly conduct.


In the end, two people let their names stand for chief, including one of the men that launched the appeal, Freddie Throassie. The other person nominated for chief on Saturday was Boniface Robillard.


Bruno says neither the incumbent chief nor his council members are eligible to run in the coming election because the band’s election act stipulates that those removed from office must wait 4 years before being allowed to run again.


Bruno says Indian Affairs has asked for a copy of the nomination meeting results.


Indian Affairs has said it won’t intervene in the dispute unless it’s faced with a situation where there is more than one person claiming to be chief.