Two Chiefs Claiming Power in Black Lake

Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 14:38



It’s still up in the air as to who actually holds power in Black Lake, but one thing is clear — Indian Affairs is not going to make that call.


An election that is being challenged in court by the incumbent chief and council was held in the community yesterday and 241 band members took part in the vote.


Those that took part in yesterday’s election chose Freddie Throassie as chief over fellow candidate Boniface Robillard.


However, incumbent chief Victor Echodh does not recognize yesterday’s vote and has reportedly indicated that none of the winners from yesterday’s election will be allowed to take office in the band’s headquarters.


Indian Affairs says, for now, it does not recognize either side as chief and council, but will continue to provide funding to the band for essential programs and services.


The department says if it doesn’t get a clear signal as to whom the community recognizes as chief, it will let the courts decide the matter.


Echodh and his council made an application to Federal Court last week, but the court hasn’t yet decided if it will hear the case.