Waterhen Chief Determined to Reject Reinstatements

Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 13:21



It doesn’t appear that the recent re-instatement of four fired employees of the Waterhen Lake First Nation will be allowed to stand.


The workers were let go in 2001 after being accused of participating in a protest against Chief Sidney Fiddler.


After years of legal wrangling, four newly-elected members of the band council last week decided to pass a band council resolution calling for the workers’ reinstatement.


Earlier this week, the chief said conflict-of-interest guidelines from Indian Affairs were violated in that vote, but the department says it has no such guidelines.


However, Fiddler says it’s been customary practice for band council members to abstain from votes whenever immediate family members were involved — something Fiddler says makes the BCR invalid, even though that guideline isn’t actually written anywhere.


This is Day Three of a protest outside the Waterhen band office, which is preventing the workers from re-claiming their old jobs.


Fiddler says the protesters have told him that they won’t leave until they receive assurances the former employees won’t be re-hired.