Waterhen Chief Fighting Band Council Resolution
Tuesday, January 18, 2005 at 13:27
A protest at the Waterhen Lake First Nation continues.
The protesters are blocking some former band office employees from re-claiming their old jobs.
The former workers thought they were given the go-ahead to return to work by the majority of the band’s newly-elected council, but Chief Sidney Fiddler says those councillors didn’t follow correct procedure when they tried to re-instate the former workers.
According to Fiddler, Indian Affairs guidelines regarding band council resolutions state that councillors can’t vote on an issue where there is a clear conflict of interest.
Fiddler says two of the councillors in question have direct family ties to the former employees.
However, an Indian Affairs official says the department does not have conflict-of-interest guidelines concerning band councils.
Fiddler fired the workers following a protest on the reserve in November 2001.
A federal adjudicator and a judge have both ruled that was a case of wrongful dismissal — something Fiddler still disputes.
He also says if this issue was put to a vote in Waterhen Lake, the majority of band members would side with him.