A group of about 20 angry protesters rallied in front of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan offices in Saskatoon on Monday afternoon.
At issue is who runs the Métis Nation and a set of audited financial statements.
The protesters accuse MNS President Robert Doucette of running the organization like a dictatorship and failing to follow the direction of the Provincial Métis Council but he says he has and will continue to consult with local organizations across the province.
“Well, the fact of the matter is we take our direction from local community leaders,” he says. “It outlines that in the constitution that regional councils have to take their direction from local presidents and I haven’t seen any evidence of that to date. Even with respect to what’s going on here today.”
Reina Sinclair of Regina, who was one of the protesters on hand Monday, says several questions remain about the organization’s finances such as what has happened to the money from the sale of the building that was the former MNS headquarters on Robin Street.
“I am here because we are trying to hold Robert Doucette and the rest of his executive accountable to the constitution and then accountable for the funding,” she says. “All of the funding including selling buildings, travel, cheques, holiday pay, all of those things that just don’t happen.”
The protesters say Doucette is moving ahead on an overhaul of the MNS’s governance structure without properly consulting the Provincial Métis Council.
They also claim the MNS financial statements are full of irregularities which they say have been “whitewashed” by the federal department of Aboriginal Affairs.
Doucette says he has been open and accountable about MNS finances and the organization is working to comply with an auditor’s recommendations