The Fond du Lac Dene First Nation says it is out of money. It posted a notice in the community store explaining that the band had over-extended itself in June because of a number of unforeseen expenses, including $115,000 to cover the cost of four funerals.
That has left teachers in the lurch. Their last pay cheques bounced. A Grade 7 teacher at the school, Christina Lorentz, has been trying to get to the bottom of it. She says there are a lot of unanswered questions.
“I don’t know, I am not sure of the situation,” she says. “Aboriginal Affairs says the money should be there. It was there for all our salaries. So they are starting an investigation, as well. Where is the money?”
Lorentz says the chief is not answering her calls, but she has spoken with the band’s CEO Daryl McDonald. He told her the cheques would be re-issued. Lorentz has since left the community and is back in Ontario.
Her teaching contract at the school was not renewed.
The chief, Earl Lidguerre, has been unavailable for comment. But in the posted notice he writes, “If you think the Chief and council are stealing or misappropriating band funds, don’t hesitate to contact MNP accounting or the Prince Albert Grand Council.”