The Saskatchewan affiliate of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples wants the leadership and executive of the national organization gone.

The president of the Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan has lingering concerns about the Indigenous roots of many of the executive members, including National Chief Robert Bertrand.

John Hanikenne says he wants to know who is speaking for the Metis people and what their heritage really is.

“I question their Aboriginal lineage, and I really don’t see them at any table or pushing. They are quite content to let the organization fold around them and collect their pay cheques,” he said.

Hanikenne describes the CAP as a sick organization that has failed to stop its terminal decline and has failed to get recognition from the federal government as a voice for Metis and non-status Indians.

He says even though the CAP helped win a Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutional rights of Metis, the national organization has done little to advance that cause.

“I am not happy with where they are going, and I don’t think they are fighting our fight,” he said.

Hanikenne is currently dealing with his own health issues, including heart and lung problems, but felt it was important for him to raise concerns about CAP before moving away from politics and focusing on his health, his art and his carvings.

Hanikenne says he has been with the organization for 13 years, but says he has seen little progress.

National Chief Robert Bertrand declined to comment on the issue.

(PHOTO: Congress of Aboriginal Peoples logo. Photo courtesy of