I am a concerned band memberand I would like to update North Battleford and area residents of an event that took place on Poundmaker Cree Nation. This is the day when band members took back theirauthority and voted out the previous unaccountable leadership and voted in a new chief and council under the traditional laws of Band Custom.
This was an extraordinary circumstance due to the fact the previous chief and council were in violation of Band Custom by refusing to disclose financial information on the nation's assets and finances, especially in regards to Battlefords Tribal Council (of which there are approximately69 corporate entities), TLE lands and trusts, oil and gas and Enbridge Agreements. This lack of disclosure was consistent over many years and after many attempts to ask for disclosure, band members decided to vote them out in a legitimate band custom meeting.
The core of Band Custom is total transparency and accountability and the people must be informed of all transactions. It is the people whocollectively givedirection to the leadership.
Ninety-one people were present at this well advertised meeting. Posters were torn down by former chief and council supporters. After some abstentions and exits, 41 people voted to remove the former chief and council. All people present at the meeting were there of their own accord and made an informed decision, which is opposite to how the former chief and council were voted into office in May 2008.
Immediately after the vote, an impromptu security force was hired to stand at the band office with orders to protect the band office. You see, the former chief and council have a lot to lose - unfettered access to funds and opportunities. I visited this security force later that night and delivered bannock and juice and let them know that Band Custom is a peaceful order of governance.
We stand by our indigenous form of governance in regards to our electoral process, as, finally, our people will be informed of their assets and finances and most importantly there will be opportunities for our youth.
This was indeed a historic day and our people's actions did honour to the bravery of our warriors in 1885 who defended their people against great almost impossible odds.
Poundmaker Cree Nation
Treaty 6 Territory