Indian Affairs imposes new Chief and Council on Barriere Lake
According to Barriere Lake Solidarity, the government received somewhere between six and ten nomination mail-in ballots from a community of more than 450 people.
In effect, less than 2 percent of the community took part in the imposed election; But as far as INAC is concerned, six to ten was more than enough. On Monday, they declared that the new Band Council Chief was Casey Ratt, one of the
However, the acclaimed Chief has refused the position, stating that he does not want to "break ranks with the community’s broad opposition to the
“The overwhelming majority of our community remains opposed to the
Tyranny indeed. The government used an obscure provision from the Indian act known as Section 74 which let them impose an election regardless of what the community wants and regardless of their supposedly-protected constitutional rights; for instance, their right to self-government, which is defined in section 35 of the
“The decision to impose section 74 band elections is an attack not only on our traditional system of government, but on our culture, language and way of life, which are all connected to our traditional system of government,” says Marylynn Poucachiche, another community spokesperson. “We will not accept it. Until our basic and legitimate rights are respected, we will escalate our actions, including not allowing any resource extraction within the Trilateral Agreement Territory.”
Publicly, INAC says it was compelled to use Section 74 because of the ageing leadership dispute between Casey Ratt and
But this claim of goodwill and benevolence is more for 'hearts and minds' than anything else. After all, the government has been talking about a change in leadership since at least 2002, years before the dispute began.
The real reason for the government's intervention, it is believed, is that Canada and
And now that the election has concluded, thanks to Casey Ratt and almost the entire Algonquin community, INAC will go back to the drawing board. After all, they still have to impose a new Chief and Council in Barriere Lake. Odds are they'll hold a by-election, but at this point there's no telling what they'll do or how far they'll go.... Especially if they're going to just casually violate the Constitution like it's just another day.
Tony Wawatie, community spokesperson: 819 – 860-4121
Marylynn Poucachiche, community spokesperson: 819-441-4923
Or email to arrange interviews: email@example.com
For more information and background: www.barrierelakesolidarity.org
Tags: Canada , Aboriginals , Barriere Lake , Algonquins , Indian And Norther Affair , Indigenous Rights , Elections
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