Chief and council accused of stealing welfare money

Steve Rennie, Canadian Press/National Post, Dec 17, 2013 New Chief

OTTAWA — Members of a Saskatchewan First Nation are facing allegations they misused government money meant for social assistance to buy themselves vehicles, horses and trailers, newly released documents show.

A team of professional auditors is now looking into claims made against the chief and council of the Big Island Lake Cree Nation in the northwestern part of the province.

No charges have been laid and none of the allegations has been proven in court.

But the federal government says it takes the allegations “very seriously” and Deloitte and Touche has been asked to conduct a forensic audit of the First Nation.

The audit work is ongoing, covering the period April 2009 to March 2012.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act offer a broad look at the allegations against the chief and council.

“The areas of analysis include the potential misuse of the social-assistance funds to pay personal expenses of the chief and council; and the allegation that band members who are listed as social-assistance recipients never filed an application and never received social-assistance funds,” one document says.

The documents show Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development got an anonymous, handwritten letter in April 2011 about the alleged misuse of federal funding.Big Island Lake Cree Nation map

The letter accuses band members, whose names are blanked out, of “taking money from social assistance and other accounts.”

A second handwritten letter, sent in December 2011, makes more allegations specifically against the chief and councillors.

“Vehicles were bought, quads, horses and travel trailers, these were the things the chief David Sandfly bought and still spending on and we have no money for payroll or social assistance,” the letter says.

The anonymous letter-writer also claims the First Nation is plagued by poor infrastructure and problems with alcohol and drug addiction.

As of November, the First Nation had a registered population of 1,132, most of whom live on the reserve.

Sandfly did not return several messages left on his cellphone and with a receptionist at the First Nation’s band office.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development declined to answer specific questions about the audit, which the documents indicate could cost as much as $150,000.

“The department takes allegations of misuse of public funds in First Nations communities very seriously and will investigate allegations once they have been sufficiently substantiated,” spokeswoman Valerie Hache wrote in an email.

“The forensic audit work involving this First Nation is ongoing and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Deloitte is expected to present its findings to the department early next year. Those findings — and whether the matter is referred to police — may remain a secret.

“What will be released publicly will depend on privacy considerations,” Hache wrote.

“Audit work that reveals criminal activity is handed over to the appropriate policing authorities and is not publicly disclosed.”

Posted on December 18, 2013, in Indian Act Indians and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Of course documents like the ones that have been released are done in order to aid the colonial settler government with a means of taking care of their ‘Indian problem’. Documents which uncover or expose corruption are tools commonly used by the colonial system of government which calls itself Canada for political advantage, against any threats against their control which includes activists, political competitors, and as always native people who are still the legal land owners which their state illegally occupies. They have no treaties as they claim, they are blatantly and transparently corrupt yet their lies are still believed and accepted by the masses.

    Political game playing, spin and manipulation like this only serve to promote the unhealthy atmosphere, flame racial tensions, cloud or cover up the reality and allow them to maintain their power, control and oppression of their settler masses and native people who they need to provide the labour and resources to feed their greedy mechanisms. They are fully aware that releasing this article could result in native people and their supporters being harmed by the angry settlers who have been fooled into believing that they are being victimized by native people They, by releasing this, create the illusion that they are a caring and generous sugar daddy and the fault lies not with them but with those naughty and immoral little Indians who would be lost without their racially superior guidance and control.

    Are the bands really doing this? Of course they are, it happens constantly, and they are doing far worse to the people who they pretend to be working in the interest of.

    Why do our native leaders do these things to us? Because they are not our true leaders, they are colonial imposed government’s modelled after larger colonial structures which do the exact same thing and brush the facts under the rug. They are good little assimilated Indian puppets who work for their master for rewards and work against their own families, people and the true native culture and government systems that colonial Canada has stolen from us.

    Will telling the colonial puppet master what the band puppets are doing help? No! They are fully aware of the problems, they created the problems in the first place deliberately in order to destroy us, our cultures, and our government’s in order to force us to give them what they want, what they claim they have, what they occupy, our lands, so they can destroy the Mother as well, in order to take her resources in order to play out their little economic, avarice based, power tripping games.

    What are they accomplishing? Nothing, they are diseased, the disease of avarice as our ancestors told us through allegory after they arrived, destroys everyone and everything in its path including the person who has it.

    How do we stop it? Fighting back and Taking back are the only ways to stop them. Take back your pride, take back your power, take back your traditions, culture, languages, reform traditional communities, traditional governments which are accountable, listen to the elders who remember, they are our guides, that is their jobs to teach us their knowledge it is our jobs to listen and carry forth with re-establishing ourselves and working together as healthy communities like our ancestors did. Those old systems did work, they were brilliantly crafted over thousands of years, these new systems are the work of novices, amateurs and the greedy. WE just have to Take It All Back from those who took it all away, who stole it outright from our ancestors, without the right or even any comprehension or knowledge of what it was they were destroying and still are.

    We have no choice, there are no answers or positive outcomes in continuing to work with and maintain false government’s and systems that are only serving to bring about our destruction, the destruction of all people, of all life through the ongoing contamination and rape of our Mother. The world economy won’t save us, the false government’s won’t save us, the belief that man is some kind of master of our Mother is a false one, men did not create the Mother, they only created systems designed to bring about Her demise through their greed and ego based ridiculous ideas. Human Beings are the inferior life on this planet, that has always been the truth, they just don’t realize it even though they continue to prove it through their actions. We can’t drink oily water or eat money, and we all know this, natives, settlers and people all around the world know this and have had enough. We cannot waste time intellectually or politically debating these facts, we have to work to stop and fix what we have done. People created the problems and it is up to people to fix them, not gods and spirits, not stories and legends, us.

    We have no choice because it is far, far easier to destroy what we have created, economies, government’s, ugly cultures and societies and re-create healthy ones that work than it is to re-create the Mother herself.

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