Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht should resign, band councillor says

Ron Giesbrecht, chief of the Kwikwetlem First Nation near Vancouver, BC.

Ron Giesbrecht, chief of the Kwikwetlem First Nation (formerly the Coquitlam Indian Band) near Vancouver, BC.

‘We’re a national embarrassment right now,’ says councillor calling for chief’s resignation

CBC News, Aug 02, 2014

Some members of a tiny Coquitlam-area First Nation want their chief to resign after damning financial disclosures were published this week.

In filings published under the new First Nations Financial Transparency Act, Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht disclosed he earned an $800,000 bonus last year on top of his salary.

Marvin Joe, who has been head of the 81-member First Nation in the past, says the revelation of that extra compensation has deeply angered many of the band’s members.

“Everybody, even to this point right now, is still infuriated. It’s that bad,” he told CBC News Friday afternoon.

“We’re a national embarrassment right now. Everybody in Canada knows this. Every First Nation knows this. The taxpayers are irate and I don’t blame them,” Joe said.

In a written statement, Giesbrecht said his contract as the band’s chief economic development officer included a bonus, which came to $800,000 because of an $8-million land deal.

But Joe, who is currently serving as a Kwikwetlem band councillor, says he can’t understand how anyone could have signed off on what amounts to an almost million-dollar payout to the current chief.

“No one member gets that kind of money. There’s no way that the band would have approved it — not the membership.”

Joe says band members want answers from Giesbrecht, as well as his resignation.

“We weren’t aware of this. We do not and would not have approved of it,” he said. “It just makes us look so bad.”

CBC News could not reach Giesbrecht for comment Friday.

Posted on August 2, 2014, in Indian Act Indians and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Dolphin and commented:
    This really goes against the indigenous belief of sharing all–no one is supposed to reap the benefits that should go to all. And I don’t understand the “land deal” aspect, because land –the Earth–is sacred to them….

  2. to bad they don’t have a leader like Kshama Sawant
    “The city council pays me $117,000. I take home only $40,000, which is the average workers wage in Seattle, and the rest of my salary is put into a solidarity fund for social justice movements,” said Sawant. “And why do I do that? Because I really, truly believe that the most effective way you can be a genuine advocate for the interests of the average worker is if you are not making so much money that your standard of living is completely out of bounds of what the workers you’re trying to represent can achieve. That is why I personally believe that, that is important.

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