UPDATE: Fort Nelson First Nation Chief Harrison Dickie issued the following statement when asked for comment on the petition:
“Fort Nelson First Nation fully supports freedom of expression but we will not support anyone attempting to circumvent democracy, especially through fear mongering, misinformation and manipulation. Unfortunately, these type of tactics have obstructed a self-determination initiative to allow our members rightfully re-assume jurisdiction over our on reserve lands management, bringing a higher level of nation accountability and cultural values in lands and environmental management that we have not experienced since time immemorial. All members are welcome to retrieve factual information from our departments.”
FORT NELSON, B.C. – Members of the Fort Nelson First Nation have apparently sent a Petition of No Confidence to federal Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett expressing dissatisfaction and concern with the First Nation’s sitting Chief and Council.
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The petition, which was shared by the Ne Deh Kleh Newsletter’s Facebook page, was started on May 27th. In an attached letter to Minister Bennett, the members of the First Nation who have signed the petition and the Economic Development Board state that they are concerned that they are not being properly consulted, and that First Nation funds are being mismanaged.
The letter states that the petition was initiated by the purchase of the oldest hotel in Fort Nelson on May 23rd by the Fort Nelson First Nation Chief and Council. According to the letter, the hotel was purchased for $862,000 without the discussion or consent of members. The signers of the petition claim that the money for the purchase of the hotel came from the First Nation-owned Eh Cho Dene Enterprises.
Energeticcity.ca reached out to the First Nation’s Economic Development Board, and the Ministry of Crown-Indigenous Affairs for comment on the petition, but at this point, none of the organizations have replied to requests for comment.
The entire post from the Ne Deh Kleh Newsletter’s Facebook page can be read below.