‘FSIN In Disarray?’

“The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian ‘Nations’ (FSI‘N’) has lost the support of Saskatoon-area chiefs, and others across the province say they may soon follow.

The FSI‘N’ is in disarray, and it makes all ‘First Nations’ {aboriginal} people look bad“, 

Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand said…

“FSI‘N’ delegates will vote for a new chief this week at an assembly in Saskatoon, but Arcand and others say it will take more than an election to fix the 72-year-old institution.

“The seven bands of the Saskatoon Tribal Council sent a letter to the FSI‘N’ saying the federation no longer speaks for them. Arcand said the province’s 74 member ‘First Nations’ {aboriginal communities} should stop contributing to the FSI‘N’s budget…

“Arcand and others say the FSI‘N’ has become preoccupied with bickering and infighting. For example, police were called to the FSI‘N’ offices in Saskatoon this month during a dispute over who should be interim chief during the election campaign…

“Longtime Sakimay ‘First Nation’ Chief Lynn Acoose {a ‘nation’ of 1,747 people} said she’s been pressing for reforms, but little has been accomplished in recent years. She said the FSI‘N’ has forgotten the original mandate of fighting for ‘treaty rights’.

I think it’s very disorganized, and they spend too much time chasing grant money. If things don’t change, we are headed for assimilation“,
she said.
{Stop the nonsense. You’re already assimilated…}

“Acoose said the chiefs who signed treaties more than 125 years ago would not be happy with the state of the FSI‘N’… Acoose says she’ll come to the assembly next week to vote, but that she thinks the FSI‘N’ should be stripped of its governance power. She said it could still be useful as a research institute for bands seeking legal or technical help, but chiefs will have to consider dissolving the FSI‘N’ altogether if things don’t improve soon.

“Acoose, Arcand and others say there are many other groups that could take on the roles of the FSI‘N’. Individual ‘First Nations’ and regional tribal councils have trained growing numbers of in-house lawyers, accountants and other experts {As the Aboriginal Industry grows ever larger. Segregation is Big Business…}. Campus ‘indigenous’ groups, ‘Idle No More’ and other bodies are playing an increasing role…

“Former FSI‘N’ chief Sol Sanderson said the Federation is worth saving. He agrees the petty power struggles must stop. He said not much has been done by the FSI‘N’ in recent years.

“He noted the federation was created in 1946 by chiefs and ‘First Nations’ veterans of the Second World War who were denied the land and benefits given to other returning soldiers

“In the 1970s, Sanderson and others created a host of educational and cultural institutions such as ‘First Nations’ University of Canada and the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies…

“In 1993, FSI‘N’ leaders helped broker the Treaty Land Entitlement deal — $440 million to compensate ‘First Nations’ for century-old broken promises. In 1995, the FSI‘N’s gaming agreement led to tens of millions in casino revenue and thousands of jobs.

“Since then, ‘progress’ has stalled on many fronts, he said. Sanderson is hopeful the FSI‘N’ can be reinvigorated if it returns to those roots. He said the FSI‘N’ can be a powerful vehicle to collectively advance ‘First Nations’ rights and assert {fictional} ‘sovereignty’.

Our inherent rights and treaty rights are granted by the Creator {?} to who? To the ‘nations’ and to the peoples of the ‘nation’, not just one community, not just one Band“,
he said.
The Federation will stay in place for as long as we need it.” …

“Chief Michael Starr of the Star Blanket ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 705 people} said he agrees it’s time to “refresh and renew” the federation. But he said criticizing it publicly and threatening to pull out is not the right approach.

Our ancestors wanted us to work together“,
{No, they didn’t even trust one another…}
Starr said.
I believe we’ll get there.”

–‘They’ve lost their vision’: Some First Nations leaders pan FSIN ahead of election’,
Jason Warick, CBC News, Oct, 21, 2018


COMMENT: “If things don’t change, we are headed for assimilation
“And maybe this is the way it should be.
My summary — best outcome is for all of us to be regular Canadians living in harmony.”
“There really are people who don’t want to be Canadian. They want to live here, reap all the benefits of being Canadian, they just don’t want to be Canadian. In Canada. How is assimilation into the best society on the planet something someone doesn’t want? Maybe we need to stop being so tolerant of those who don’t like us for us.”

“Following a standoff this month over who should be the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian ‘Nations’ interim chief, CBC News has learned of separate concerns about financial management on a Saskatchewan ‘First Nation’ under the leadership of a candidate for the first vice-chief position in next month’s elections.

“Darin Poorman​ was chief at the Kawacatoose ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 3,219 people} when a tornado ripped through the community, 115 kilometres north of Regina, in 2010. More than a dozen homes were destroyed, along with other infrastructure. Relief money came from the federal government, benefit concerts and other sources.

“Eventually, some residents complained about the lack of help they were getting from the band and the federal government conducted an audit of its spending. CBC News has reviewed the eight-page document, which found “serious weakness” in financial controls in Kawacatoose.

“It says Poorman and his council couldn’t explain how hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent. The audit states that leaders could not account for $311,000 in payments allegedly made to emergency workers in July 2010, following the tornado.

“In August, $256,000 was withdrawn from the emergency account but only $540 was paid out to emergency workers… Cheque requisition forms were left blank but the cheques were issued anyway, the audit found.

Chief and council also voted in 2011-12 to nearly double their pay. As chief of the ‘First Nation’ of 3,000 people — 1,100 of whom live on reserve — Poorman’s annual salary jumped from $65,000 to $105,000. Councillors went from $38,000 to $75,000.

“The report stated they accepted meeting payments while also collecting their regular pay. They were each paid $200 per meeting, 

including when several board meetings were held on the same day“.

“Following the investigation, roughly $90,000 was recovered by the federal government, said William Olscamp of ‘Indigenous’ {Aboriginal} Services Canada. No further action was taken…” {Why not???}

–‘Audit flagged double payments, missing money during FSIN candidate’s term as Kawacatoose chief’,
Jason Warick, CBC News, Sept. 27, 2018

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