‘What’s Happening in Frog Lake?’

If Aboriginal reserves were converted into municipalities, it would provide the legal means of addressing these issues. Aboriginals deserve the same rights as all other Canadians. Maintaining the anachronism of reserves simply harms many reserve residents – and drives many away:

“For as long as I could remember there have been issues in my community of Frog Lake ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 3,513 people}.

“I have been going to band meetings from a very young age as my father was a band councillor. Also, we are all pretty much related in our community. Several of my family members were either Chief or in Council. The current council, I am related to all of them. In this environment you hear people talk about the many issues we face. Shortage of housing, lack of money, going into 3rd party management, boil water advisories, violence, drugs, addictions, etc.…. And the list goes on. You see band councillors get brand new homes for their close friends and family members while elders never got a home ever. Some people get up to three homes under their name.

“I have been up in the band office talking to the band manager and a counselor comes in and demands a check for someone, the band manager says no, but the councillor demands it. The band manager is angry and tells me you know what. Some band members make more than my salary by just getting cheques from the Council. Other people have told me that the council writes out cheques for people then gets half of the cheque.

“I tried to be like everyone else and ignore the issues my band goes through, until it personally affected me. I was working in social services in 2015 when some other employees in my department came and brought to my attention of money being stolen. They showed me the proof. I guess my aunty, who the director of a program is, made a program and put my clients in there and got income support to pay her company. I asked if any of my clients knew about this? They said they were not in the program. This was brought to my attention from our accountant in our program. I tried to speak out to my boss, it was put down, I then went to the band manager and all he did was laugh at me. Then I was fired for gross misconduct because I argued with a boss of mine on this corrupt practice. She said I would be responsible for putting the band in a 3rd party. I called the RCMP, and they said I did nothing wrong; Frog Lake did not give me a warning or anything, they did not follow the employment policy. I then called the federal labour board. It took a year and a half of investigation.

“Frog Lake denied me a severance package, they tried to deny me income support because they said I got a severance package, they said that to the federal labour board. I saved emails, saved my letters to Chief and Council which they did not respond to help me. I took notes. After a year and a half and no resolution, the Canadian Labour Board talked to a Lawyer to be non-partisan and negotiate an agreement between me and Frog Lake. I asked for an apology, cash settlement for stress, and a new house. I got the other two quickly, but the new house took 5 years, and it was a used house, I had to argue for it.

“After people knew what happened they started coming to me for help. I showed them how to report what was going on with them to the Federal Labor Board and did what I could to support them. I also got a lot of hate for getting $25,000. People still today bother me about it on my social media. I had to block a lot of them. I reported two bullies to the RCMP. People have threatened violence towards me, just to name a few things that happened of many.

“I had my taste of what people have been talking about and had gone through dealing with the Chief and Council. They have absolute authority to pick and choose who gets what money and gets a house or gets jobs. You must kiss up to them if you want to make it in Frog Lake. If not, you face retribution in your own community from Chief and Council supporters and the Council themselves. They can literally take away your livelihood and your health, which happened to me. Because of all this stress I now suffer from depression and anxiety, but I manage it with medication and visits with my psychiatrist.

“I moved away from my community because me and my wife could not get a job and were on welfare. It was a struggle to survive and support our growing family. We moved to Wetaskiwin in June 2019 because I found a job near Wetaskiwin. In three years, I am on my third job, each job had an increase in pay. My wife went to school online and she now works full time. Our kids go to school, we have 4 vehicles and are doing ok financially. I was not buddy buddy with the Chief and Council so I could not make a decent living off welfare in my community. I currently work full time now. Life is great.

“In December of 2021 I saw a YouTube video from APTN National News about my home community of Frog Lake ‘First Nation’. It was about $120 million unaccounted for net financial assets and $102 million of that was from our trust account from our own band revenues. This was lost in a short period of time within 6 years.

“This article sparked anger in me. I heard of things like this happening but now there was actual documentation of this happening. I felt sorry for my community members. I was scared to act because of what happened to me before with the Chief and Council. But I will speak up because my community members are suffering because of this. I found out that it was more like $300 million unaccounted for because I found an article that showed FLERC, which is a Frog Lake owned company, generated that much money for Frog Lake. People have said that we once had $400 million in our trust account, but I never saw any proof. I heard at a band meeting from the CFO that we had $300 million in the trust at one time.

“I started to speak up on social media. I got a lot of people angry but surprisingly I had a lot of supporters. I had people message me but saying to keep them anonymous because they feared retribution from the Chief and Council. I continue to speak up and to be an advocate for financial transparency in my community of Frog Lake.

“I tried contacting the Chief and Council on many occasions but now they just ignore me. The band office ignores me also. They denied my requests over the phone and by email for financial documents. They also denied the request of a forensic audit even though a motion was passed at a band meeting and that Indian Affairs would pay for it.

“I am lucky I am not living in my community or else I would face the same things I faced in 2015.

“I cannot say I myself have been going on this journey for financial transparency alone. I have had a lot of help from Rob who runs BMAAAC, he has helped guide me. I have had help from Dave Oswald who is an accountant and other anonymous band members. I pray and go to ceremonies to pray for a better future for our community. I try my hardest to do my best. I put my heart and soul into this.

“I grew up with a lot of elders and ceremonies, the things they said about how leadership use to be was a lot different then what it is now. Today this leadership has too much control. We have no separation of power. We do not have our own institutions that we use to help guide our people to make the right decisions. Now today Frog Lake is broken.

“The Chief and Council have absolute authority over the band members. There is virtually no access to Justice. We cannot use the band lawyers or band monies for personal lawyers, that is all up to the band, we do not know exactly how our band dollars are being spent even though it is band monies. Too many issues to list.

“In conclusion this was a brief summary of what I have personally experienced in dealing with my Chief and Council. I have heard of so many countless others experiencing other injustices in our community.

It can be difficult to speak truth to power. Circumstances, however, have made doing so increasingly necessary.

– Aberjhani

–Nayweyo Nation Affairs, Sept. 1, 2022

https://www.facebook.com/nayweyonationaffairs/posts/pfbid0rbViFfgxeRmuBeUD8dpL2B72iTTC9W1ehar7jVvuL8LFYZL3nnpFr6KS2ophXfF1l

‘Frog Lake Housing’

“Approximately $54 million was spent on capital housing projects from 2013 to 2019. This amount excludes Buildings ($5.9million) and Infrastructure ($21.9million).

“According to Statistics Canada in 2016, 85 homes were built during the period 2011 to 2016. This averages 14 houses per year. On the assumption that the rate of construction continued at the same rate that houses were built between 2011 and 2016, approximately 72 houses were constructed. This in effect implies that each house built would have cost approximately $752,000.

“As there is no cost of land, this amount would be mainly construction costs. Wood-framed residential homes in Edmonton cost 115-140 dollars per square foot. If it is assumed that the houses built were at the top end, the size of the houses would be 5374 square feet (a small mansion with 5 bedrooms, 3 garages etc.). A review of the homes on the reserve did not reflect this size of home.”

–Dave Oswald CPA. CA CFE CFI CA(SA)

–Nayweyo Nation Affairs, Aug.17, 2022

https://www.facebook.com/nayweyonationaffairs/posts/pfbid02AtgzxzT1cQCnNpCmYaNKTPspCz8pgDgRhUSUPeFuxWVWMKJep13VBc23iH2cX9CCl

Frog Lake’ First Nation’ Chief Greg Desjarlais

“A Frog Lake Chief and Council Member has accepted a $50,000 sponsorship deal because he brought a company into the band to do business. This breaks the fiduciary duty of the council member to the band members. A Fiduciary is not supposed to make transaction that are for personal gain…”

-Nayweyo Nation Affairs, Aug.14, 2022

https://www.facebook.com/nayweyonationaffairs/posts/pfbid02WEpmHQMJcJPEwL8z28jVVYdVrAXHDKwpHpfNVT6gBm3tMNSBwUSSYewjiEjLpWYUl

https://www.mandellpinder.com/louie-v-louie-2015-bcca-247-case-summary/

See also:

Another Shady Band Council?’ (Caldwell ‘FN’) {Apr.5, 2021}:

“Some members of a ‘First Nations’ {‘Aboriginal’} Band from the Leamington area are raising concerns about a lack of transparency by Band council. Caldwell ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 433 people} group of members held a protest in Leamington, claiming that council continues to leave them in the dark when it comes to major economic decisions and investments…”

https://endracebasedlaw.ca/2021/04/05/another-shady-band-council/

Squamish Fraud {Mar.25, 2021}:

“A former Squamish ‘Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 4,300 people} councillor, Krisandra Jacobs, went on trial last month in a BC provincial court, charged with defrauding the Band government of close to $1 million… Financial records point towards Jacobs attending casinos shortly after cheques were deposited into the account of either her or her husband…”

https://endracebasedlaw.ca/2021/03/25/squamish-fraud/

A Nest of Corruption?’ (Federal Contracts) {Feb.24, 2021}:

Combining corrupt Band leadership and a corrupt ‘Liberal’ Party government…

What could possibly go wrong?

“…The results of an investigation by ‘Global News’, ‘APTN News’ and the ‘Institute for Investigative Journalism’ (IIJ) exposed serious concerns with how some construction firms with “bad track records” continue to receive lucrative contracts due to federal policies…”

https://endracebasedlaw.ca/2021/02/24/a-nest-of-corruption/

Who’s Got the Money?’ (Fraud/Ministikwan Lake, Sask.) {Nov.22, 2020}:

“A gathering at Ministikwan Lake Cree ‘Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 1,354 people}…sought to bring attention to allegations of fraud, theft and negligence directed at the community’s chief…and the Band’s manager…”

https://endracebasedlaw.ca/2020/11/22/whos-got-the-money/

Chiefs in the News: Napoleon Mercredi’ (Fraud/Saskatchewan){Oct.9, 2019}:

“Napoleon Mercredi was Chief at Fond Du Lac Denesuline ‘First Nation’ {Fond du Lac Dene ‘Nation’, a ‘nation’ of 2,109 people} from 2009 to 2011. Over $400,000 was allegedly misappropriated during Mercredi’s time as chief…”

https://endracebasedlaw.ca/2019/10/09/chiefs-in-the-news-napoleon-mercredi/

1 Comment

  1. From a Haida elder: “There needs to be more cases to bring back accountability, to the Reserves that have become a cesspool of corruption under the crooked leadership of Chiefs, Band Councillors, Tribal Societies and Band Administrators – all stealing the many avenues of funding that disappear between the source and the people! The Reserve system, Indian Affairs and the Indian Act need to be abolished, for all the harm that is being done to the people themselves, and to the rest of the country! Rotten leadership deliberately keep the people weak and dependent on taxpayer funding, by preaching that they’re owed everything just for being born Indian, and if they support the fight for Land Claims, they will get big money! Instead, they should be leading by good example, being good, hard workers who aren’t afraid to get their prissy hands dirty, doing manual labour jobs! In the days when my father was an unpaid councillor working with the Indian Agent, all the councillors had jobs, and only went to meetings when it was necessary, in the evenings or weekends! Far as I know, the only perk was that they and their families were allowed to attend movies without paying. Even then, not all were told of that privilege! These days, some of the leadership take home more money than the treasonous Prime Minister, plus multiple paid trips and other privileges, band vehicles, honouraria for attending useless meetings – which, like Nathan Cullen, John Horgan, Jennifer Rice, Taylor Bachrach, always seem to be held when there is some social function going on, to milk the “social butterfly” aspect of politics that gives them free travel as nothing more than tourists, while fuelling the destructive Native Superiority agenda that is being deviously used, to create so much division, debt and destruction! Politics – on and off Reserves – being abused by opportunistic parasites, has become the greatest threat to the majority of people enjoying a better, more affordable quality of life! Until there is a mass purging of all the unnecessary taxpayer funded “jobs”, things will continue to go downhill for the majority, while the “pigs at the trough” continue to get richer, more arrogant, and more heartless towards the majority who entrusted them to do what was best and what was right for the people!”
    –Gloria Tauber

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