Ex-First Nation chief Wilbur Dedam granted bail

Wilbur Dedam, the former chief of Esgenoôpetit First Nation, has been granted bail on six sex charges dating back to the 1970s.

Former chief of Esgenoôpetitj First Nation facing 6 charges involving 3 alleged victims

Wilbur Dedam was greeted by several supporters outside the Miramichi courthouse after he was released from custody on Friday. (Jennifer Choi/CBC)

Wilbur Dedam, the former chief of Esgenoôpetit First Nation, has been granted bail on six sex charges dating back to the 1970s.

Dedam, 56, appeared before Judge Denis Lordon ​in Miramichi provincial court on Friday afternoon.

He was released on a $10,000 surety and under several conditions.

He is scheduled to return to court on June 4 to elect how he wants to be tried and to enter pleas.

Meanwhile, Dedam must not have any contact with the alleged victims or their families, or with any females under the age of 18, except immediate family members.

He must maintain his residence, abide by a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., report twice a week to the Neguac RCMP, and abstain from the consumption or possession of alcohol and non-prescribed drugs.

Dedam was also ordered not to meet with, or actively campaign for, any candidate in any band council elections.

Dedam is facing six charges in relation to alleged sex offences against three women between 1977 and 1985, including sexual assault and having sex with a female under the age of 14.

A publication ban prevents reporting any information that could identify the alleged victims.

RCMP say there could be other potential victims and the investigation is ongoing.

Dedam, who has been in custody since May 7, was greeted by several supporters as he left the courthouse.

Esgenoôpetitj First Nation, in northeastern New Brunswick, was formerly known as Burnt Church.

Dedam was chief at Burnt Church when tensions arose over aboriginal fishing rights in 2000.

He is a candidate in the current election taking place at Esgenoôpetitj.