Residents of the Innu communities of Natuashish and Sheshatshui say they want an investigation into large sums of money paid to those working with an Innu business company.

Paul Rich, the CEO of Innu Development Limited Partnership, made more than $1 million in the last two years. In 2011 alone, Rich's salary was $650,000.


Paul Rich is the former CEO of the Innu Development Limited Partnership. (CBC)

A former CEO has told CBC News that as recently as 2009, the annual salary for that position was less than $100,000.

Natuashish chief Simeon Tshakapesh and Sheshashui chief Sebastien Benuen were paid about $30,000 annually on top of their regular chiefs' salaries to sit of the board of the IDLP — appointments that required only several meetings each year. 

Rich, along with the company's chief financial officer, left the IDLP several weeks ago.

Company supposed to make money for Innu people

The IDLP, a company owned by the Innu people, was created to return money to the Innu communities. 

Its main job was to form partnerships with non-aboriginal companies interested in doing business in Labrador, such as Provincial Airlines, East Coast Catering, Serco, and SNC-Lavalin.

Through the IDLP, those companies would get access to lucrative contracts reserved for aboriginal businesses at places like Voisey's Bay.

Neither Rich nor the acting CEO of the IDLP were available to talk about the matter.

The two Innu chiefs were unavailable as well.

No one in either Innu community would make public statements about the situation.