Fort Smith, N.W.T., First Nation's infighting resumes

Political infighting at the Salt River First Nation in Fort Smith, N.W.T., has resumed.

Problems within band council stem back years

Political infighting at the Salt River First Nation in Fort Smith, N.W.T., has resumed.

One of the candidates in a byelection for chief earlier this month, Henry Beaver Jr., has filed a complaint and is challenging the results of the election, in which Frieda Martselos was re-elected.

Meanwhile, councillors at the troubled First Nation say Martselos is running it like a dictator.

They said their first meeting started with a swearing-in ceremony Martselos convened the day after being elected.

The re-elected chief's first words to council were stern orders, said Coun. Judith Gale.

According to Gale, Martselos told council, "'OK, this is the way it's going to be, I am taking over the office. From now on, I am the boss and there will be no more committees from here on forth. There will be no more council talking out of turn; they will all talk in one voice, and that will be through me.'"

There are also allegations that Martselos stacked a membership meeting last week with her supporters and publicly criticized councillors who oppose her.

Martselos is travelling and was not available for comment.