Infighting at Yellowknives Dene First Nation

Some members of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation have raised concerns about mismanagement and corruption within the band. One band councillor has also stepped down.

Concerns about mismanagement and corruption abound

Members of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation gathered at a marathon eight-hour meeting over the weekend. (Barb Powless-Labelle)

Some members of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation are raising concerns about mismanagement and corruption.

One councillor, Nuni Sanspariel, has stepped down.

The band consists of members in Dettah and N'Dilo — two aboriginal communities near Yellowknife.

The concerns were raised at a marathon eight-hour meeting on the weekend. Some members also suggested splitting the First Nation in two.

Former band councillor Barb Powless-Labelle sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Governor General of Canada. In the letter, she calls for the removal of the current band chiefs and council for both N’Dilo and Dettah.

She said people are starting to lose faith in their leaders.

"One of the councilllors, Nuni Sanspariel, stepped down because he lost confidence in the council. They are not being upfront and dishonest and he was dissatisfied," she said.

Powless-Labelle has started a petition asking the government to provide third-party management to the Yellowknives Dene band.

N'Dilo, Dettah chiefs have landed in hot water before

This is not the first time the N’Dilo and Dettah chiefs have run into trouble.

N'Dilo chief Ted Tsetta had gotten into hot water last winter over misuse of the band’s credit card. The councillors voted to keep him as chief in that case.

Dettah Chief Ed Sangris has been accused of sexual assault dating back to an incident or several incidents which are alleged to have happened in the 80s and 90s. A date has not yet been set for that trial.