The Yellowknives Dene band council suspended one of its two chiefs two days after he called on the federal government to appoint a third party manager and conduct a forensic audit of the band's books.
Ndilo Chief Ted Tsetta got the news in a letter on Monday which acknowledged the council does not have the authority to fire him. However he no longer has any authority as chief, is not allowed in the band office, and his pay and allowances have been suspended.
Noonee Sanspariel, a Yellowknives Dene councillor who resigned last month, said he got similar treatment when he tried to raise thorny issues such as calling a public meeting to talk about Dettah chief Ed Sangris’ sexual assault charge.
"I said 'You should hold a public meeting and speak to this, I mean you're the chief of the Yellowknives Dene, you should inform them.' Then he started saying negative things about me," said Sanspariel.
Sanspariel said one family is dominating the council, and that the Dettah chief and council do not declare conflicts of interest when dealing with matters involving family members.
"They just kind of laugh about it and say, "Oh, we're all in conflict because we're all related," and I say, "No, I'm not related to you guys, so don't say that I am."
Neither Yellowknives Dene chief was available for comment.
The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development is reviewing the situation.