Two elected officials from the Mosquito First Nation are going to jail for stealing money that was intended for community economic development.
Eldon Starchief and Alphonse Moosomin were each sentenced to one year in jail after pleading guilty to fraud.
The band's $9.6-million treaty land entitlement fund was compensation for land the band was historically supposed to receive, but never did. The government paid the money to the band as part of a 1992 agreement. The funds were supposed to be used to buy land, to benefit everyone on the Mosquito First Nation, which is about 25 kilometres southeast of North Battleford.
Instead, an undisclosed portion of the fund was used fraudulently.
After a five-year investigation by RCMP in Battleford and Saskatoon, the band's chief and four trustees — including Moosomin and Starchief — were charged. Both men will spend two years on probation after release, and will have to pay $50,000 restitution.
Three other band officials are awaiting trial.