Reserve senate wants to impeach chief, councillors
A small group of band members says it has impeached the chief and council of the Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation, located near Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask., for allegedly failing to perform duties set out in the election act.
However, Chief Roger Redman said the group is not following band bylaws and does not have the authority to impeach him.
Marita Crant, a Standing Buffalo senator, said and four other senators — a group of elected elders — have occupied the reserve's band office since Friday night.
"I will be staying here until everything is finally put in place," she told CBC News.
Crant said the senate received a complaint against the chief and the rest of the council from Stella Isnana on Dec. 21 of last year.
Stella Isnana is a band councillor herself, who ran for chief last election and lost to Redman.
She said she believes band members and staff members are not getting money for the training and assistance she says they deserve, while the community's chief and council gets what she calls an "extravagant" amount of money for their duties each month.
"We've got to work together," said Isnana. "Our community's small and as Dakota people, we always care about one another, we've always been there for one another, but it just seems greed has gotten ahold of the leadership," she told CBC News Sunday from a band office boardroom.
She says her complaints eventually led to the senators taking steps to impeach the community's chief and council.
Crant said according to the election act there are several grounds on which a council member can be impeached, including: seriously failing to uphold his or her responsibilities in connection to their portfolio and bringing disregard and dishonour upon themselves, their office and other members of the band through actions unbecoming a chief or councillor.
The group will stay in the offices, said Crant. She added that she will be fasting, until the chief and council recognize their impeachment.
Redman said he will speak with the media on Monday, once he consults legal council and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
He wants to have his facts correct before he speaks publicly, he said.