North

Smith's Landing First Nation Chief resigns

Chief Cheyeanne Paulette says council members responded to his call for more accountability with intimidation and calls for him to resign.

Cites lack of support for bid to make band more accountable to members

The Smith's Landing First Nation on the N.W.T./Alberta border continues to be plagued by leadership turmoil, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in band funding is missing.

Cheyeanne Paulette resigned as chief last week. He said councillors did not support his attempts to make the First Nation more accountable to its members.

Cheyeanne Paulette, chief of the Smith's Landing First Nation on the N.W.T./Alberta border resigned last week, saying councillors did not support his attempts to make the First Nation more accountable to its members. (CBC)

"I was almost being pressured, kind of bullied, even emailed to resign," Paulette said.

A forensic audit ordered by the previous band council identified that band money had gone missing. That report has been turned over to the RCMP.

Paulette hopes justice will be served for what he calls stealing.

He said when he was elected, he inherited a mess. He said finding consistent financial records for the forensic audit was difficult.

"Housing was kept in finance, finance was kept in education," said Paulette. "It just wasn't properly managed. The whole office wasn't properly managed."

Former band councillor Lorraine MacDonald started her new job as band manager this week. She said Paulette took the politics too personally.

now