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Grand chief blasts Ottawa over flood-fund criticism

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The head of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says Ottawa is blaming the victims when it criticizes First Nations leaders over how they spend flood compensation.

AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak said he takes "strong exception to First Nations being described as prone to financial mismanagement and fraudulent activity regarding the administration of disaster assistance funding."

The statement follows the findings of a federal audit that raised red flags over unexplained payments from a $10.5-million flood fund traced to band leaders at Peguis First Nations.

Criticizing how the money was spent amounts to blaming First Nations when they’re victims of a natural disaster, the Grand Chief said.

"This is a classic divide-and-conquer tactic employed by governments time and time again," the Grand Chief said in a statement entitled, "Don’t Blame the First Nations for Flooding."

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