First Nations’ election laws highlighted at hearing
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/05/2009 (5128 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Frustrations over the law governing First Nations elections took centre stage Monday at an open mike session during a Senate committee meeting in Winnipeg focused on the Indian Act.
The Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples will hold its second day of hearings Tuesday on issues surrounding the act, including the current two-year terms of office and the idea of setting fixed election dates.
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs grand chief Ron Evans, Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine and Southern Chiefs Organization grand chief Morris Shannacappo spoke to the committee along with First Nations chiefs from around Manitoba.
Committee chair Senator Gerry St. Germain said the meeting was controversial, with discussion centred on leadership, accountability and election processes.
“Governance is the big thing,” he said.
Just four people spoke at an hour-long open-mike session, including former NDP MP Cyril Keeper, who urged the committee to hold hearings on First Nations.
Former Lake St. Martin First Nation chief Norman Traverse told the committee he was frustrated by corruption during past elections on the reserve.
“I see corruption. I see bribery taking place…I want to see an end to this,” he said.
“I would like to see stability in my community.”
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is working on a plan to standardize band elections across the province, including setting term limits. The association hopes standardized elections could help curb election corruption.
The Senate committee’s public hearings continue Tuesday at the downtown Radisson from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by an open mike session from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hearings in Dauphin are set for Wednesday at the Dauphin Friendship Centre at 210 1st Ave. N.E.
The meeting is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by an hour-long open-mike session.