|The Nelson House Justice Seekers have filed a petition with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (INAC) asking for a forensic audit of Nisichawayasikh Cree Nation (NCN) revenues and expenditures for the past nine years. Recently charges of fraud and financial improprieties were laid against NCN Vice Chief and are currently before the courts. As part of an ongoing investigation the RCMP removed extensive records from the NCN band office in spring 2004.
The forensic petition and accompanying band resolution was signed by over 800 eligible voting members of the Nelson House First Nation. Band members are requesting that the forensic audit take place prior to any referendum vote to endorse an agreement with Manitoba Hydro for the proposed Wuskwatim Generation Project ('Wuskwatim Agreement').
To date, the Wuskwatim Agreement has not been made available to the community for review, and no consultations regarding the agreement or side agreements being negotiated with Manitoba Hydro have taken place. The Elders of the community and Justice Keepers have requested at least two years be allowed for honest and meaningful consultation and consensus building in the community.
Both the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the complaints division of INAC have responded to the Justice Seekers' petition. Carol Kobliski, spokesperson for the Justice Seekers, commented on the response from the federal government, "The PMO has responded to our petition and said that our concerns are being taken seriously. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada said a review and investigation will be conducted. We are all waiting for the issues raised to be addressed as quickly as possible to restore confidence in the administration of our First Nation."
View the full Justice Seekers press release
View the January 24, 2005 Winnipeg Free Press article
View Manitoba Wildlands news item: Justice Seekers Plead for Community Water Testing
View CJOB Radio coverage (DOC)
Source: Justice Seekers