FORT QU'APPELLE, Sask. - The Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation northeast of Regina has decided to hold an early election rather than fight to oust its leader.
Senators from the band near Fort Qu'Appelle decided Jan. 18 to impeach Chief Roger Redman and five of its six councillors over questionable spending.
The sixth councillor had made a complaint and an independent audit was ordered of the band's expenses.
It showed that Redman and the five councillors allocated more than $1 million for honorariums, travel, meetings and advances.
But they refuse to recognize the senators' authority to impeach them, so an election has been called for March 16.
That's about eight months earlier than the scheduled date in November.
“We called an election due to the fact that it seems like [Redman] and we call them 'his boys' don’t want to leave their position at the band office,” said senator Marita Crant.
“The next best thing to do was the senate got together and we decided to call an election.”
Nominations were held last weekend, but senators were unable to get into band-owned buildings because the doors were chained and padlocked shut.
“That’s how afraid [Redman] probably is of us getting into a building,” Crant said.
The band held nominations outside by the community centre instead.
“We set up a table, I came home and got some lawn chairs and so we proceeded to have the nominations.”
Crant said Redman has created another senate with members of his choosing. She said the second senate includes a member from Regina, an addictions councillor, a personal confidant and Redman’s brother.
The band recently voted for a new accountability framework to protect officials and members and to ensure funds are spent properly.
Redman has said the impeachment was politically motivated, because Stella Isnana, the councillor who raised suspicions, ran against him and lost in the last election.
He says he does not recognize the authority of the senate to change the election date.
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