The office of the federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs issued a statement Sunday wrongfully declaring that the chief of the troubled Attawapiskat First Nation had accepted the government’s imposition of a third-party manager to oversee the community’s expenses. “That’s a lie,” Chief Theresa Spence reportedly told the producer of CTV’s Question Period on Sunday when asked about the statement. Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan then appeared on the show suggesting the information his office had released was correct. “The first nation is working with the third-party manager. The third-party manager’s in place. It’s been in, he’s been in place for some time now,” Duncan was quoted as saying in The Globe and Mail. The minister’s statement on Sunday also detailed how the government has pledged to send 22 modular homes to the community of 1,800—seven more than originally promised. The imposition of a third-party manager—who is being paid $1,300-a-day—has been roundly rejected by Attawapiskat’s leadership. Spence wrote in an open letter later on Sunday that “this continued insistence of Third Party Management is causing yet another crisis in our community.” She pointed to the interruption of the band’s cash flow as a major reason for her rejection of the government’s third-party manager.
Monday, December 12, 2011