Open letter to Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation chief and council:
There is a serious and increasing problem with alcohol and drug abuse. This has contributed to an increase in violence, including child abuse, spousal abuse, murder and suicide.
Rates of disease, accidents and other forms of premature death are also far higher than in the general population of Canada.
Our First Nation government is rife with nepotism, corruption, greed, abuse of authority and intimidation.
Many Little Salmon/Carmacks leaders struggle with alcohol and drug abuse, in spite of constitutional requirements that they be clean and sober before taking office.
Governance and decision-making processes also described by the constitution are ignored.
All of our problems are passed from generation to generation, contributing to the ongoing misery of our people.
Before the Europeans came, we had a functional society, where people respected themselves and each other. We all know that, but it is no longer acceptable to simply blame the past while continuing to act out its effects. It is time to take control of our destiny and recover our former selves. The recovery process begins inside each of us and will spread to our children.
Recovery also demands our leadership truly lead, blazing the trail of healing, sobriety, harmony and respect within our First Nation.
Many of our elected “leaders” have not done this and they continue to bring shame to themselves and our people. It is time to hold them to account Ã for the sake of our children and our very existence as a people.
On December 6, we submitted a formal appeal to the elders council and copied it to the chief and council. We have requested a response in writing to our appeal and, to date, have not received one. On February 4, we submitted, by e-mail, a letter outlining our concerns and, to date, have not received a response.
We are requesting the chief and council immediately provide a formal response to our letter of appeal and our February 4 letter. We expect this response to acknowledge our concerns and provide a date for the special meeting of the assembly to determine if Chief Eddie Skookum is fit to hold office, as per our constitution.
Our objective is to bring positive and meaningful change to our government and community. Therefore, the upcoming nomination for deputy chief and crow councillor must be postponed until such a time that our appeal has been respected and adhered to.
Lorraine O’Brien, Hazel Skookum, Joy O’Brien