Liard First Nation members decry upcoming legal battle

Some Liard First Nation members are speaking out against their chief's decision to launch a legal fight against Ottawa's handling of their First Nation's financial mess.

Some Liard First Nation members are speaking out against their chief’s decision to launch a legal fight against Ottawa’s handling of their First Nation’s financial mess.

“It’s always the same old thing,” said Alfred Chief, spokesperson for the Kaska Concerned about Land Protection and Good Government.

“It’s unfortunate for the people and the community that he (Chief Daniel Morris) has put us through so much turmoil again.”

It’s been almost two years since Ottawa appointed a manager to straighten out the First Nation’s finances.

On Tuesday, the First Nation sent out a release announcing it was seeking a federal judicial review of the decision to re-appoint the same manager to oversee the First Nation’s affairs.

Chief Daniel Morris claims the manager, Ganhada Management Group, has breached its legal obligations to both the First Nation and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

The Liard First Nation claims Ganhada hasn’t spent funds that had been earmarked for housing renovations, and that its accounting practices had been questioned by an auditor.

But Chief said the third-party manager has been doing its job.

“As a band member I’m glad they’re here,” he said.

“Our services are being delivered. Water, garbage, it’s all being done.

“If the First Nation got rid of the third-party manager, Morris would hire his supporters and that’s it.”

Another Liard First Nation member, Rose Caesar, questions where the funds would come from to cover expensive legal fees.

“Where is the money coming from for their high-priced lawyers in Vancouver when our people are homeless and going to the food bank in record numbers?” she said in a news release yesterday.

As of late 2014 the First Nation still owed Aboriginal Affairs over $400,000. It has yet to provide its financial statements for 2014-15.

This isn’t the first time Liard First Nation members have spoken out against their chief and council.

In early 2015 Chief and others blamed Morris for ignoring the needs of Liard First Nation elders and refusing to communicate with them, saying they weren’t receiving their usual quotas of wood and oil during the winter.

And in February this year, the Kaska Concerned about Land Protection and Good Government spoke out against their council’s lack of consultation prior to signing a resource agreement with the Yukon government.

Earlier this week, Morris said the First Nation was working on ways to improve communication with its members. That includes holding more meetings, sending out a newsletter and updating its website, Morris said.

But according to Chief, the only meetings being held are ones about land use planning, not ones that address community concerns.

“When people like myself attend those meetings, we get hollered down by his (Morris’s) supporters,” he said.

“That’s one reason why I don’t go. At my age I don’t need that.”

Chief said he’s still hoping for an early election to be called so that a new government can cooperate with the third-party manager.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon gets sixth case of COVID-19, three have recovered

Dr. Brendan Hanley said there is a sixth case in Whitehorse but three have recovered

White River First Nation calls on premier to stop mining activity

An influx of miners in the area is causing concern

Whitehorse city council holds off on purchasing Seventh Avenue property

Would be a “costly endeavour for the city”, says councillor

VGFN passing emergency legislation to better screen for travellers entering the community

The move follows the unwelcome arrival of two people from Quebec last week

Victoria Gold still operating Eagle Gold mine with COVID-19 precautions in place

The mine is still in operation but with precautions, including social distancing, in place

YTA, Yukon government reach agreement on hiring dispute out of court

YTA’s petition was set to be heard March 25 but was called off after the parties reached an agreement

City hall, briefly

Here’s a look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its… Continue reading

Skagway has resolve in the COVID-19 struggle, mayor says

Skagway mayor said border access is important for residents.

Yukonomist: Steering your business through COVID-19

While “proofing” your business against the impacts might not be possible, being prepared is.

History Hunter: How the Yukon was spared the influenza pandemic of 1918

The isolation of the Yukon then afford the territory some protection that it doesn’t have today

Whitehorse city council contemplates OCP change for section of the tank farm

Change would allow for commercial industrial use instead of current residential classification

Truck slides off Dempster Highway

The truck left the road around 4 p.m. on March 19. The highway was closed until March 21 for cleanup.

Most Read