Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Band Members Protest Election

PRINCE ALBERT – Members of the Poundmaker First Nation near Battleford are protesting what they are calling voting irregularities in the last band election.

The protesters, calling themselves the Poundmaker working group, say the election of Chief Ted Antoine was marred by irregularities and they want new leadership.

They've been conducting sit-ins at the band office and at the interpretive centre all week. The economic future of the band is also part of the protest.

Poundmaker has significant oil and gas resources and a plan for developing those resources was approved by band members by a narrow margin. Eric Tootoosis, a spokesman for the protesters, said the deal has to be re-visited because it will mean the band will lose control.

Tootoosis said the protest will continue until the chief and council agree to a community assembly to decide both the election questions and the method of developing the energy reserves. Chief Antoine did not return calls.

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