Friday, September 19, 2014
Text Size

Allegations of reserve home-demo scam false, says SCO grand chief

By: Alexandra Paul

Winnipeg Free Press

The Southern Chiefs Organization says critics have greatly exaggerated the number of homes in flood-damaged Lake St. Martin that were sold off instead of being demolished as planned.

Grand Chief Terry Nelson said Tuesday only three condemned homes were sold off -- not 49 -- and they were sold with the tenants’ permission.

The federal government struck a deal to pay nearly $2 million to have 133 homes in the Interlake community destroyed, following extensive damage to the area during a flood in May 2011. Before some of the homes could be demolished, however, 49 of the buildings were allegedly sold off by the chief and council for $20,000 each.

Nelson said the allegations are without merit.

He said the three homes he’s tracked were sold for closer to $10,000 apiece before they were moved off the reserve.

He also suggested the tempest is politically motivated, as rival sides gear up for a band election at Lake St. Martin in June.

Adrian Sinclair, chief of Lake St. Martin, has yet to face public questions over the scandal, only saying he hasn’t done anything wrong and he has the legal right to sell off the damaged homes, The Canadian Press reported.

A statement put out by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada last week said payments to local contractors on the First Nation had been suspended until the allegations had been investigated. About $1.2 million has already been paid out. Approximately 80 of the 133 homes have already been destroyed.

RCMP investigation welcomed

Nelson said he’d "welcome an RCMP investigation" and he’s convinced the authorities would find nothing to prosecute.

"The central issue for me as grand chief is I do not want these accusations to be a detriment to the federal offer that must be made; three years later people are still suffering, the people in the communities are still out," Nelson told a press conference Tuesday.

"This is what angers me now: the difference between how the non-native people in the 1997 flood were treated and the native people (in the 2011 flood). Go down Highway 200 on the east side of the Red River and see. All the farm properties were either raised or they have a dyke. Every one of those families have been protected."

Yet, Nelson said, for the four First Nations flooded in 2011, there has been no settlement, only an endless argument over who’s to blame for what happened.

The other First Nations flooded in 2011 – Pinaymootang, Little Saskatchewan and Dauphin River – see this latest scandal over Lake St. Martin as another excuse to stall compensation all four are owed, Nelson said.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins