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ALBERTA – Local Slave Lake resident Sharon Nahachick spoke to the Post Millennial about her concerns with an MLA featured on a Whitefish First Nation Voting poster for the advanced polling stations on April 9th to April 13th.
The NDP poster in question suggests that voters can vote without identification if they are “vouched for” by the band office.
Sharon also shared her thoughts with the ongoing matters in her First Nation Community on how WLFN leadership dealt with the Agricultural Benefits Settlement in 2017.
The Agricultural Benefits Settlement also referred to as “Cows and Plows” was from the Treaty 8 Agreement of 1899. With hunting, trapping and fishing no longer providing stable sources of income, the Government of Canada would assist in mitigating the effects through a one-time per capita distribution.,
Whitefish Lake #459 is located in Treaty 8 Alberta; this is not the first band to have differences between members on settlement agreements. Band members from Bigstone Cree Nation and Tall Cree First Nation have also requested information from their leadership and the Trudeau Government to access what exactly was discussed at these closed-door negotiations.
T: Tell us a bit about yourself?
S: Sharon Nahachick. I’m a band member of Whitefish Lake First Nation #459 and a resident of Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta.
T: What are your thoughts on this provincial election? Are any of the parties doing enough to earn your vote?
S: When I read a poster on social media, that made me question what’s going on with Danielle and Chief Thunder. Are they working together? I’ve never heard someone could vouch for you to vote. You always need an ID. The poster is vague, and the approach of ethics are questionable.”
T: What makes you question their ethics? Is this the first time?
S: Well, with the latest development with cows and plows, it was a bad deal to the members of Whitefish Lake #459.
T: Your members received only 4 thousand?
T: How long have you lived off reserve?
S: I’ve lived off reserve for 35 years.
T: How much has your band helped you?
S: Very little
T: Do you feel this 42-grand could have been better used for yourself?
S: Absolutely, I could have used that money. With regards to getting assistance from my band, it has been very little. The money is going to the reserve, and I do not benefit from it at all.
T: Do you think this could be a conflict of interest?
S: It is because Chief Thunder publicly and politically endorses Danielle.
T: Before this election, where were you at as a voter?
S: With the vouching matter, endorsing Danielle, that is not right. That, in my opinion, should be illegal. When I saw the poster of Chief Albert Thunder endorsing Danielle Larivee, it made up my mind who I was going to vote for, and it is not NDP. With Chief Albert Thunder, I’ve been suspicious of him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Albert and Danielle are working together and there should be some Investigation.
Attestation, not “vouching”
According to the Elections Act, the word vouch was not correctly used in the technical sense; however, to most this was misleading.
Attestation would be the correct term used in this document, referring to evidence or proof of residence.
The poster is not exactly clear on the wording used, but an electoral process is indeed in place. Locations have since been declared for the advanced polling stations, which will operate from April 9th to April 13th and the Election Day is April 16th province-wide.
This is not the first instance of a misleading campaign brochure, signs, posters and NDP volunteers tampering with candidates pamphlets from residents mailbox.
Just recently Alberta NDP Candidates Ann McGrath and Todd Russell were featured in a Fire fighter of Alberta Pamphlets that raised concerns of similarities to UCP advertising.