Protests against chief at Red Pheasant First Nation
A group of protesters are stirring up controversy on the Red Pheasant First Nation reserve near the Battlefords.
Several band members have set up camp outside of the band office demanding change. Meanwhile the chief and a few dozen elders hold discussions inside.
To Chief Stewart Baptiste and those inside the band office, the explanation for the protest is simple.
"They're not happy with how the election went, there's two other chiefs that are supported by the woman outside and I beat them out," he explained.
He commented that he thinks the whole situation is blown out of proportion.
According to those in a tipi 100 feet from the office doors that is not the case. They say that the chief's recent court appearences and substance abuse charges are setting a poor example for the community.
Band councillor Sandra Arias says the group has three demands so far: make Red Pheasant a dry reserve, establish a housing authority, and call a general band meeting. She says these were ignored by the chief and council.
"They had their olive branch extended saying 'how can we work with you chief you're not working with us,' he removed them from the meeting," Arias said.
Baptiste says a date for a band meeting has been set for the end of July, and they are in talks with the RCMP about making Red Pheasant a dry reserve.
Edited by News Talk Radio's Adriana Christianson