JOHN COCHRANE FIRST NATION
Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree People
Sub Office – 304D, 1401- 28th St. E.,
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
April 20, 2010
Chief Guy Lonechild, FSIN
And The Indian Government Commission
Dear Chief Lonechild,
Further to the resolution passed on January 29, 2010 by the FSIN Executive and the Indian Government Commission, directing the JCFN Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree people and CHCN Kamectagwacagasihk Cree people to meet and cooperate regarding issues of unfinished Treaty 5 business, please be advised that a meeting was held on Monday April 19th, 2010 at the CHCN band office (1:00 – 2:00).
Present at the meeting were:
• JCFN Chief John Dorion, Elders (5), JCFN Councillors (4) Former Councillor (1). As per band custom JCFN Chief and Council utilize their Elders council for all band meetings.
• CHCN Chief Lorne Stewart, CHCN Councillor (1)
Background preparations for this meeting:
• JCFN Chief John Dorion prepared a meeting notice and draft agenda and sent it to Chief Stewart. This information was faxed to CHCN Chief on 2 separate occasions (February). JCFN did not receive a response from Chief Stewart to the draft agenda and meeting notice.
• The draft agenda and meeting notice was hand delivered to FSIN Chief of staff Wilfred Jimmy and Vice Chief Lyle Whitefish (February). It was our understanding that FSIN would assist the two bands with this meeting by sending a representative.
• Chief John Dorion and a JCFN councillor attempted to reach Chief Stewart via telephone on 3 different occasions (February, March & April).
• In March, due to the unresponsiveness of Chief Stewart, a letter of explanation was faxed to Chief Lonechild regarding Chief Dorion’s unsuccessful attempts to initiate a joint collaborative meeting with CHCN & Chief Stewart.
• In the beginning of April, Chief Dorion received a telephone call from Chief Stewart who agreed to a meeting and a date was set – April 19, 2010.
• Chief Dorion faxed an updated agenda for the meeting and the previously faxed meeting notice to Chief Stewart (immediately following the above phone discussion). see attached agenda
• Chief Dorion also faxed a draft Protocol Agreement (see attached) for discussion at the April 19th meeting (1 week in advance) which outlined issues of unfinished Treaty business and some of the key issues to work on such as membership.
The proceedings of the April 19th meeting:
• Initial comments by Chief Stewart in which he informed JCFN Chief and representatives that he was not pleased with the attendance of the JCFN Elders at the meeting; stating he was only expecting Chief and Council. Those attending the meeting felt that an objection to Elders present at the meeting was unacceptable and disrespectful.
• Chief John Dorion provided an explanation re: unfinished Treaty business specifically the amalgamation of the bands (process) and how that related to the current draft Protocol Agreement presented for discussion.
• Chief Stewart’s response to the above explanation was that of informing JCFN he was not going to sign the Protocol Agreement. He added that he was “forced to meet” with JCFN. Please note that none of the CHCN Council members were in attendance at this point in the meeting.
• Chief Dorion asserted that JCFN was willingly present at the meeting with good intentions to cooperate with CHCN regarding unfinished Treaty 5 business. JCFN was there not to argue but to come to an agreement on finding solutions.
• Chief Stewart informed JCFN that he would continue to “oppose” our membership in the FSIN.
• After Chief Stewart indicated that CHCN was not prepared to cooperate or work with JCFN, Chief Dorion decided that further discussion would be non productive and the meeting was adjourned.
It is important to note that all the background preparations for this meeting were done by JCFN Chief and Council with the intent of making the meeting a success. CHCN Chief Stewart and Council were given numerous opportunities for input into the agenda and the meeting process. Yet, there was no response and little representation from CHCN aside from Chief Stewart and a CHCN Councillor who came in 30 minutes after the meeting had started.
Recommendations (JCFN requesting follow- up:
• Uphold the FSIN Convention and Convention Act and the resolution passed by FSIN Executive and Indian Government Commission regarding JCFN membership. JCFN requests that this be reinstated on the agenda for the next Chiefs Assembly (Spring).
• Investigate why the FSIN was not in attendance to facilitate this meeting between the two bands as indicated in the resolution and directive discussions at the January 29th FSIN & Indian Government Commission meeting.
• Clarify for CHCN Chief and Council and membership, the proper implementation of the FSIN Convention Act - procedures, vetting process and criteria for membership in the FSIN. Please note, JCFN Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree people are part of the Cree Nation and party to Treaty satisfying the criteria for membership.
On behalf of the JCFN Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree people, I thank you in advance for dealing with these important issues.
Chief John Dorion
cc : FSIN Senators; Member Chiefs