Chief Lonechild has unlawfully assumed authority and mandate to determine the status of the John Cochrane membership and participation in the FSIN.
In an official response from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) May 31, 2010, Chief Lonechild stated “Our office is bound by the FSIN Convention which mandates us to promote the interests of FSIN signatories, we will not and cannot recognize the John Cochrane First Nation at this time”, Lonechild went onto state “it is our mandate to promote the interests of bands who are able to qualify as bands in Saskatchewan”.
The John Cochrane Band is already recognized as a member of the Federation of Nations under the former name of the “New Cumberland Band”, represented then by Chief Harvey Young and Council. The John Cochrane band membership in the FSIN was vetted through the FSIN process at the same time the Young Chipewyan Band, Pheasant Rump Band, Ocean Man Band and other became members of the FSIN.
The John Cochrane Band (Kaministikominahiko-skak people) of the Cree Nation made treaty with the Crown. Chief John Cochrane signed the adhesion to Treaty number 5 on behalf of the “Cumberland Indian Band” that consisted of: John Cochrane Band (Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree people); Pine Bluff Band (now known as the Cumberland House Band) with membership in the FSIN; Peter Chapman Band with membership in the FSIN; Birch River Band and Budd’s Point Band.
The FSIN Convention sets out the protocol for the political and lawful recognition of inherent rights and the powers to determine who participates and/or withdraws as a member of the FSIN. Under the Convention, membership in the FSIN is determined and mandated by each band’s membership through band resolution and motions.
Chief Lonechild has assumed unlawful authority for the bands that are members of the Current Federation of Nations of the FSIN when he refused to recognize the lawful vetting process and the Joint Executive Council/Indian Government Commission resolution dated September 24, 2009, approving the request from the membership of the John Cochrane First Nation to join the FSIN.
Chief Lonechild continues to interfere with the lawful and jurisdictional rights of the John Cochrane membership to proceed to the Chiefs-in-Assembly for ratification and thereafter signing of the FSIN Convention.
In refusing to recognize the John Cochrane Band membership resolution and motion for membership in the FSIN, the office of the Chief and executive have failed in their responsibilities to implement the protocols for the signing of the Convention Act by John Cochrane First Nation.
The Office of the Chief and the executive have assumed the authority to decide who can be members of the FSIN; a decision that is made only by the membership of John Cochrane First Nation and, in doing so have breached the lawful and political processes of the Convention under First Nations jurisdiction and law.