With band council elections for the Attawapiskat First Nation set for Tuesday, some off-reserve members are still hoping the chief and council will postpone the vote to deal with widespread concerns the band’s electoral process is unfair.
The current band council and Chief Theresa Spence, who gained national attention for fasting on Victoria Island during the height of the Idle No More protests, are requiring ballots to be cast in person on the reserve Tuesday, making it difficult for band members who live outside the remote northern Cree community to have a say in Attawapiskat’s leadership.
Of the First Nation’s 3,351 members, just 1,862 live on the reserve, according to July 2013 numbers from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
They, of all people, should understand poverty and make it possible for off-reserve members to have a voice
“I can’t afford to go all the way there,” said Jocelyn Iahtail…
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