Candidate for chief castigates Expositor over ‘scandal’ coverage

Not as newsworthy as a dead goose in a farmer’s field

To the Expositor:

Over the past two years I have written many letters to this newspaper in regards to corruption in my community of Sheguiandah First Nation (SFN). While I am thankful that my letters have been printed, I feel this newspaper has not done enough in regards to doing any type of real story on the issue. Sadly, corruption has been accepted as status quo by my community, the non-Native community and by this newspaper. Where are the hard hitting questions to the powers that be, Aboriginal Affairs and others? How about our financial audit and statement of remuneration for council and unelected officials that remains outstanding? How convenient that the audit will not be available until after the election on my First Nation.

Why have there been no public council meetings in the past six months and only a couple in the last year? What about the $500,000 from the wind farm that remains unaccounted for? If half a million dollars was missing from the coffers of NEMI or Gore Bay, it would be front page news!

During the past two years, my community has returned to have-not status. The future was so bleak that 22 people have left the community to live elsewhere. These community members left because of the lack of programs, employment and overall dysfunction of the band office. All have said that they are happy to be away from SFN. More are planning on leaving, depending on the outcome of the next election. The council has a fiduciary duty to the members of SFN to manage the affairs and monies in a transparent and accountable manner. That has not been done. On September 21, 2015, a letter was delivered to all the mail boxes in the community from two of the three band councillors. The letter validates everything I have been saying for the past couple years that there is major dysfunction, corruption and dictatorship taking place at the band office under Georgina Thompson.

My community is broken and damaged but no one cares. It’s hard to believe that there is poverty and rampant corruption 10 km away from The Expositor office. I guess that’s not newsworthy enough as a dead goose in a farmer’s field. Our struggle continues…

Yours truly,

Orville Aguonie

Sheguiandah First Nation