Letter: Former Sheguiandah chief calls on current chief to resign

Cites lack of in-person meetings and opportunity to question audit findings

To the Expositor:

Re: An open letter to Sheguiandah Chief Andrew Aguonie

Out of frustration, I am writing this letter on behalf of the majority of Sheguiandah First Nation band members. I am forced to write this letter due to the fact that the last in-person community council meeting was held in the fall of 2020. There has been no public forum for band members to their voice concerns or question the actions of elected officials. Your refusal to hold in­ person public meetings has only compounded the issue. Community concerns and requests have fallen on deaf ears. Even with the province re-opening, you continue to keep the band office and health centre closed to band members.

Your lack of transparency and accountability is frustrating to say the least. It has been four years since the community was presented with a public financial audit where members could question expenditures. Further, there have been no written updates or copies of meeting minutes given to the membership. Everyone is kept in the dark and remains under a continued veil of secrecy. Even simple requests by members are being ignored by your office. You seem to have forgotten that you are a public servant and are supposed to be looking out for the best interests of your band members. How is operating in secrecy with no accountability and transparency in the best interests of Sheguiandah band members? With that being stated, I am calling on you to resign as chief. You have lost the confidence and trust of the majority of band members.

I remain,

Orville Aguonie

Sheguiandah First Nation band member

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Sheguiandah band council has held virtual meetings since the fall of 2020 as well as a number of online workshops. The band does conduct yearly audits as mandated by Indian Affairs.