The recently announced general election in the Montreal Lake Cree Nation (MLCN) will not be "funded, acknowledged or recognized in principle by the current MLCN Chief and Council, and Administration," a press release from the band said Thursday.
This comes as former Chief Edward Henderson unilaterally called for a general election on Jan. 31.
Under the MLCN Election Act, unless or until the Appeals Tribunal or a court of law overturns the results of the Nov. 21 acclamation. Frank Roberts remains the chief of the First Nation, according to the release.
No general band election is currently scheduled to be held until March 2020.
“There has been a lot of confusion surrounding this general election,” Chief Roberts was quoted as saying in the release. “We are committed to communicating with our members and being transparent with the people of Montreal Lake Cree Nation. The process outlined by the MLCN Election Act was put in place specifically to deal fairly and equitably with situations where election results are in dispute. We have been following this process and plan to see through to its conclusion, which is expected in mid-January.”
Under the laws and the customs of the MLCN, any Band Council Resolutions (BCR) passed by the First Nation under the leadership of Chief Frank Roberts are valid and legitimate.
According to the release, chief and council passed a BCR on Jan. 2 indicating this general election had no grounds to move forward.
Currently, there is an appeal disputing the results from the Nov. 21, 2017 MLCN byelection, which was overseen by the MLCN Appeals Tribunal who recognized Chief Frank Roberts as the legitimate Chief of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation.
The Appeals Tribunal decision is final and binding and expected to be announced in early January.
In the release, Chief Roberts urged calm among residents, saying chief and council are "able to continue operating business as usual for our First Nation until this is sorted out."
MLCN is located approximately 100 km north of Prince Albert. Montreal Lake is a member of the Prince Albert Grand Council and has approximately 4027 members.
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