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Sandy Gate... Indian Affairs Caught Meddling In Band Politics

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      SEPTEMBER 1982      v12 n07 p03  
Only one week before band elections, Indian Affairs from Shellbrook Indian Agency informed Chief Frederick Sasakamoose by letter that they no longer recognized him as Chief of the Sandy Lake Band.

Earlier this spring Chief Sasakamoose was charged with assault. The incident arose when a bill collector called on Sasakamoose with a small claims court warrant. He went and found Sasakamoose in the fields and climbed up on the tractor to present the claim. An argument arose and Sasakamoose punched the bill collector, knocking him off the tractor. On August 26 Sasakamoose was found guilty of assault and fined $200.00.

On Monday, Sept.20 the Band Council met with Chief Fred Sasakamoose. By 100 per cent majority, the present council voted in favor of recognizing Fred as their Chief for the duration of his term. The Superintendent was invited to attend this meeting, but he failed to show his Indian agent face. However, Chief Sasakamoose felt he should step down as Chief to prevent any possibility of an election appeal.

Meanwhile, back at the home front, Jeffrey Sasakamoose is now acting Chief.

Shellbrook Agency Superintendent Maurice Lafond informed Chief Sasakamoose that he was no longer Chief citing a clause in the Indian Act which allows for the removal of a Chief if he or she is found guilty of an indictable offence by the Minister.

Lafond has grossly overstepped his authority.

The whole scenario reeks of the Indian Agent era. The facts of the matter are: