Forensic audit is underway in Saddle Lake Cree Nation.

(ANNews) – Indigenous Service Canada (ISC) has confirmed that a forensic audit is underway in Saddle Lake Cree Nation, a First Nation located in Central Alberta.

“The Assessment and Investigation Services Branch (AISB) of ISC received allegations regarding financial irregularities at Saddle Lake Cree Nation,” said Rola Tfaili, spokesperson for ISC. “To maintain confidentiality, the department does not provide information which may lead to identifying the complainant(s).”

Accounting firm, Ernst & Young, collected the required information from the Nation on October 24. Ernst & Young has been retained by the AISB to perform the financial review.

“This forensic audit is being conducted in accordance with specific provisions of the funding agreements between and Saddle Lake Cree Nation that enable ISC to conduct such audits,” explained Tfaili, adding, “The department takes allegations and complaints regarding the misuse of public funds very seriously.”

“To that end, the department has put a process in place to ensure these allegations and complaints are examined properly and that appropriate action is taken, and as part of the New Fiscal Relationship, the department along with First Nation partners is continuing to work towards putting in place the building blocks for a mutual accountability relationship between First Nations and Canada that affirms the primary accountability of First Nations to their members.”

“Promoting greater accountability, transparency and oversight in government operations is one of the Government of Canada’s top priorities,” said Tfaili.

Earlier this year, Ballad Group was hired to conduct an organizational review of administration, according to a memo signed by Chief Eric Shirt, and dated for April 4, 2020.

“Strong action is needed to hold administration more accountable and ensure the protection of our treaty rights,” said Shirt, in the memo.

Meanwhile, the council members of Saddle Lake passed a motion that was supported by 150 people which sought to remove Shirt as the Chief. As such, they declared Darcy Mcgilvery as “acting-chief.’ However, Shirt is still legally recognized by the Federal Government as Chief, with ISC receiving no information saying otherwise.

According to William Olscamp, media relations, “Indigenous Services Canada has not received notification from Saddle Lake Cree Nation of any changes in leadership. As such, the department recognizes the Chief of Saddle Lake Cree Nation as Chief Eric Shirt.”

Attempts to speak to Council Members were unsuccessful and the Nation likely will not know what has truly been happening, including the fog of legal battles happening within the nation – most notably Eric Shirt’s legal battle with Saddle Lake regarding his removal from the running for Chief and Council in 2016 – until everything is said and done.
Read more on Toronto Star
News Topics :
A+ Indigenous Services Canada ISC says it’s aware of 35 positive tests of COVID 19 in First Nations communities as of April 6. Broken down, there are four on reserve...
CALGARY Indigenous communities are being given a chance to pursue an ownership interest in the Keystone XL pipeline project, builder TC Energy Corp. announced on Tuesday. The Calgary based company...
EDMONTON Alberta s Judicial Council will investigate complaints made about a judge over the jailing of an indigenous sex assault victim. The head of the council has received four...
Orange Shirt Day in Saskatchewan aims to raise awareness of the impact the residential school system had on Indigenous people and the community. The movement was inspired by Phyllis Webstad....
EDMONTON—An employee of the Royal Alberta Museum is accusing it of deeply entrenched institutional racism, cultural insensitivity toward sacred Indigenous artifacts and protocols, and of dismissing her education and expertise...