BY HEIDI ULRICHSEN
Two dozen members of the Dokis First Nation near Noelville protested their concerns about corruption in their community at the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) office on Regent St. Thursday.
INAC should launch an investigation into the practices of the chief and council of the Dokis First Nation, says community member Veronica Dokis.
The woman presented a local INAC official with a petition asking the government to look into their concerns. She says the majority of adult members of the First Nation signed the petition, which is located near Noelville off of Highway 69.
"I want INAC to do a financial investigation of our band office. I feel that money is being spent foolishly. We have a police station that we really don't need - not the size that it's been built, anyway," she says.
"That money could have been used to build two or three homes to accommodate two or three members who are waiting for housing."
Dokis First Nation band manager Christine Dokis says the community members have never contacted the band leadership about their concerns, but they are welcome to do so.
"They have not approached us. We have a very open-door policy here in the community," she says. "If they have any questions, they are very welcome to come in and ask them."
The manager says the First Nation submits to independent audits every year, and the audit is sent out to all of their funding agencies like Health Canada, the Ministry of Community and Social Services and INAC.
"We also have a community meeting once a year to share all the information from that audit, which is every financial transaction that takes place within the band, with the community," she says.
"We also have a website, and everything within the band, including minutes from band meetings, is posted there. So, I think we're pretty transparent."