Elders and Council on the Carry the Kettle First Nation met for an Elders meeting on Saturday to address the issues surrounding the sit-in protest held last week at the Band Administration Office.
The Elders are hoping to gain insight into the Land Management Bylaw – which according to Council would govern agricultural lands on reserve — something the Elders say was never ratified by Band Membership.
Lena Runns – who is the oldest Elder on the Carry the Kettle First Nation – says she is concerned about the future of the reserve if land is rented out.
“If they do that, what’s going to happen to our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren? Where are they going to build?” Runns said. “Is there going to be any land for them to build when they get on their own?”
Elder Starla Eashappie says they just want to know what’s going on.
“Since this leadership came in, there hasn’t been any accountability and all we want is to know what they’re doing with the money,” Eashappie said. “There seems to be a lot of stuff going on that we don’t know about. They always say that the members are in agreement with them, but we don’t know what’s going on. That’s why we stand up, because we don’t know what’s going on and we want answers.”
Elder Connie Gray says their land is not for sale, and land designation is not an option they are willing to look at.
“We want our reserve to remain as such, and we want to be able to decide as a community what is going to go on here,” Gray said. “Right now, the Chief and Council seem to think they have the power over membership when in fact the Elders are at the top of the totem pole here.”
620 CKRM reporters were asked to leave the First Nation by File Hills Tribal Police before receiving comment from Council.