Investigation of Allegations at the Ebb and Flow First Nation

Date: 2012

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Name: Ebb and Flow First Nation Band
Population: 1,633 on reserve; 2,937 total registered
Location: Manitoba
Current Chief: Nelson Houle
Time period covered by investigation: April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2010

Background

Allegations and Findings – Social Assistance

Allegation that band members were inappropriately denied social assistance from the band.

Allegations and Findings – Payments to Education Department Employees

Allegation that 15 employees in the Education Department were paid higher than appropriate salaries due to their relationship with the Education Director.

Allegations and Findings – Vote Buying

Allegation that payments were made in the form of cash and goods (appliances) to individuals in exchange for their votes

Allegations and Findings – Excessive Payments to Chief and Council

Allegation that the Chief and Council received excessive payments during the review period. These alleged payments included a $5,000 Christmas bonus and a payment of $2,000 to the Chief and Council and the Administration Finance Officer.

Allegations and Findings – Allegations Made Against the Finance Officer

Allegation that the Finance Officer's allotted a house from the Housing Department to someone not entitled to receive one. It was also alleged that the Finance Officer was receiving payments under various iterations of a last name.

Allegations and Findings – Inappropriate Payment of Salaries to Staff who Ran in the Election

It was alleged that funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) was used to pay the salaries of staff who ran in the 2010 election, contrary to the election policy of the First nation. It was also alleged that additional inappropriate payments had been made for a total of $72,000.

Recommendations

While many of the allegations proved to be unsubstantiated, there are opportunities for the Chief and Council to increase the level of perceived fairness, transparency and communication to its band members.

 
 
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