POLITICS

New chief for Saskatchewan First Nation facing spending questions

03/18/2013 01:49 EDT | Updated 05/18/2013 05:12 EDT
FORT QU'APPELLE, Sask. - The Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation northeast of Regina has sworn in a new chief and council after allegations of corruption forced an early election.

Senators from the band near Fort Qu'Appelle decided in January to impeach Chief Roger Redman and five councillors.

An audit showed they spent more than $1 million on honorariums, travel, meetings and advances while imposing a 10 per cent cut to all reserve services.

The leaders refused to recognize the senators' authority to impeach them, so the band pushed up an election that had been planned for November.

Roberta Sooyewaste (SOO'-oy-yay-WASH'-tay) was voted in on Saturday and her council has five new faces.

Redman is challenging the election as illegal.

Stella Isnana, who blew the whistle on the questionable spending, was the only councillor re-elected.

Earlier this month, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation gave the former chief its annual award for wasteful use of tax money. The federation said Redman took home more after-tax income last year than Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The band recently voted for a new accountability framework to protect officials and members and to ensure funds are spent properly.

(CKOM, The Canadian Press)