BRITISH COLUMBIA

Protesters barricade Burns Lake band office, accuse chief of failing to consult

03/28/2013 10:52 EDT | Updated 05/28/2013 05:12 EDT
BURNS LAKE, B.C. - Barricades are up at the office of a northern B.C. First Nation as a simmering disagreement reaches the boiling point in Burns Lake.

Members of a group calling itself the Burns Lake Elders Collective Committee have nailed boards across the doors of the band office, about 200 kilometres west of Prince George.

The committee accuses Chief Coun. Albert Gerow and Coun. Dan George of financial mismanagement and failing to consult with members before inking deals with large companies.

The group has opposed Gerow and other councillors for more than a year and spokesman Ryan Tibbetts says frustrated band members are demanding new elections.

Gerow says he is saddened because the protest is backed by only a small minority within the band, but it disrupts services to the 80 per cent of members who support his leadership.

Both sides are now talking to lawyers as they consider their next steps. (CFTK)