ALBERTA

Chief Terry McArthur To Be Sentenced For Sex Assault, Some Residents Want Him Removed

05/22/2013 05:36 EDT | Updated 07/22/2013 05:12 EDT
Marilyn Angel Wynn/CP
KISBEY, Sask. - There is debate on a small reserve in southeastern Saskatchewan about whether its chief should be removed from his job.

Terry McArthur of the Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation has stayed on as leader since he pleaded guilty earlier this month to sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

The offence relates to inappropriate touching of the teen in April 2012. McArthur is to be sentenced in Carlyle provincial court Aug. 7.

Reserve resident Julie Kakakaway said the community of about 160 people is split between those downplaying the crime and others demanding the chief step down.

She sides with those who want him gone.

"It is kind of like he is laughing at the community because he hasn't stepped down and he is still coming into the band office," said Kakakaway, who works in the band's health clinic.

Band councillor Clarissa McArthur is also calling for the chief's resignation. So is Michele Audette, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada.

"He should step down — get some help for the healing process and deal with this," said Audette.

"For me, it's unacceptable, morally and ethically. What kind of message are we sending to our community?"

Calls to the band office for comment were not returned.

A spokeswoman with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada said it's up to each First Nation to determine its rules for governing elected officials. Residents can also take any disputes to court.

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