03/08/2013 04:03 EST | Updated 05/08/2013 05:12 EDT

8 Poundmaker First Nation Members Sentenced For Theft

Marilyn Angel Wynn/CP

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. - A judge has sentenced the chief and seven members of a Saskatchewan First Nation for stealing treaty land entitlement money.

Chief Duane Antoine and his brother, former chief Teddy Antoine, of the Poundmaker First Nation were handed 20-month suspended sentences, and were ordered to pay back $2,500 they stole.

Colin Favel and Brian Tootoosis were sentenced to 12 months to be served in the community, the first six months on house arrest. They each stole $12,500 from the band.

Irene Tootoosis, who also stole $12,500, was given a conditional discharge with 12 months probation, while three others were given suspended sentences.

Judge Daniel O'Hanlon noted Friday that Tootoosis was the only one who took responsibility for her crime.

Wendell Antoine says he's not happy with the judge's decision.

"They are still leaders, the judge should have put them down. Why should a chief or councillors still be in power when they did wrong to the community?"

O'Hanlon said the court received many victim impact statements and many were highly political.

"This is not the venue for reviewing or usurping the political process," O'Hanlon said before sentencing.

He ordered that the repaid money go to the Poundmaker school to purchase new equipment, as requested by the band council.

O'Hanlon had delayed sentencing because he said he had no confidence that if he ordered the eight to pay back the money to the Poundmaker First Nation, it would go to the band.


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