02/14/2014 12:36 EST | Updated 04/15/2014 05:59 EDT

Chiefs vote down using gaming money for Federation of Saskatchewan First Nations

SASKATOON - The future of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations is still uncertain after the conclusion of the group's winter assembly.

A majority of chiefs voted down a proposal to use money from gaming revenue to make up for the group's funding shortfall.

The federal government has cut nearly $2 million dollars in funding over the last two years to FSIN and the group has issued layoff notices to 66 staff.

The executive of the FSIN — which includes Chief Perry Bellegarde and four vice-chiefs — has been asked to present the tribal chiefs with a core operational plan. on Feb. 24.

Thunderchild First Nation Chief Delbert Wapass says it will now be up to tribal chiefs to decide at a Feb. 24 meeting how to best move forward.

The recommendations from the tribal chiefs meeting will then be taken to a general assembly meeting on March 20.

"We're just trying to keep the doors open and make sure the organization evolves and does not dissolve," FSIN Chief Perry Bellegarde told chiefs Thursday.