After a vote on Tuesday to oust Chief David Ledoux, a group of 14 Gambler First Nation members refused to leave this band office until Ledoux issued his resignation and handed in his keys. (SUBMITTED)
A small group of Gambler First Nation people have hunkered down in the band office and are refusing to leave until the chief of the reserve resigns.
Speaking from inside the band office, which is located on the reserve near Binscarth, Donna McGillivary said there was a meeting on Tuesday in which a quorum of on-reserve band members voted to oust Chief David Ledoux.
Following the meeting, the group, which consists of 14 people, refused to leave the band office until Ledoux issued his resignation and handed in his keys, something that hasn’t happened yet, according to McGillivary.
"We want to be heard and bring it into the open about how we are being treated here."
There is a culture of nepotism on the reserve, McGillivary said, and the chief is using intimidation tactics to silence people who oppose him.
One councillor, Kelly Tanner, had her signing privileges taken away, according to McGillivary.
Tanner was one of the members of the group that commandeered the office.
Gambler First Nation is a small reserve.
According to Aboriginal Affairs and North Development, there are 258 registered members, but the majority live off the First Nation.
The government site shows 72 people who live on the reserve, while McGillivary said she believes there are fewer than 40 who can vote.
She’s concerned someone is using off-reserve members to carry votes on the day-to-day business of the band.
The group is also not going to leave until its demands are met.
"We’re concerned about being arrested when they come because we’re not going to give up easy," McGillivary said.
A call was made to Ledoux, but it wasn’t returned at press time.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 14, 2014