Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Chief endures upheaval

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Wrigley (July 15/05) - David Moses has re-emerged as chief after being ousted in late June.

At a Pehdzeh Ki First Nations' public meeting held on July 7, band members voted to re-install Moses as chief. Weeks earlier, band councillors passed a resolution to remove him with support from more than a dozen band members.

The band councillors - Albert Moses, Leo Moses, Lawrence Nayally, Raymond Pellissey and Darcy Moses - did not survive the fracas.

Band members at the July 7 meeting decided to replace the councillors with designated family representatives. The new council comprises Mary Alice Christopher, Michael Neyelle, Elsie Hardisty, Justin Clillie, George Moses and Charlie Tale.

Now returned to office, Moses blamed the political turmoil on a "family feud." He said he had to let go of a few family members who were on the band's payroll, which angered some of his relatives on council.

Former councillors Albert Moses and Lawrence Nayally said David Moses was exhibiting rude behaviour and storming out of meetings. David Moses denied that he has a "bad attitude," but did admit to leaving meetings prematurely.

"They always gang up on me. It's not right," he said of the previous councillors. "If they're reasonable, I'll be reasonable."

Nayally said there was more to the situation, but he didn't want to discuss the details.

"If we're going to practise self-governance, we have to find a way to work together," said Nayally.

David Moses described the June 22 meeting at which he was ousted as a "witch hunt." He was in Yellowknife for a Mackenzie Valley pipeline access agreement at the time.

Tim Lennie, a band member, said David Moses should have been given a chance to defend himself at the meeting.

"It's unfair... if this is the way we're going to govern ourselves, we'll never be successful," said Lennie, who added that he believed the community could regroup. "Everything can be corrected."

Band member Lloyd Moses also sided with David Moses. "I thought we were getting ahead," he said. "Stuff like this just stalls us."