Carry-The-Kettle band members attend court appeal on councillor, seek justice

Carry-The-Kettle (CTK) Nakota Nation band members appeared in a Regina courthouse weeks after Orange Shirt Day, wearing their orange shirts but for a different cause.

On Oct. 14, 2022, band members filled the Court of Appeal Room at the Court of King’s Bench in an array of orange apparel to symbolize a stand for the children in their community.

“It just speaks to an unsafe environment for our children in our community (and) our children out here,” said band member Jackie Grey. “We think that the public should know that this is happening on our reserve and there’s no resolution happening.”

Read more: Carry-The-Kettle leaders facing political turmoil seek answers, direction

The Crown appealed a sexual assault case involving a minor from 2017 against a current councillor from the CTK Nakota Nation. The accused was acquitted of the charge back in December 2020. The trial went through two years of delays due to the exception of DNA evidence, according to the Crown.

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The Crown appealed for a new trial and argued there were errors in the proceedings. The court heard from the defence who is upholding the case. The justices reserved their decision and will let both parties know once they have reached a decision for the next course of action.

Band members are anticipating the next course of action. In the meantime, a petition is circulating in the community with over 300 signatures for the removal of the councillor accused.

“We have lots of signatures from our petition. We have unanimous votes in both of our duly convened band meetings that want him removed,” said Grey. ” He has committed this (alleged) misconduct that is embarrassing to our nation.”

But this isn’t the only time an elected official is in question. It’s opening up a larger conversation about what’s happening on CTK Nakota Nation. Chief Scott Eashappie was involved in a non-confidence vote after a video surfaced in last month that showed a physical altercation between the chief and a band member.

Read more: New educational centre opens on Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation

The non-confidence vote was unanimous, with band members voting for the removal of Chief Eashappie. No charges were laid against Chief Eashappie but the altercation has sowed division amongst the council members and band membership.

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But other council members continue to take a stand for their band membership during the Court appeal against a current councillor.

“We’re here as council in support of band membership due to the charges for this specific council,” said Joellen Haywahe, who says she was suspended illegally from council. “We weren’t sure where the process was, so we we’re interested to find out exactly that this is a true situation that we need to deal with the council level. To suspend membership.”

Due to a publication ban, the councillor and the minor cannot be named.

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