THUNDER BAY – In a Telephone Interview, Hornepayne FN Chief Ron B. Kocis shares an update on the ongoing impasse between Hornepayne First Nation and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Executive.
Hornpayne FN Elders in a media statement issued on Monday say, “On Sunday morning while the Elders and community members were sleeping in the NAN head office a NAN staff member placed an audio speaker in the hallway and started to play loud music to interrupt the Elders sleep.
The same NAN staff member told a community member, “I can tell you right now, I know for sure the NAN Executive is not coming here” … “because there are too many people here and they do not feel safe.”
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) issued a news release on Thursday, April 9, 2015 to misdirect the public that our Chief Ron B Kocsis orchestrated an occupation at the NAN head office. Our Chief was following the Elders Councils request to meet the NAN Executive in person related to the Elders Councils letter dated February 25, 2015 issued to NAN. We are proud of our Chief for helping to make our VOICE STRONG and our SPIRIT STRONG.
The Elders and the community members were planning a respectful meeting only with the NAN Executive Council and the aggressive actions of the NAN representative prompted the vigil at the NAN head office. It was the Elders Council that refused to relocate to the Airlane Hotel for a meeting due to the Elders did not trust the intentions of NAN after the aggressive actions of the NAN representative.
The Elders are claiming, “NAN is trying to smear our Chiefs name to hide the fact the Elders requested answers to their questions”.
NAN refused the Elders Council invitation to attend the community members meeting held on February 22, 2015 in Hornepayne ON.
In that same media statement, Hornepayne Elders say, “NAN made false allegations that we had intimidated the staff of NAN and the Elders have asked Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler to retract the false allegations made in their April 9, 2015 News Release”.
The NAN Executive has contacted the past Chief of Hornepayne First Nation on April 10, 2015 and the written communication received from her confirms she is not the Chief of the Hornepayne First Nation community members and the NAN Executive continues ignore.
Hornepayne FN says, “Grand Chief Harvey Yesno continues to refuse to meet with the Elders Council of Hornepayne First Nation at the NAN head office”.
“All the Elders want is respect for their community election process held on July 10, 2014”.
Last week, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation issued the following statement in response to this ongoing issue:
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Harvey Yesno released the following statement in response to the Hornepayne First Nation election dispute where Mr. Kocsis and a following of people refused to leave the NAN corporate office in Fort William First Nation April 8, 2015 and April 9, 2015. “At this time NAN does not recognize a Chief in Hornepayne until the unresolved leadership dispute between groups represented by Ms. Medeiros and Mr. Kocsis have been resolved.
NAN must remain neutral and cannot favour one group over the other. This will be the NAN position until there is a mutual written settlement or a final court order.”
Both parties were informed by letter February 3rd, 2015 that each First Nation has the responsibility to resolve all internal governance matters via independent mediation at the First Nation’s cost.
NAN does not agree with Mr. Kocsis’ disruptive tactics and was disappointed when Mr. Kocsis refused to attend a meeting organized by the NAN Executive Council for 4pm on April 8 to discuss the issue. NAN staff have been intimidated and work processes have been effected by the occupation.