ATTAWAPISKAT – Leader’s Ledger – This morning (Sunday) I received a call at my home in Attawapiskat from Minister Duncan’s aide informing me that the Minister will be increasing the number of trailers coming to Attawapiskat. I was also informed the Department would be bringing in trade expertise to assist and speed up the renovations to the Healing Lodge. I had no objection and agreed to the increased support.
Chief Theresa Spence – Not as Third Party
The aide also said the Minister was going to make an announcement today on the increased support for the emergency we have in the community. I informed the aide that Third Party Management is not to be part of the announcement. I requested that a copy of the release be emailed to me to verify our conversation.
I received a call from a reporter asking me to comment on the Minister’s announcement that I agreed to Third Party Management. At 11:01 a.m. I received the text copy of the announcement and upon reading the text, it stated that I had agreed to work with the Third Party Manager. This statement is completely false and untrue and the Minister has been misinformed!
• I appreciate and my members appreciate the assistance being provided for renovations, trailers and expertise
• I openly will participate with an independent forensic audit over the last 5 fiscal periods ending March 31, 2011
• I will not accept our First Nation to operate under Third Party Management, nor will I pay for them out of our Band Support allocation
I will explain why I do not want to operate under Thirty Party Management:
1. I do not want an interruption to this fiscal year’s cash flow April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012
2. Interruption of cash flow would seriously hinder the debt management plan that we currently have in place.
3. Interruption of cash flow would prevent us from issuing Social Assistance payments and hence our members would not be able to purchase goods for Christmas Holidays
4. Your office has not established a date to meet to discuss these very concerns as stated in your letter to me December 5, 2011
5. Email from the Third Party manager is requesting financial information and data on employees which suggests that he will manage our finances, payroll etc. off reserve and not on site.
6. Current capital project funding for Attawapiskat projects is being Managed and accounted for by BDO in Thunder Bay. The funding for the trailers, renovations could also be managed under this current arrangement.
Therefore, we do not need another person or a Third Party Manager to assist with financial management of capital funds.
Mr. Duncan, I cannot be any clearer than what is stated above. Let us proceed with your invitation to meet, so that we may discuss and arrive at a compromise. The emergency matter will take care of itself, everything is well underway. Your concern is financial management of funds over the last five fiscal periods. You have my full co-operation.
Frame it however you see fit, but not as Third Party Management.
In summary this continued insistence of Third Party Management is causing yet another crisis in our community.
Chief Theresa Spence
Attawapiskat First Nation