Montreal Lake Cree Nation Chief apologizes for Elder's eviction letter

By Bryan Eneas
January 31, 2018 - 12:00pm

A letter which was sent to a Montreal Lake Cree Nation Elder last week threatening her eviction was sent in error.

Nellie Bird received a letter on Jan. 15 stating she would be evicted from her house should she continue to support an election which was called by former chief Edward Henderson.

A statement sent to paNOW said Chief Frank Roberts had personally apologized to Bird on Jan. 24. Members of Bird’s family confirmed Roberts visited the Elder and offered an apology in person.

Chief Roberts said Bird is a respected member of the Cree Nation, and the letter which she received was a miscommunication which was sent in error. Bird faces no eviction and her home will not be reassigned to another band member.

“I would like to formally apologize to Elder Bird for this unfortunate miscommunication,” Roberts said in a prepared statement. “The letter had not been authorized by me, our Band Manager, or any members of Council.”

The letter stated Montreal Lake’s chief and council considered the call for a general election to be unlawful; Bird’s residence had been listed on election information sheets as a place where nomination meetings and polls would be held. A rental agreement which Bird had signed in 2007 did not allow “unlawful activities” or “illegal trade” to take place in a residence on the Cree Nation.

Roberts’ statement added the letter should not have been sent out in the first place; neither he nor his councillors would have approved sending such a letter to an Elder.

Roberts said he is unsure how the letter was sent to Bird. He said the error will lead to the Cree Nation reassess their internal procedures to ensure such an error would not happen in the future.


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