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Work starts on Site C dam as First Nations head to court BC Hydros Site C dam re- ceived construction permits lastweekdespiteFirstNations opposition to a third dam on the Peace River. See page 2. Two in the running for Dene National chief position IncumbentDeneNationalChief Bill Erasmsus and challenger Harold Cook from the Sahtu arerunningintheDeneNation elections next week in Deline. See page 7. BASKETBALL CHAMPS Team NWT took the top spot at a tournament in Calgary. See page 14. Anthrax outbreak suspected in Wood Buffalo park The discovery of 34 bison car- casses scattered throughout Wood Buffalo National Park has Parks Canada on alert for a suspected anthrax outbreak. See page 6. Missing Fort Smith man found deceased Human remains discovered near Highway 5 toward Fort Smith last week were identi- ed as missing person Brian Boucher. See page 3. V IS IT W W W .N O R J.C A A national award winning independent newspaper serving northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories since 1977 1.00 July 14 2015 Vol. 39 No. 11 No charges laid in Salt River First Nation fraud investigation By DALI CARMICHAEL Police have announced that no charges will be laid after a year- long investigation into nancial ir- regularities at the Salt River First Nation wrapped up early last week. The conclusion released on July 7 comes one year after the G Divi- sion RCMP Federal Investigations Unit started reviewing thousands of pages of documents and interview- ing over 20 individuals for the case. The investigation began after a complaint of nancial irregulari- ties within the First Nation was brought forward to the Fort Smith RCMP by Chief Frieda Martselos on June 4 2014. Former chiefs and councillors for the Salt River First Nation were accused of alleged - nancial mismanagement and mis- appropriation by the band ofce. Martselos claimed when she re- signed as chief in September 2011 that the First Nation had saved almost 7 million. After she was re-elected a year and a half later she said the band had spent 8 million in surplus money during her time away leaving 2.2-million decit and 1.8 million in unpaid bills. allegedlyoverpaidcouncillorstopay theirduesandiscontemplatingmov- ing the case forward in civil court. When contacted former Salt River Chief David Poitras said he said. I know when I was inter- viewed I was more than happy to provide all my notes all my books and all the information they needed to help with their investigation. My attitude was and still is that when you dont do anything wrong what is there to fear Salt River elections were in full swing when the councillors all of whom were running for re-election received their bills Jewell noted. It is still a tactic the chief is using to keep certain members away from the opportunity to run for any position in the nation she said. Members of the First Nation have not been privy to the amount of funds Salt River has spent on the initial forensic audit and the law- yers fees throughout the investiga- tion said Jewell who identied the bands refusal to disclose the infor- mation as another lost opportunity for transparency. In addition she said the band had overpaid four former councillors 279000 in honoraria amount- ing to about 60000 each. Martselosdidnotreturninterview requests from the Journal but did speaktotheCBCregardingthecase indicating she was disappointed by the outcome and views it as a lost opportunity for transparency. In the interview with CBC Martselos said she still expects the only had one comment about the results of the investigation I knew thats what the outcome would be. Similarly Jeannie Marie Jew- ell - one of the former councillors invoiced with a bill of more than 60000-saidshewasnotsurprised by the RCMPs ndings. I believe everyone felt the inves- tigation would come out the way it did as no one frauded the nation from my understanding Jewell I believe everyone felt the investigation would come out the way it did as no one frauded the nation from my understanding. Jeannie Marie Jewell Hannah Nickerson Emily Tuckey Amelie Aubrey-Smith and Anas Aubrey-Smith practice their balance skills on one of the stand up paddle boards provided by the Fort Smith Paddling Club during the Wood Buffalo National Park annual Pine Lake picnic on the weekend. More photos on page 9. PhotoPaulBannister