The Assembly of First Nation’s annual meeting boiled over with accusations of corruption, a climate of toxicity and bullying in a crisis the national chief says is a great opportunity for the organization to begin to heal. The chiefs approved a resolution yesterday saying a “serious problem” within the A-F-N is causing reputational harm to the organization that reflects the voice of chiefs-in-assembly. The resolution calls for a forensic review of its finances dating back at least a decade; a “third-party investigation into the climate of toxicity, bullying and lateral violence at the A-F-N”; and for the national chief and the executive committee to come together to heal their relationship. National Chief Roseanne Archibald says the turmoil over the last three days at the gathering is a necessary part of healing.
Wildfire risk is forecast to increase in B-C as temperatures go up in July. The B-C Wildfire Service says most of the blazes now are small and concentrated in the northern half of the province where there hasn’t been much rain. The service says cool and wet conditions through June in the southern half of the province have tempered overall fire activity. But the outlook adds rain is forecast to decrease, leading to drier than normal conditions through mid-August, which could result in new wildfires and larger growth of existing fires.
Firefighters in Yukon are battling a dozen new blazes in the territory. Twenty-seven firefighters worked with heavy equipment on the Crystal Lake fire yesterday that closed part of the Klondike Highway near Stewart Crossing, while a burnt power pole was successfully replaced. Environment Canada has issued air quality and special weather statements due to wildfire smoke that has spread throughout central and northern Yukon. The smoke is creating localized reductions in air quality and also potentially limiting the rise of daytime temperatures after a heat wave early this week, although temperatures remain above normal.
The former clerk of the B-C legislature is scheduled to be sentenced today in a Vancouver court for breach of trust over the improper purchase of clothing using public funds. Craig James was found guilty in May, while B-C Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes also ruled he was not guilty on three other counts, including one related to a 258-thousand-dollar retirement benefit. Crown prosecutor Brock Martland has argued James should be jailed for one year or serve a term of house arrest and also pay one-thousand-886-dollars and 72-cents restitution. Defense lawyer Gavin Cameron asked that the court give James 12 months probation and a conditional sentence, meaning he wouldn’t serve jail time if he abided by the circumstances set out by the court.
An Indigenous artist from B-C says his work is being reproduced without permission in other parts of the world. Richard Hunt, who is a carver, says the fakes undercut genuine Indigenous artists and make it harder for young First Nations carvers to make a living. Senator Patricia Bovey warns such fake Indigenous art and knock-offs from abroad are being produced without the permission of First Nations artists. The first art historian to sit in the Senate says she wants the government to help Indigenous artists enforce copyright law to stop fake copies of their work from being made.