April 04, 2015

Million dollar chief re-elected

Brian LilleyArchive

He made headlines for his million dollar payday last year but the highest paid chief of a native reserve in Canada has been re-elected reports radio station CKNW in Vancouver.

Ron Giesbrecht received the huge paycheck as leader of the tiny Kwikwetlem band and consisted mostly of a bonus for brokering a land deal with the province.

In the election, Giesbrecht received 30 votes.

His competitor?

16 votes.

According to reporter Gord MacDonald, who spoke to residents, the reserve remains divided, split along family lines.

"Basically what it is, is his family, right? And it’s sad to say but our reserve is split in families, right? And it’s just he talked to his family and got them all on board," Ron Jackman told MacDonald.

The reserve is a tiny one, population wise, with reports of between 81 and 87 members, hardly enough to support such a large payday.

Giesbrecht's extravagant compensation came to light thanks to the federal government's First Nations Accountability Act which requires bands to release top level financial information to the government where it then becomes public. 

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commented 2015-04-18 15:33:26 -0400
I’d really like to see more about the bands who are making it work. They exist, and it would help change the narrative. They are not all like Giesbrecht ,chief of the Kwikwetlem band. If it is exposed that some bands can prosper fairly, hiding behind victimization would be harder to do.
Arn, it is a Haida basket hat. Woven from twined spruce root or cedar.
commented 2015-04-06 12:42:31 -0400
Arn, uncalled for disrespect. Insult the man, not the people. Not helpful.
commented 2015-04-06 08:35:28 -0400
Only in Canada would a million dollar chief be re-elected with a bump on his forehead and a lampshade on his head.
commented 2015-04-05 23:51:13 -0400
Correction: “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”, lyrics in “The Boxer”, featured on Simon & Garfunkel’s 1970 album, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.
commented 2015-04-05 23:38:15 -0400
Many wise and considered comments were posted for this article, and I appreciate the effort that was devoted by all responders. On this issue as on the majority of others, “people believe what they want to believe and disregard the rest” (Simon and Garfunkel). Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the narcissistic and self-righteous chief managed to get voted back in, but he will no doubt be careful to steal more adeptly this time around. To those who care, mark these words: if the lies and cheating of Million dollar Chief can be overlooked, so will Clinton’s fraud in the U.S. and her role in the death of their Ambassador three years ago, as she gets the should-know-better left-wingers to nominate her to run for presidency. And the women of the U.S., so desirous of having a female at the helm of what used to be the most powerful nation in the world, will ensure she gets elected. Yes, I’m off topic, but… not really. There is proof EVERYWHERE that people’s brains are more like sieves everyday, as on the Kwikwetlem reserve of Chief Giesbrecht.
commented 2015-04-05 11:47:45 -0400
I know Maurice, its lunacy. If that kind of foreign interference weren’t so dangerous it would be funny. Terry Nelson(ex- Manitoba chief), has really done a disservice to his people. Insanity!
‘We are going to go where we need to go to be able to have the voice of the First Nations heard.’
—Terry Nelson
commented 2015-04-05 04:33:57 -0400
Liza, of course they’re going to meet with Iranian Leaders to discuss human rights. Who else would you expect them to meet wish? The Iranian Leader are such lovely bunch of wise and caring folks, who would never violate human rights and, thus, are on the forefront of fighting for human rights everywhere. Now if they could just blow those pesky Jews to the bottom of the Mediterranean sea….
commented 2015-04-05 00:48:45 -0400
“Former First Nations chief to meet Iranian leaders over human rights”. Terrance Nelson.
Human rights and Iran in the same sentence?
commented 2015-04-04 23:30:23 -0400
I would be surprised if Harper isn’t trying to figure out a way to do it. He must know that if he doesn’t address this no one will. It is some touchy business. I agree Joan it will escalate.
commented 2015-04-04 23:01:16 -0400
I go further. The Indian Act enforces apartheid. We need to scrap it before the Native population gets big enough and, with support from growing IS operatives, tries to overthrow our system, with UN support opposing FN oppression.

Optics, every bit of it, but the Act does enforce apartheid. Scrapping the Act requires amending the Constitution Act, which no one wants to touch because it might open it up to other revisions we are not prepared to make, but I say let’s bite the bullet and get it done.
commented 2015-04-04 22:54:55 -0400
I agree with Liza. Scrap the Indian Act!
commented 2015-04-04 17:55:25 -0400
Peter, you should have intended the pun…. I liked the pun. Jason, I think you will agree with me on this, Sadly we are living in a world that no longer accepts the premise of objective truth. Relativism the rules the day. That’s certainly true (objectively) on Collage and University Campuses. It’s become so bad that many on campus, including professors, don’t even recognize logic and deductive reasoning when it bites them on the ass. Having the most sound, logical argument is no longer enough to win a debate, in fact it almost guarantees that you’ll lose the debate… at least if the audience is a bunch collage or university students. They should all be placed on a plane or an operating table where the Doctor or the Pilot embraces relativism. “I know the chart says colon cancer, but I think I’ll preform an appendectomy. Those are fun.” or, “This flying horizontal to the earth’s surface is boring. I think I’ll fly with the nose pointing towards the ground for while.” At least that wound thin a lot of them out. (Just kidding… That would be mean!)
commented 2015-04-04 16:29:00 -0400
The new accountability law which forces the bands to make their books, and wages public to their band members and the taxpayer, goes a long way. But when family members and boyfriends take up the whole membership, a band its going to be pretty dysfunctional. Giesbrecht, I think is also entrepreneurial, but takes the lions share for himself and buddies. It is a pretty sad quality of life the rest of his band members live.
If there were no more paternal Indian act, they would have the same rights the rest of Canadians have regarding fair business practices but would have the obligation of reporting to Canada Revenue for taxation.
commented 2015-04-04 14:43:08 -0400
You’re right Maurice, I stand corrected. Sadly, I was just waking up when I wrote that, and I apologize for my error. But often truth and perception are a mixed concept, which many forget about as well.
commented 2015-04-04 14:36:32 -0400
It can’t be said any clearer, voters seem reluctant to know the truth, they’d rather have a politician who can best smile while lying to them? The only counter to this is to keep asking the liars to explain their lies against reality and give them no quarter to avoid answering! Never pick a question based on issues they’ve gained popularity on and don’t let them present their claims first! Facebthem with a question that demands they explain why they support such a negative position to put them on the defensive!
commented 2015-04-04 14:30:30 -0400
Thanks for your thoughtful response Maurice. Its hard to believe the Indian Act continues to float, when it is vilified by for completely opposite reasons by the same people. Head scratching.
commented 2015-04-04 14:01:47 -0400
Maurice – “… If they’re fluid, they’re not truths, …”

Very true! (pun not intended)
commented 2015-04-04 13:43:48 -0400
Liz, I absolutely agree, the Indian Act is a completely outdated and burdensome piece of legislation that keeps the average aboriginal person from reaching their full potential. It’s chiefly designed to preserve the parent-child relationship between the federal government and the natives on reserves. However, any attempts to do away with the act or reform it are met with cries of racism, colonialism and every other spurious vindictive slur that can be hurled at the government. There are way too many levels of bureaucracy who’s best interests are served by the preservation of the status quo; chiefly among which are those chiefs who rake in the big bucks at the expense of their people. I think we can all recall Theresa Spence and all her supporters, like Trudeau and every other lefty who wanted their 15 minutes in the spotlight. I believe those obstacles are currently insurmountable and I don’t expect things will change any time soon, unfortunately. And, Jason, I disagree that any truths are fluid. If they’re fluid, they’re not truths, they’re perceptions. And, yes perceptions are subjective and true only for the one doing the perceiving. Genuine truth is always objective. Objective truth simply IS. When one makes claims of truth, there are only two options, they’re either right or wrong. But then perhaps I’m just arguing about semantics here, which is kind of silly, so I think I’ll just shut up.
commented 2015-04-04 13:07:59 -0400
The hate speech definition needs to be looked at again. It makes free speech an oxymoron.
Maurice, as a Metis can you shed some light on the Indian Act for me. Why do we still hold onto it. It is constantly bashed as repressive/oppressive, paternal etc. Wouldn’t it be better for our Aboriginals to be able to buy and sell land for example.?
What is anyone’s’ opinion of Clarence Louie ( who calls himself an Indian) of the Osoyoos band in BC? He seems really innovative, and runs a profitable band, the benefits of which are shared among all members. He makes a good wage but he is a capitalist, and grows the pie so to speak. Vineyards, winery,resort etc. Big employer even of some non members of the band. I think he’s a real inspiration, as opposed to Giesbrecht, Theresa Spence and others.
commented 2015-04-04 12:58:59 -0400
My question is: Why is a reserve allowed to exist with so few people? Perhaps there should be a population minimum to establish a reserve!
commented 2015-04-04 12:53:08 -0400
@ Maurice
I do agree with everything you said, but we do have to remember that some truths are fluid, and very much subjective.

Other than that, corruption is a wicked plague that has struck the hearts of many. Whatever your ethnic background, we are all still human, and therefore are all subject to the weaknesses around us. Staying true to one’s moral principles is our only vanguard. It’s a sad thing many forget this lesson.
commented 2015-04-04 12:28:50 -0400
I’m a Metis and, Peter, I don’t think it’s a racist remark. But, Wil, unfortunately you’re wrong. The Supreme Court, in their infinite and profound wisdom have declared that the truth is not a defense were “hate” speech is concerned.
commented 2015-04-04 11:48:03 -0400
@ Will Purcell
Well, in that case I am innocent of the crime of “racism”. And you are right, it should be. The “progressives” love to bellow “racism” whenever a Conservative says pretty much anything, which for those that don’t think much makes the Conservative look like a racist when in-fact he/she is not. I think, though, that is their purpose.
commented 2015-04-04 11:18:23 -0400
Sounds like the real life script for a weekly popular CBC comedy.
I’m sure the people’s broadcasting commune will get right on it. Not.
commented 2015-04-04 11:15:43 -0400
87 members. So all he had to do was bribe 44 people to get elected and get his million dollar job, fewer than that if there were more than 2 candidates running.
commented 2015-04-04 10:57:35 -0400
The whole lot are more corrupt than the Unions, if that is even possible.
commented 2015-04-04 10:40:08 -0400
Racism should be treated just like libel, where the truth is an absolute defense.
commented 2015-04-04 10:01:25 -0400
Well, I guess what else are family for if not to support your corruption. Sad, but all to common place on reserves. And quite frankly, I don’t care if people think that is a racist remark.