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Metis kerfuffle may be coming to a close


Windspeaker Staff, Edmonton







Page 2

The battle over the conduct of some board members at the Metis Nation of Alberta may finally be over.

The MNA's Senate of Elders dropped all actions against eight board members charged with attempting to overthrow the new government in the wake of the association's September election, an Oct. 29 press release read.

The Senate ruling also eliminated a Court of Queen's Bench-appointed management committee established to investigate all of the MNA's internal workings.

Newly elected president Gerald Thom was originally in favor of the internal review, saying it was healthy to put the MNA's operations to an impartial test from time to time.

The month-long review was established to examine accusations of election irregularities by eight Metis board members. The eight, including vice-president Jim Penton, were suspended Oct. 2 by the Senate following what Thom called an "attempted coup."

The group voted to suspend Thom and vice-president Lyle Donald Oct. 1. But the eight were themselves suspended by the Senate of Elders Oct. 2. Several protests outside MNA headquarters in Edmonton in support of both Thom and the board members followed the suspensions.

But the Metis Nation has to get "back to work", said Senate co-chairman Thelma Chalifoux.

"We also take into confederation the financial drain that the destructive internal conflict was causing."

Jim Penton, one of the eight suspended board members, said tensions within the Metis Nation over the election results have yet to ease. A Court of Queen's Bench order prevented the suspension of the eight board members in early October.