Shackan Indian Chief Arnold Lampreau will remain in his position after an application for his removal was denied by an independent arbitrator. The band announced today (December 21), via a media release, the results of the arbitration hearing, which took place on December 12.
The application for Lampreau’s removal was initially presented at a meeting two months ago, where, in addition to the introduction of the application for his removal, Lampreau and his partner, Community Wellness Manager and Membership Clerk Lenora Starr, were temporarily suspended. The suspensions, which were quickly reversed as no provisions in Shackan’s election code allowed for them, have been called “unjust” by the band in its media release, which included Lampreau’s first statement on the matter.
“It’s a shame our disagreements had to come through this arbitration process,” said Lampreau in a statement.
“There used to be a time where we would resolve our own issues, no matter how long it took, we sat and worked it out together. Prior to contact we had strong and grounded political systems and economies. We all wanted to support each other and do our best for our people, because it would benefit the community overall. Now, with colonial mindsets impeding our thinking, some of our own people get to being voracious and individualistic in how they live, this was not the way of our ancestors. We need to get back to those old teachings so we can come out of our traumas in a way that would make our ancestors proud by holding true to the foundational values and principles that have been integral to our existence since the time of creation. We’ll get there, it’s just going to take a lot of thoughtfulness, humbleness, and time.”
This was Lampreau’s first comment to the media on his possible removal, a silence which the band says was intentional and out of respect for all parties involved. The application for removal, which alleged that Lampreau had violated his oath of office, was brought forward by former Shackan Chief and community member, Percy Joe. The Herald has reached out to Joe for comment.
Arbitrator John R. Rich denied the application after hearing arguments and supporting evidence from both parties involved. The full details of Rich’s findings and decisions are available to Shackan Indian Band members via the band office. Moving forward, Shackan said Lampreau is looking to bring the community together amongst challenges brought on by colonial ways of thinking.
“He wants to hand over a system that is culturally strong and that is not entrenched in a punitive colonial approach that takes Shackan further away from a way of living that exercises Nlaka’pamux values and principles,” added a release by Shackan.
“Ensuring administrative and political goals are culturally grounded is vital to the continued healing and growth of Indigenous people as we strive to move away from regimented, foreign, and colonial approaches that seek to punish our people versus uplifting and supporting them.”
For more information on the arbitration process, visit Shackan’s website at www.shackan.ca.