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Full text of Chief Lester Anoquot, Saugeen First Nation # 29, response to MP Larry Miller's words and actions.

December 2, 2016.

The Right Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Dear Minister Bennett:

Saugeen First Nation Petition for a Forensic Audit

On December 1, 2016, Larry Miller, MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound presented a petition in the House of Commons on behalf of "several" residents of the Saugeen First Nation.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Miller chooses the route of ignorance without due diligence. Had Mr. Miller, a duly elected representative of the Crown conducted proper investigation he would in fact have realized that the Saugeen First Nation has been fully compliant with the parameters of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA).

First, as required under the FNFTA, had Mr. Miller done his research, he would have seen that the Saugeen First Nation's audit is publicly available on our website www.saugeenfirstnation.ca

Secondly, had Mr. Miller consulted with you as the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs he would have seen that the historical record regarding the Saugeen First Nation management capabilities as viewed by your Department's Annual Assessments that we, Saugeen First Nation, are considered a low risk and well managed organization.

Thirdly, the Saugeen First Nation is moving forward with First Nations Financial Management Board (FNFMB) certification and implementation of a Financial Administration Law (FAL). This certification will position the Nation so that our financial systems are recognized and provide certainty to the Canadian Banking system as a low risk organization.

Fourthly, FNFMB certification will further position the Nation to engage with the First Nations Financial Authority (FNFA) as a low risk certified community with ability to access Capital Financing to develop major projects and create investment opportunities, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Fifthly, the Saugeen First Nation recently passed the Governance Act. The Governance Act is a key piece of internal law that separates Administration from Government and is intrinsically linked to the Financial Administration Law identified above.

Lastly, the Saugeen First Nation is currently working with Business Development Canada (BDC), an internationally recognized Crown Corporation by undertaking a Diagnostic Assessment of our operations to support the foundation for and about strong Financial Administration.

As an aside, the Nation did in fact conduct a Forensic Audit of our Housing program undertaken by BDO and there were no anomalies to be found.

The information provided above demonstrates clearly and without equivocation that the current and ongoing actions of the Nation are strengthening an already solid financial system.

Mr. Miller, a Member of Parliament could have mitigated his ignorance by simply reaching out to the Saugeen leadership with a simple phone call. Instead, Mr. Miller consistent with his on-record bias towards people of color and specifically the Saugeen First Nation chose to remain ignorant, ill informed and uneducated. By listening to "several" people Mr. Miller fails as a representative of the Crown to hear and be inclusive of all that reside within his constituency, this despite repeated requests from the Nation to come out and meet with leadership.

Finally, the Saugeen First Nation has recently advanced a Director to the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce. Both the Saugeen Shores municipality and the Nation are working to build neighbourhoods and to be good neighbours. It is unfortunate that progressive thinking is hindered by a parliamentarian who chooses the path of ignorance and undue laziness in his failure to conduct due diligence and a forum for dialogue.

Sincerely

Chief Lester Anoquot
Saugeen First Nation # 29

cc. Prime Minister
SFN Council
Larry Miller, MP
President, Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce
Editor, Sun Media, Owen Sound


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