‘A Tradition Of Corruption’

“The corrupt practices employed by several of the Respondents during the 2016 Band election appear to reflect a long-standing tradition and acceptance by some members of vote buying and other dishonest attempts to influence electoral outcomes.”

“Vote buying and other improprieties took place during and after the 2016 chief and council election on Key ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 1,165 people}, says a federal court judge.

“The corrupt practices employed … appear to reflect a long-standing tradition and acceptance by some members of vote buying and other dishonest attempts to influence electoral outcomes”,
federal Judge Robert Barnes said in a written decision…

“He has ordered a new election for the west-central Saskatchewan reserve, which is near Norquay. He ruled to annul the October 2016 election on the politically-tumultuous ‘First Nation’.

“There is clear evidence of widespread and openly-conducted vote-buying activity”,
Barnes wrote.

“The allegations include passing money to voters, job offers and promises of work contracts.

“Barnes said the election “was sufficiently corrupted by the misconduct” of elected Chief Rodney Brass and councillors Glen O’Soup, Sidney Keshane and Angela Desjarlais.

“Former Chief Clarence Papequash {himself a convicted criminal — see below}, Clinton Key and Glenn Papequash launched the federal court challenge of the election against a large number of respondents, including the Band itself.

“Barnes rejected an appeal of the original court application, and pinpointed Brass, O’Soup, Keshane and Desjarlais as the driving force behind the “corrupt practices“.

“Barnes’s ruling comes in the absence of evidence from respondents like Brass and the others on council. Barnes wrote that their failure to provide “long outstanding disclosure” in the case means they must now live with the results. He said evidence from those who witnessed the events went unchallenged.

“Barnes noted credibility issues for Brass because he attempted to buy off the applicants by
offering each of them substantial sums of money in return for dubious offers of work
to stop them from proceeding with the federal case.

“In his ruling, Barnes stated the corrupt practices that took place during the election appear to reflect a tradition and acceptance on Key ‘First Nation’
by some members of vote buying and dishonest attempts to influence electoral outcomes“.

“These practices appear to be sufficiently entrenched that, in the election to follow, rigorous efforts will be required to ensure the integrity of the process”,
Barnes wrote.

“He also questioned the respondents for using the same legal counsel as the Band.

“The Band should undoubtedly have been represented by separate, independent counsel whose sole mandate would be to advocate for the best interests of the ‘First Nation’ and its members,”
Barnes wrote…

“CBC has not been able to confirm when a new election would take place.”

— ‘’Widespread’ vote buying on Key First Nation, judge says as he throws out 2016 election results’,
Chelsea Laskowski, CBC News, March 24, 2018


VIDEO: https://regina.ctvnews.ca/judge-rules-key-first-nation-election-null-1.3859705

Chief Rodney Brass

“The ‘Leaderpost’ reports that a court has removed the leadership of the Key ‘First Nation’ and called a new Band election, after a judge found evidence of

“widespread and openly conducted vote buying”.

“The “corrupted” election for the ‘First Nation’, located in eastern Saskatchewan, north of Kamsack, dates back to Oct. 1, 2016. According to numerous affidavits filed with the court, the elected chief, Rodney Brass, and three elected Band councillors offered money and jobs in an attempt to influence the election.

“They also promised large sums to their opponents in a bid to convince them to drop the case, the affidavits said.

“Federal Court Judge Robert Barnes issued his decision on March 21. He noted the proceedings had been “extremely acrimonious” and included “scurrilous” and “irrelevant” submissions that were deserving of censure.

“In the end, he ruled in favour of Band members who were challenging the results, including former chief Clarence Papequash.

“I am satisfied on the evidence before me that the integrity of the Key ‘First Nation’ Band election conducted on October 1, 2016, was sufficiently corrupted by the misconduct of Rodney Brass, Glen O’Soup, Sidney Keshane, and Angela Desjarlais that the election must be annulled and a new election conducted”,
Barnes wrote.

“I would add that the corrupt practices employed by several of the Respondents during the 2016 Band election appear to reflect a long-standing tradition and acceptance by some members of vote buying and other dishonest attempts to influence electoral outcomes.”

“Barnes noted the evidence in the affidavits stood “unchallenged”. The court had thrown out evidence submitted by Brass and the accused councillors, after holding them responsible for repeated delays and a failure to submit documents that “go to the heart” of the case — including bank statements. None of those who wrote the affidavits were cross-examined in court.

“In his sworn statement, Papequash said that he saw Brass pay a voter $300 to purchase his vote. He also said that he was offered $5,000 to withdraw from the race. Another candidate, Clinton Key, said he saw Brass and two of the elected councillors pay sums to about 40 Band members in exchange for their support.

“At least four Band members said they were given money to solicit their votes, sometimes putatively to pay for transportation costs. One said she saw Brass “interacting suspiciously” with other Band members.

“One unsuccessful candidate said O’Soup offered her employment with the Band if she left the race.

“Brass continued to open his chequebook even after the election, according to evidence filed with the court, apparently in a bid to derail the legal proceedings against him and his associates.

“Rodney Brass attempted to buy off the Applicants from proceeding further with this application by offering each of them substantial sums of money in return for dubious offers of work”,
Barnes wrote in his decision.

“Papequash said Brass offered him $25,000 per year over four years for elder advisory services. Another applicant said he was promised $5,000 to teach 10 guitar lessons, in exchange for dropping his appeal with the court.

“Brass’s signature turned up on a cheque for the guitar lesson fee, with the payment
stated to be conditional on the withdrawal of the election appeal”,
Barnes wrote.

“In his decision, Barnes said that the corrupt practices he found in the election seem to be so entrenched that “rigorous efforts” will be necessary to ensure the next election is successful. It is not yet known when the election will take place.

“To offer this kind of money to influence others to vote your way means you have a lot of money to give. And this is not the first time we have heard about corrupt elections on ‘First Nations’ reserves and it will not be the last. The Assembly of ‘First Nations’ needs to examine and address the problem for the good of it’s own people. ‘Cause we are not paying for this.”

–‘Key ‘First Nation’ corruption’,
Old Stock Canadian, March 26, 2018


Clarence Papequash (APTN)

From last year:
“Clarence Papequash, a Band councillor and former Chief of the Key ‘First Nation’ in Saskatchewan, has been sentenced to one year in jail on drug and weapon charges.”

“Clarence Papequash, a Band councillor on the Key ‘First Nation’ in Saskatchewan who was accused of selling drugs, has pleaded guilty to two charges.

“Papequash, 64, was in Yorkton provincial court on Monday where he entered his plea to counts of possession of codeine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of ammunition while prohibited…

“Mounties executed a search warrant last month at a home on the reserve east of Saskatoon and Papequash was suspended as a councillor by the Chief after charges were laid.

“Papequash resigned as Chief of the Band in 2014 when he was given a six-month conditional sentence for selling a morphine pill to a man working for the RCMP…”

–‘Key First Nation band Coun. Clarence Papequash admits to drug trafficking’,
Canadian Press, April 25, 2017

“A man who was removed as chief of The Key ‘First Nation’ following a six-month conditional sentence for drug trafficking, is back in jail awaiting a bail hearing on new charges.

“Clarence Papequash, 64, is now a band councillor. Prior to his political career, he worked as a drug counsellor {!?!}.

“But in 2014 he was convicted in a sting in which RCMP were cracking down on dealers who fueled a wide-spread opiate problem in the Kamsack, SK area (Cote, Keeseekoose and The Key ‘First Nations’ were most affected by the opiate crisis), as revealed by ‘APTN Investigates’…

“Five months later, his community voted him back onto council…”

–‘Saskatchewan band councillor charged with drug trafficking, again’,
Melissa Ridgen, APTN, February 16, 2017


Adam Cote (Sask. RCMP)

From 2014:
“RCMP have arrested a wanted man found hiding on a Saskatchewan reserve. Last week, warrants were issued for Adam Cote, 28, on numerous charges including assault in causing bodily harm, possession of a controlled substance and break and enter.

“On Friday, RCMP attended the Key ‘First Nation’ after receiving information that suggested Cote was there. Cote was found hiding in a residence and was taken into custody. He suffered injuries during the arrest and received treatment in hospital.

“Mounties say a dog from the community was shot and killed during the arrest after the animal attacked an RCMP police service dog…”

–‘Wanted man found hiding on Saskatchewan First Nation’,
Thomas Piller, Global News, July 20, 2014

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