By Chevi Rabbit
For Ponoka News
The Band Members Alliance and Advocacy Association of Canada (BMAAAC ) help First Nation citizens get access to justice in order to hold elected chiefs, band councils, and senior management accountable.
A prominent advocate from Samson Cree Nation, Sherry Greene, is the current vice president of BMAAAC.
During the last provincial election, Greene ran as an Alberta Party Candidate for Maskwacis - Wetaskiwin. However, she lost to the United Conservative Party candidate Rick Wilson who is currently serving as he Minister of Indigenous Relations.
According to BMAAAC president Rob Louie, BMAAAC advocates on behalf of First Nation band members in Canada, who are experiencing financial abuse by their chief and council. BMAAAC retains lawyers to take cases to court on behalf of First Nation band members in Canada and provides legal opinions for First Nation band members.
“For decades, the power imbalance between the chief and band members has been palpable and patent. BMAAAC helps the wheel of justice turn for band members,” said Louie.
To date, BMAAAC has helped a total of six First Nation band members from three different provinces in Canada get access to justice by retaining lawyers to represent them, either on a pro bono basis or at a reduced cost in which case BMAAAC pays the legal bill.
Louie is the leading figure behind a growing movement on transparency and accountability through BMAAAC.
From Kootenay Nation, located in south-eastern BC. In 2021, Louie graduated with masters from York University specializing in constitutional law.
In July 2021, he will be speaking to the International Society for Reform of Criminal Law Conference. He also became an author last year when his article entitled “I heard the band office call my name” was published in the Canadian Journal of Native Studies.
This week the BMAAAC group offered free online workshops covering judicial reviews, access to band documents, band council theft and band corporations. These online workshops were hosted by BMAAAC but facilitated by Parlee Mclaw LLP Alberta Provincial law firm, Vancouver law firm Watson Goepel LLP, and Canadian law firm Ogilvy Renault LLP.
For more information, you can visit the site, BMAAAC.ORG, or find them on Facebook, @BandMembersAllianceandAdvocacyAssociationofCanada.