APTN National News
Seraphine Straigthnose says moments before she got a call from the RCMP Thursday she had a feeling something wasn’t right.
Then the phone rang.
It was Sgt. Rob Laurent of the RCMP in Yorkton, Sask.
He told her the investigation was over.
“My heart sank to my feet,” said Straightnose, 71, crying over the phone. “To all of a sudden drop everything? He said there were no grounds.”
Straightnose and fellow elder Frances Musqua, 70, first met with Laurent Aug. 21 and provided a large volume of financial documents, including receipts and records of large cheques connected to the band’s co-manager Edwin Chalupiak and his Regina-based companies Dynamic Management Solutions and Chalupiak and Associates, as well as the band’s director of operations Chris Lafontaine.
Laurent opened a file and Straightnose said he told her it was going to be “a slow and long process.”
Laurent confirmed to APTN in early September the investigation was in the early stages and it would require a specialized audit of the band’s finances.
Straightnose said she spoke to Laurent on Sept. 11 and he told her Chalupiak and Lafontaine requested to meet with the RCMP after they were contacted by APTN.
Straigtnose said she never heard from Laurent again until Thursday when he called.
She said she had been calling him for two weeks but never got a response.
“I’m so hurt,” said Straightnose, a former band councillor. “It’s just terrible.”
Multiple attempts to reach Laurent were unsuccessful but another person said they also spoke to Laurent Friday morning and said he confirmed to them there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed.
A letter signed by Laurent was then posted on Keeseekoose’s private Facebook page Friday.
“It was brought to the RCMP’s attention that there could have been some misuse of Band funds by Dynamic Management Solution, Ed Chalupiak and Chris Lafontaine. Our investigation into this matter is complete and we did not find any evidence to support these allegations,” wrote Laurent in the letter dated Sept. 27.
Straightnose questioned how the RCMP could have investigated her and Musqua’s complaint so quickly when they had provided the RCMP with several hundred financial documents and were never formally interviewed, nor were other parties that were willing to speak.
“A month, a month and half and it’s all over? It’s sick,” said Straightnose. “I guess that is what we are worth to them.”
Straightnose said Laurent suggested asking the band to pay for a forensic audit.
As for Musqua she said she’s not giving up.
“I feel so sorry and sad for my people,” said Musqua Friday. “I’m still going to keep trying.”