An Open Letter to Bernard Ominayak and the former leadership of the

Lubicon Lake Nation: Only the truth can heal our community
The recent MNP forensic audit into how you and your supporters used the Cree
Development Corporation to spend $27.5 million dollars over a si!year period in the
name of our community raises many "uestions that must #e answered.
$ur community has #een throu%h a lot over the decades& and ri%ht now we're hurtin%. (e
have many "uestions we would li)e to have answered such as where did the money %o*
+nd how has it #enefitted the community*
$f the $27.5 million that you spent& $7&2,-&./, is untracea#le& while the remainin%
$2,&.2-&020 went to a list of payees& many with no clear lin) to community development.
1or eample& you spent almost $/.5 million on financial institutions and credit card
payments& and $/&/70&/70.5, on automotive costs yet our community does not have
access to these credit cards or vehicles.
The forensic audit reveals that millions of dollars have %one solely to a small %roup of
people& while the rest of the community continues to live without runnin% water& old
houses contaminated with mould& a%in% and #ro)en furnaces& and no infrastructure li)e a
community centre& health centre& daycare& or 2lders centre. This isn't a#out lost money&
it's a#out a lac) of accounta#ility and lost opportunities for our youn% people and di%nity
and comfort for our 2lders.
+ccordin% to the forensic audit& in a period of 3ust four years you paid yourself over $/.5
million& alon% with your partner and #and mana%er Mar%aret (hitehead receivin%
$4--&25.& and her dau%hter Cynthia Thomlinson over $25.&-75 and her hus#and 6arrett
Thomlinson $227&.74 #oth personally and throu%h his 7uffalo Consultin% firm. 8our
children 2rwin $minaya)& 9ennifer $minaya) and 7ernard $minaya) 9r. also
respectively received $254&557& $/,2&5/0& and $/52&.50.
+s a family& you paid yourselves more than $... million dollars& yet the ma3ority of the
community live in poverty and wouldn't dream of ever havin% this )ind of money.
(e understand and appreciate that some funds went to individual :u#icon mem#ers for
their wor) in the oil field for the Cree Development Corporation of which you have #een
listed as a Director since /04,. This corporation operates in the traditional territory of the
:u#icon Cree people as a whole& yet we as a community have #een %iven no collective
say a#out how the revenue from this company should #e spent& or even if we are in
a%reement that the corporation should #e %eneratin% revenue from resource etraction
li)e it has #een for decades.
(orse still& this forensic audit is only the tip of the ice#er%. $ur community still does not
have any information a#out #an) accounts that may have come #efore or after the
account the auditors investi%ated. ;n fact& there is reason to #elieve there may still #e
other accounts holdin% money that #elon%s to our community.
;s this fair* ;s this 3ust* ;n our eyes& no it is not. This is also not what we see as traditional
leadership. (e deserve transparency and accounta#ility& especially when you still claim
to represent us.
1or many years there has #een a sic)ness in our nation < a feelin% that we have #een held
#ac) and disempowered to spea) for ourselves for fear of retaliation of your
administration& which has left us una#le to move forward as a people.
(e have seen for decades the ine"uality& #ullyin% and a feelin% of fear& #ut this fear is
now slowly disappearin% and #ein% replaced #y the truth. The forensic audit is a step
towards the truth #ein% told& and we will need the whole truth if we are %oin% to heal and
move forward together as a nation.
(e are as)in% our elected Chief and Council to hold =estorative 9ustice circles so that the
truth can #e heard from all people in the community& not only a small se%ment. (e hope
that this healin% process can %ive everyone in our community the space to share their
story and as) the "uestions that need to #e answered.
(e are as)in% you and your supporters to en%a%e in a =estorative 9ustice circle with the
mem#ership of the :u#icon Cree 1irst Nation.
(e loo) forward to your answers and your participation in this important step towards
healin% our community.
Concerned mem#ers of the :u#icon Cree 1irst Nation.