Actualités Faits divers et judiciaire

Myiow receives $135,000 in court case 0

Par Dan Rosenbert

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Deposed Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Chief Keith Myiow in a federal court-mediated agreement was awarded an indemnity from the MCK, without admission of liability and solely in the interest of settling their long-standing dispute, in the amount of $135,000. In addition, Myiow has been declared eligible for future elections in Kahnawake according to the agreement mediated by federal court Judge Michel Shore.

"I'm pleased with the outcome of the document because it clearly illustrates that the Band Council had no right to remove me in the first place, especially under fradulent tactics and political manipulation on their behalf," Myiow noted in a visit to Le Soleil offices last Monday.

"In removing me, Council was serving its own private interests instead of the interests of the community. They did everything under the table and behind closed doors."

However, Myiow was less than thrilled with the monetary remuneration involved, calling it "an insult" and saying that "it barely amounts to 22 months of back pay I would have earned as a Council Chief."

Since Myiow's reinstatement is retroactive to the non-confidence vote of Oct. 39, 2007, he was asked whether the results of last July's elections (in which Myiow's name remained stricken from the ballot in spite of a federal court order that he be reinstated)) would be wiped clean and be reheld.

"That's up to the people," Myiow declared. "They could call for a new election due to non-confidence in the Band Council's decision not to allow me to run." But Myiow's own hands are tied, as the agreement requires him to "recognize the present Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and its Grand Chief."

"I recognize the Band Council as the duly elected body under the Indian Act," Myiow clarified, "but not as traditional representatives or inherent representatives of our people," he explained. "The Band Council is merely the administrator of the federal fiduciary responsibility," he added.

"I was the victim of unscrupulous tactics and (what amounts to) political murder," Myiow summed up. "The ruling stated by the federal judge creates a new climate, and time will tell if Council continues to utilize the same tactics for its own benefit and gain."

Myiow was accompanied to Le Soleil by his father, longtime Mohawk activist Stuart Myiow Sr. Although the court document was duly signed by both his son and MCK Grand Chief Michael Delisle Jr., Stuart wondered, "The Indian Act Council wants to start a new Kahnawake Court system with more powers. But how can you trust them?"

The MCK points out that by virtue of the agreement reached, Myiow "withdrew any and all claims and allegations he had made in his unjust dismissal complaint, appeal proceedings before the Court of Kahnawake and federal court proceedings."

Myiow told Le Soleil that most of the $135,000 compensation "is going to my creditors. That leaves me with $73."

Myiow was represented in court by law firm Daniel Rochefort and Associates, while Gérard Morency acted as the MCK's lawyer.