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Onion Lake Cree Nation members question leadership over investment

Questions have arisen over an investment made by Onion Lake Cree Nation.

The Meridian Booster reports that the band’s leaders invested over $1 million in a technology company, Kihew Kereru GP Corporation in 2013, which has resulted in significant losses. Some band members say that band leadership did not provide updates or relay concerns to members.

The company involved New Zealand inventor Graemme Brown, who was supposedly developing an advanced DNP algorithm device, which had “data implosion/explosion capabilities”. Brown had faced charges in New Zealand of scamming people with promises of a similar microchip, and eventually sold the rights to his company, along with the rights to the microchip. Members of Kihew Kereru have since stated that Brown may not actually have the rights to his own intellectual property as a result, and that the company may be opening itself to litigation.

Onion Lake Cree Nation member Charmaine Stick says the deal with the company was never fully explained.

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“When this started, this New Zealand deal, it was presented to the people at a band meeting, and we were told that it was supposed to be a technology thing,” said Stick.

“I started asking questions, because it didn’t seem right. I asked them what kind of technology it was, how it was going to benefit the people, and all they gave me was ‘It’s supposed to be a microchip.’”

Stick said that the band heard repeated pitches for more funds to be invested in the company. When the issue of the investment was once again brought up at a recent band meeting, Stick said her questions were brushed aside, and that the money couldn’t be retrieved.

“There was no real definite answer,” said Stick. “The only definite answer that we actually got out of all this was ‘we no longer deal with them, they are not a part of us anymore.'”

When former chief Wallace Fox, under whom the deal was made was contacted, he refused to comment on the details of the deal.

“It’s an investment,” said Fox, in an email. “Do you go around talking to other businesses regarding their investments?… This has been brought up for discussion at every general meeting that we’ve had in our community meetings.”

It is not clear exactly how much money has been invested by the band.

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