By Jeremy Appel
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Papaschase First Nation (PFN) has successfully applied for an injunction against several people and entities it claims have been falsely representing themselves as the nation’s leadership.
The interim injunction was granted on March 23 by Justice W. Renke against George Frank Quinn, Darlene Misik, Bonnie Gravel, Mark Nixdorf, Clifford Gladue, Len Steinhauer, Holly Teed, Papaschase First Nation #136 Association, Papaschase First Nation Group of Companies Inc., Papaschase First Nation #136 Inc., Beaver Hills House 136 Inc., Robert Stanley Ghostkeeper, Dellmar Lapratt, Deborah (Debbie) Lynn Metz and Papastew First Nations Corporation.
It prohibits them from representing themselves as the “duly elected or hereditary Chief and Council of the PFN, or any derivatives thereof, and/or the Papaschase descendents.”
“A small group of individuals have taken it upon themselves to hold themselves out as leadership of the Papaschase peoples,” said Chief Calvin Bruneau in a news release announcing the injunction.
“We took this group to court, and the court has issued an injunction against them. They do not represent the Papaschase First Nation and they have no authority to do so.”
The news release says the chief cannot provide further comment.
Papaschase isn’t officially recognized by the federal government but has elected a chief and band council since 1999.
The band signed Treaty 6 in Fort Edmonton in 1877, which awarded it 49.9 square miles of reserve land in south Edmonton, although it only received 39.9 square miles. In 1888, Papaschase’s membership was absorbed into surrounding nations, including Enoch Cree Nation, based on a vote from three of its 249 members.
The website for Papaschase First Nation #136 Association says the site is suspended due to the injunction.
A March 23 update on the site from Darlene Misk, however, says the group is “responding to this injunction in order to clarify all our responsibilities, roles, along with our processes, governance and proper verification for Papaschase ancestry through legal genealogy documentation or DNA testing.”
A hearing at the Court of King’s Bench in Edmonton is scheduled for April 20.
In a January 2020 statement of claim filed in federal court against the Crown, George Frank Quinn claims to be the great-grandson of Chief Papaschase and an illegitimate wife, and Clifford Gladue claims to be the great-grandson of Chief Papaschase’s brother, Headman Batteau.
The filing identifies Quinn and Gladue as members of a “Pass-Pass-Chase (Pahpahstayo) First Nation Association of Alberta Band 136” registered society.
It asks that the society be “granted public interest standing to represent the rights and claims of the descendants of the Treaty children of the Papaschase First Nation,” and that the descendents receive damages totalling $1.1 billion, as well as proceeds for the sale of the Papaschase reserve.
Jeremy Appel is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter with ALBERTA NATIVE NEWS. The LJI program is federally funded. Turtle Island News does not receive LJI funding.