Column: A step forward and back on FSIN election
"The Saskatchewan Federation of Indian Nations (FSIN) elections last week could probably best be categorized as one small step back, but hopefully one big step forward.

The election of Dutch Lerat -- who nearly ran the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) into the ground a decade ago -- as an FSIN vice-chief has to be seen as a step backwards.

After Lerat flew around the world on the Concorde on SIGA's credit card, the provincial government had to pretty much step in and take over. Certainly, he offered contrition for his past indiscretion to the FSIN delegates and chiefs that democratically elected him.

And clearly, there were not enough written rules and guidelines at SIGA to prohibit Lerat's rock-star lifestyle, which included withdrawing $152,000 in cash from his SIGA debit card and another $239,000 on the debit and credit cards for personal expenses.

In addition, Lerat oversaw other questionable expenditures including: $95,000 for golf fees and merchandise, $20,000 for golf clubs and $81,000 for leather jackets, fleeces and T-shirts, and; 3,500 tickets for concerts, sporting events and fundraisers plus $112,000 spent on food and beverages at the events."

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