Prominent Indigenous consultant among three charged with fraud, theft

Cultural facilitator, consultant, and Métis Traditional Knowledge Holder, Candace Lloyd, is among three people charged in connection with fraud and theft from the Highland Waters Métis Community. Photo via Facebook.

A well-known cultural facilitator, consultant, and Métis Traditional Knowledge Holder, Candace Lloyd, is among three people charged in connection with fraud and theft from the Highland Waters Métis Community.

In a statement on Wednesday, Jun. 21, 2023, Lennox & Addington (L&A) County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) confirmed that Robert Lloyd, 79 years old, and Scott Loyd, 51 years old, both of Addington Highlands Township, along with Candace Lloyd, 54 years old, of Napanee were arrested and charged with fraud over $5,000, and theft over $5,000. The accused were all released on an undertaking and scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Greater Napanee on July 18, 2023.

Candace Lloyd is listed as a consultant for Ridge Road Training & Consulting Inc., an educational training and consulting firm “rooted in the diverse expertise of Indigenous and settler educators based out of Kenhtè:ke (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory) & Tkaronto (Toronto).” According to her bio on their website, Candace is a retired nurse of 27 years and a Medicine Woman. She is a certified teacher in Ontario and a cultural facilitator, and is currently a Master’s Candidate in Education at Queen’s University with a focus on the Elder/Learner relationship as it applies to student success.

Candace Lloyd has also served on the Indigenous Education Advisory Committees (IEAC) of both Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and Limestone District School Board and also appointed as a member of the City of Kingston’s Sir John A. Macdonald History and Legacy Working Group. She is the former treasurer of Highland Waters Métis Council, which she is now charged with defrauding. Both Scott and Robert Lloyd have served with the Highland Waters Métis Council, as well — Scott as president, and Robert as senator.

The three individuals charged with fraud and theft-related crimes are no no longer involved in any capacity with Highland Waters Métis Council or the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) according to a statement by MNO.

The MNO confirmed that, in July of 2022, an investigation commenced after the police were contacted by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) about the misuse of funds by three former members of the Highland Water Métis Council in Northbrook, Ontario. 

In a release, the MNO indicated that “As has been reported, the investigation by the L&A County Crime Unit revealed that nearly $90,000 had been fraudulently used. The L&A County Crime Unit… have since… laid charges against three individuals. The three individuals charged are no longer involved in any capacity with Highland Waters Métis Council or the MNO.”

“We take our fiduciary responsibilities seriously, and we are cooperating fully and provided all information to the police to help them with their investigation,” said Jo Anne Young, Secretary-Treasurer of the Métis Nation of Ontario. “As soon as we became aware of irregularities, we contacted the OPP. The limited resources and funds are meant to better the lives of Métis citizens and communities, they are not meant for personal gain.”

The MNO and the Highland Water Métis Council are cooperating with the investigation accordingly, according to the release and “as this is now a police matter, at this time the MNO and the Highland Water Métis Council will not be making further statements or comment on this subject.”

Although, as noted, he was not able to comment on the current investigation into these former council members, Jonathan Marconi, the current President of Highland Waters Community Métis Council (HWCMC) wanted to highlight some of the positive moves the new council has been making since being elected in 2021.

HWCMC has recently opened a new council office at 113 Richmond Boulevard in Napanee, he reported, noting that “over the Pandemic we have supported our citizens and the community with grocery gift cards to support families affected by COVID-19” and that they continue to do so.

Further, HWCMC sits as a member of the Region 6 Land resource consultation committee, he explained.

“We meet with Proponents to discuss purposed or planned construction and ensure our environment and wildlife are protected. We have the opportunity to participate in the sampling of the soil and vegetation surrounding one of the nuclear facilities in our region — Ensuring the protection of our environment,” Marconi said.

The HWCMC are also active in teaching younger people Métis cultural activities, he pointed out: “We’ve hosted youth actives which include day camps, tracking courses, archery, Métis culture, horseback riding, and moccasin making. We have hosted Mother’s Day dot art workshops… [and] a learn-to-swim program facilitated by the Kingston family YMCA.”

In a photo from 2021, Jonathan Marconi, President of Highland Waters Community Métis Council holds the flag flown by the Town of Greater Napanee to officially recognize Louis Riel Day. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell/Kingstonist.

As well, Marconi noted that HWCMC “has and continues to participate in our self-governance negotiations and development. This current council has signed the Regional Implementation Agreement with the MNO, a historical first step towards a realized self government.”

“The current Highland Waters Métis Council has celebrated Louis Riel Day ( November 16) with the wonderful municipalities in our council area,” he said, “proudly flying the Métis flag on such a powerful day.

Despite the bad press surrounding the former members of the HWCMC, Marconi is eager to continue working on advancements with the current council, whom he said, “is proudly working tirelessly to serve the community and will continue to do so.”

This is a developing story with more to come.

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