STATEMENT TO SON MEMBERS | Ongoing SON FC Investigations
Joint Chiefs and Councils
of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation
STATEMENT TO SON MEMBERS
RE: ONGOING SON FC INVESTIGATIONS
28 JULY 2021
On March 12, 2021 the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) posted a media release informing SON Members and the media that the incoming president of the SON Finance Corporation (SON FC), Jonathan Araujo Redbird, had engaged a third party to begin an investigation into financial irregularities. These irregularities were brought to Redbird’s attention after the SON FC accountant and auditor, BDO in Owen Sound, stated that the year-end audit could not be completed due to incomplete financial reporting in previous years. The SON FC engaged the services of an independent investigative and forensic accounting firm Zysman Forensic Accounting Inc. to investigate the matter further. Additionally, the matter was reported to the Neyaashiinigmiing First Nations Police Services, in conjunction with the OPP, at which point a criminal investigation was initiated.
Both the forensic accounting and criminal investigations are ongoing. Recently, information has been circulating on social media regarding a civil suit involving the SON FC. While the Saugeen Ojibway Nation cannot comment on an ongoing legal matter, it will confirm that the legal proceeding is related to the ongoing investigations. As with any criminal investigation, all allegations need to be tried in a court of law and any involved parties must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
At the conclusion of the investigations, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation will provide its members with an update as to the outcome of these investigations. While the Saugeen Ojibway Nation acknowledges the importance of transparency, particularly with its members, it also recognizes the need to protect the integrity of any ongoing investigation which means not prematurely releasing information to the public that may compromise that integrity.