Eastmain’s newly elected Chief could be in serious trouble after being accused of attacking a Chisasibi man after a heated political discussion.
Eastmain Chief Lloyd Mayappo and Chisasibi resident Lindy Moar were having a lively political debate at the l’Escale Motel in Val d’Or November 25 when things got out of hand.
“We were talking about politics and he got pissed off with what I said and he punched me, just like that,” said Moar, who suffered bruises all over his body and two black eyes. “I got up and I was going to leave and the others probably thought I was getting up to fight him and they all got up and jumped me.”
Moar said he was attacked by Mayappo and an unidentified man and a woman.
“What he did to me is totally unacceptable, that’s all I’m going to say,” said Mayappo, who justified the first punch by saying that it was actually Moar who asked for it.
“He attacked me with very aggressive assaults verbally,” Mayappo continued. “He called me an f-ing Chief and all that. He was looking for it, I just defended myself. He was drunk, if he was sober he wouldn’t talk to me,” said Mayappo who claimed to have had a few social drinks up until then but said he was not intoxicated.
Mayappo told the Nation that Moar targeted him because he is a supporter of the Paix des Braves Agreement.
“Just because I’m Chief, I got criticized by a Mukash supporter; that’s not acceptable to me. Just because he knew I’m a Paix des Braves supporter, that’s what I’m saying.”
Moar didn’t feel like talking about the incident too much. “I don’t want you to talk about me in your paper. My lawyer told me to say that I don’t want my story in the Nation,” said Moar, who fears he’ll become a target to those loyal to the Eastmain Chief.
“The crown prosecutor took my statement and Lloyd’s and if I have a case I’ll press charges and if I don’t, what can I do?”
The Nation contacted the hotel, but they had little to say about the incident.
“There was no damage at all to the room,” said Marc Antoine Trahan, the manager of l’Escale Motel. “There was clean-up required, but no material damage. I don’t want to comment any further in case they plan to go to court.”
The Sûreté de Québec wasn’t saying much either.
“There are no charges laid, but even if there were, I couldn’t tell you that because it’s not public information,” said Sylvie Simoneau, a spokesperson for the SQ in Val d’Or. “I could tell you if he was (being) detained, but he’s not.”
Mayappo was asked whether this incident would affect his role as Chief if charges were pressed, he replied, “Not at all. I have rights and I was defending myself.”
The Nation contacted the Cree-Naskapi Commission for their view on it all.
“It’s clear in the Cree-Naskapi Act that you can’t hold a position in office if you have an offense against you,” said Brian Shawana of the Cree-Naskapi Commission. “To be eligible to run there are criteria that include not having a criminal record, however it doesn’t pertain to an offense while in office. If he’s found guilty it’ll be up to the community to decide what to do.” Mayappo was asked who threw the first punch. “Verbally, he did. He was looking for it. He approached me in a very aggressive manner.
“I just want to ignore people that are ignorant. I have more important things to deal with,” said Mayappo who added that he had never even spoken with Moar before.
Moar admitted to getting into an intense political discussion, but wondered about the Chief’s motives.
“Does it give him the right to punch anybody?” he asked.