Waskaganish was abuzz last month about a letter by former chief Billy Diamond harshly criticizing the current chief, Robert Weistche.

The widely distributed seven-page letter, dated Sept. 28, followed a dispute between the band and Diamond in his capacity as president of Noosekan, the band’s construction joint venture.

During the summer, the band accused Noosekan of not being accountable to the community. There has even been talk of shutting down the joint venture.

Diamond, for his part, is seeking to get paid for being president of Noosekan; he is not paid at present. Also, he is seeking a severance payment after his years as chief.

Now, The Nation has obtained a letter from Weistche responding to Diamond.

“I believe your letter to be a vindictive personal attack upon myself and other credible people, and I absolutely refuse to respond to outrageous allegations and distortion of the facts,” starts out Weistche’s letter, which is dated Oct. 24.

Weistche says the severance and payment issues are still being studied.

He adds, “I want to inform you that there has never been any severance paid out to previous chiefs. This would set a precedent and could possibly be open to scrutiny and more questions concerning past liabilities.”

Noosekan will be the subject of a community meeting in November.