Kristina Kane has resigned as chief of the Ta’an Kwach’an Council, citing concerns for her personal health and safety.
Kane made the surprise announcement on Friday afternoon in a news release. In it, she explains that she is unable to complete her term because of workplace bullying and a rumour mill that is out of control.
“At this point in time, I think it is best that I protect myself, as well as my family from further stress and hardship,” she wrote.
“It is sad to note that I have been the victim of lateral violence, which now occurs on a daily basis. That, as well as an orchestrated discrediting gossip campaign by certain individuals, has made it increasingly difficult for me to move the (First) Nation forward.”
Kane could not be reached on Monday morning.
Her statement also says that a lack of unity among Ta’an Kwach’an’s six traditional families is holding back the First Nation.
The past 12 months have been tumultuous for the First Nation and its leadership.
In July, Kane’s eligibility as chief was called into question after documents leaked to the News revealed that she had been twice charged with theft under $5,000 and sentenced to six months probation in 1998.
The constitution of the Ta’an Kwach’an Council states that citizens are not eligible to be chief if they have been convicted of an indictable offence or the offence of theft, fraud or false pretenses.
The matter was brought before the Ta’an Kwach’an Judicial Council, but the council has yet to make a ruling.
In September, the Ta’an Kwach’an Council office was temporarily closed following death threats made to staff. It was reopened the following week.
A general assembly held at the end of October was adjourned on the second day when families couldn’t agree on an agenda.
Members of the Susie Jim and Maggie Broeren families have said this in-fighting could lead to a potential break-up of the First Nation.
Elected on Oct. 15, 2012 for a three-year term, Kane will remain chief until Jan. 31.
Contact Myles Dolphin at firstname.lastname@example.org