First Nation election woes
The Carcross/Tagish First Nation just went through a leadership review.
We held our annual general assembly on October 21st and 22nd, when the six clans were to announce who their representative would be on the political body of the First Nation.
Within this process there were only four clans that officially appointed their executive council member, the other two clans were not in agreement.
According to our constitution, the house masters are supposed to meet and decide, from among the six executive council members, who would become the next chief for a term of four years.
Due to the failure to reach a quorum and not all of the clans appointing a member to executive council it was decided that the house masters would meet again at a later date.
These facts are recorded in the minutes of this general council meeting.
This decision also gave the two clans that did not put a name forward time to meet and discuss this matter among themselves.
When the house masters met, there were two letters presented for consideration.
One clan requested that another general assembly be held to look at the constitution in order to find an alternate way of voting for the chief.
Another clan stated that it will not have a representative to sit on the executive council for their clan.
There were two names put forward at this meeting to be considered for the chief’s position.
The end result of this meeting was to hold another meeting of the house masters; this meeting was set for November 10.
Before the meeting there was a lot of political maneuvering in order for the current chief to be reappointed to his position.
There were meetings behind closed doors, promises made to individuals, and requests by supporters of the current chief to another executive council member who put his name forward to be considered for chief to withdraw his name.
The next meeting was held. There was a lot of disunity and arguing that resulted in a vote being held for the chief position.
The six house masters voted and the result was three votes for the current chief and three votes for another member, a tie.
It was later stated to the media that Mark Wedge would be our chief again for the next four years.
It was also said that he won by a margin of one vote.
How could this happen when there were six house masters who voted, and the vote was split?
The following questions need to be asked.
Why was Mark’s brother allowed to vote?
Is he not in a conflict of interest?
Was our constitution being followed in this important process?
What about the issue of the letters that were introduced?
Are these clans being heard or ignored?
This brings up the issue of our traditional way of governing.
Is it working?
Are people following the spirit and intent of our constitution or have they muddied it?
I believe that there are a select few that are making decisions on behalf of all the citizens of the First Nation.
Power and control issues are running rampant through our First Nation and the grassroots people are not being heard.
Our constitution is built on consensus and making decisions from the ground up, it is not a hierarchical system.
The only alternative that I see to get our voice heard is through the media because what we have been doing is not working.
Maybe if we use the media these people will hear us.
Name withheld by request
Reason for pride
I wish this could have been a review, but since I had a bit part in Carol Geddes’ live-animation TV series, Anash and the Legacy of the Sun Rock, I’ll have to settle for a letter to the editor.
I attended the screening of Anash at the Yukon Arts Centre on Saturday night, and it was a wonderful evening.
The script is brilliant, and the production lives up to it in every way.
Most of the cast and crew are Yukoners, and the work had strong support from the Yukon government.
At the moment, if Yukoners want to watch this series by a distinguished Teslin Tlingit filmmaker, we need to get up at 5 a.m. to catch it.
To request an evening slot for this amazing production, you might try calling the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network at 1-888-278-8862 ext.358.
I can’t remember the last time I was so impressed by anything on-screen.
If this was a review I couldn’t think of anything critical to say.
Well, there was that one shaggy Scottish-looking Russian in the last episode who seemed a bit out of place.
Congratulations Carol Geddes and Panacea Entertainment. Anash is a credit to its creators.
Not us, surely
The unnamed author of the open letter to Premier Dennis Fentie (The wrong person was fired, the News, November 23) is misleading you and your readers.
In the second paragraph, the writer states: “Everyone else, like the people at the NDP, offered to help if I helped them in politics.”
This simply did not happen, and would not happen.
New Democrat MLAs take their responsibility to represent all of their constituents very seriously, regardless of political affiliation or belief.
As the senior NDP caucus staff member, I can also assure you that no caucus staffer, past or present, would refuse to help anyone who asked for assistance from one of our MLAs unless that person agreed to help politically.
Doing so would be grounds for discipline, and possibly even dismissal.
Caucus staffers are employed by the Yukon Legislative Assembly, not the party.
Our caucus caseworkers handle a wide range of very sensitive issues for people in all ridings in the territory. They do it with discretion, tact, compassion and professionalism.
Any suggestion that they would ask for political favours in return is not only untrue, it is insulting and defamatory.
I hope your anonymous correspondent will have the decency to correct the record, and that the Yukon News will be more careful about printing such unsubstantiated claims in the future.
Ken Bolton, special assistant, Yukon NDP caucus, Whitehorse