letter to the editor283

Won’t get fooled again On September 28, acting chief Ruth Massie called three of the traditional family directors, (one was my family…

Won’t get fooled again

On September 28, acting chief Ruth Massie called three of the traditional family directors, (one was my family director), who have not been participating in the governance of the Ta’an Kwach’an Council, to a meeting.

These three directors agreed to participate in the meeting in good faith.

Arriving at the meeting, they were surprised to see an off duty police officer present at the meeting with Massie.

Massie explained to the directors that the officer was present as an “impartial person.”

The directors expressed their concerns about the Elections Act that had been passed by Massie and her board without any input from the citizens.

Also, Massie and her board had established a three-person elections committee, again without any input from the citizens.

One committee member is a member of Massie’s family, and another is the daughter of another candidate.

The directors were also concerned that at the August 27 board meeting, in which the writ was dropped for the election, the board did not have a quorum.

This is a very serious violation of the council’s constitution.

Our people have wanted an election since 2004 because we have been without an elected leader.

We also wished to be part of the process and we wanted the act of calling an election to be a legal one.

One of the “directors” who made a quorum the night the resolution to call an election was passed is not even a citizen of council; she is a friend of Massie’s who is a citizen of a British Columbia First Nation who was called in to make a “quorum.”

Because she is not a Ta’an citizen, she is not eligible to be a director, and is not eligible to be on our voters list, let alone make any decisions on our behalf.

After this woman was used to make a “quorum” to call the illegal election, Massie recently removed her from our voters list.

At the September 28 meeting, the directors asked Massie to postpone the election until the citizens could meet at a general assembly and discuss the election, and work on the Elections Act and the council’s constitution.

Our First Nation has not had a successful general assembly since 2003. This, to, is a very serious breach of the constitution.

Because the council’s financial statements cannot be approved until they are presented to a general assembly, we have questions as to how it continues to receive funding from Indian Affairs.

Also, as it stands now, the elections act and the TKC constitution are filled with many provisions that prevent many of our citizens for running for the office of chief or deputy chief.

The provisions regarding criminal records must be examined.

We all remember, a few years ago, a candidate was disqualified in our election because he had a criminal charge dating back 30 years.

We, the traditional citizens, know that because this election was not legally called, there will be a challenge to it.

The challenge could come from the traditional people, or if Massie loses this election, the challenge could come from her.

Either way, it is the traditional Southern Tutchone Ta’an people that will lose, because of the limitless supply of our money that Massie will spend on legal fees in her desperation to hold onto power.

Massie admitted in the presence of the police officer that she has, “Not had a quorum for quite some time.”

She then told the directors that she was “not here to negotiate with them.”

She went on to inform them that she has now hired a retired judge who will begin mediation between herself and the citizens, and who will work on uniting the people.

We remember that, shortly after the 2004 election, Massie told the press that she was going to work on “unity.”

It is interesting that her attempts at “unity” have been absent until this recent election call.

It is obvious that Massie has missed the point; she whines that she does not have a quorum and at the same time says that she will not “negotiate.”

Good luck to you, Massie. One day you may learn that “negotiation” is an art that most “leaders” mastered early on.

We, the traditional citizens, know that “unity” is beyond our reach until you learn the meaning of some words: “traditional,” “honesty,” “accountability,” “forensic audit” and, of course, “negotiation.”

One day you may learn that you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can never fool all of the people all of the time.

David Bunbury

Whitehorse

Thanks, media!

Our Yukon media must be recognized for its appreciation of and generous service to the United Way of Yukon.

October is the only time of the year that the United Way campaigns for funds necessary to meet Yukon community needs.

Yukon families, children, youth, people living with disabilities, in poverty and with addictions, throughout our territory, benefit directly through donations to the United Way Yukon.

Our newspaper, radio and television media spend valuable time, effort and expense getting the word out.

Its generous in-kind and financial contributions must be recognized.

Without awareness, the United Way October Campaign would have little chance to meet the growing demand for financial assistance.

It’s hard to say no to those applicants willing to make the effort to make Yukon a better place to live for those in need, so let’s all say thank you to our media people for their generous contributions to our campaign.

We know who they are and they are really appreciated.

S. Greetham

Marsh Lake