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Dawna Hope ousts incumbent to become First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun chief

Incumbent Simon Mervyn did not receive the most votes
Mayo’s aging ambulance station. Dawna Hope has ousted incumbent Simon Mervyn as chief of the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun. (Lawrie Crawford/Yukon News)

Dawna Hope has ousted incumbent Simon Mervyn as chief of the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun, according to election results.

The election results were posted to the First Nation’s website on April 20.

Hope received 155 votes, with Denise Simmons trailing behind at 63 votes and Mervyn coming in with 48 votes.

Hopes’ campaign biography states that she’s is a fair and honest person with a strong voice and cares about the First Nation’s rights, culture and lands.

“I am a land claims baby, and I strongly feel that these agreements were written for my generation, and all future generations that follow. The final agreements gave me my identity back. They gave me my culture back. They gave me my education and provided me great opportunity for me to get to where I am today,” Hope said.

“I have been on a journey, guided by my ancestors, to contribute to our nation.”

Among Hope’s priorities are health and wellness, transparency and protection of lands.

According to the bio, Hope has a bachelor of science in northern environmental and conservation sciences, a bachelor of arts in Indigenous governance and a renewable resource management diploma with honours, with more than 10 years of senior management experience and five years of board experience.

Hope is an avid hunter, fisher and gatherer, the bio states.

Roberta Hager was voted in as deputy chief with 124 votes, ahead of Teresa Samson with 105 votes and Eliza Moses with 35 votes.

Four councillors were elected: Edward Brown with 187 votes, Helaina Moses with 194 votes, Geri-Lee Buyck with 170 votes and Paul Profeit with 126 votes.

The remaining candidates for councillor were not elected: Brandi McGinty with 115 votes, Sheila Hager with 69 votes, Effie Moses with 79 votes and Andy Lucas with 72 votes.

Two candidates in the running for councillor withdrew.

With only one candidate coming forward, Carolene Lucas was acclaimed as youth councillor following the close of nominations on March 17.

“It has been a great learning journey so far, I’m honoured to be engaging with our youth, and I’m determined to make changes,” Carolene said in a statement on the First Nation’s website.

“We need to uplift our youth and be there for them, they are our future leaders. Together today for our children tomorrow.”

Election day was April 19 and advanced polls were held April 12. Mail-in ballots, proxy voting and special ballots were other voting options.

All candidates forums took place in Mayo and Whitehorse in the lead up to the polls.

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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