Another contender enters ring to be LFN chief

Georgina Lutz-McKay wants to heal her people. The daughter of hereditary LFN chief Dixon Lutz is the latest contender to join the Liard First Nation's race to elect a new chief.

Georgina Lutz-McKay wants to heal her people.

The daughter of hereditary LFN chief Dixon Lutz is the latest contender to join the Liard First Nation’s race to elect a new chief. She sees a community divided along family and political lines, and she wants to help fix it.

“I’m running because of what’s happening now and in the past with chief and council. I was asked by others to represent the people. People want change. They want a positive and honest person in there,” she said.

Watson Lake is worn out from too many controversies, Lutz-McKay said. There were questions of transparency and openness under current Chief Liard McMillan’s leadership, she said, which came to a head with protests against his leadership in 2012. That sparked a court battle between McMillan and one of the protest organizers, Vianna Abou.

McMillan successfully sued Abou for unfairly damaging his reputation by circulating a fake petition calling for his ouster, which included the names of deceased LFN members.

But every other week it seems there’s another threat of a lawsuit from someone in the community, and an ongoing public feud continues to be fought between McMillan’s government and the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society.

“What’s happening in the media, I don’t think that’s very healthy for our government. Not a good thing,” Lutz-McKay said.

“I really do hope that things would be mended; this community definitely needs everyone back together. That’s the main thing. I so strongly want to see everyone back together and working together,” she said.

The most recent controversy is over funding for the community’s social assistance program. Earlier this fall, McMillan’s government handed control over the program back to the federal government, saying Ottawa wasn’t providing enough money to administer the program.

After almost two weeks of uncertainty in Watson Lake, the federal government brought in a private contractor – H.G. Smith and Associates – to do the program’s paperwork and hand out the cheques.

But Lutz-McKay wants to see that power back in the hands of the First Nation.

“I’ve spoken to the people who are directly affected – they’re very upset. A lot of people are very upset because the (social assistance workers) have to come down from Whitehorse and stay in the hotel and work out of the community hall. The people around the community have to wait until they are available. They’re without any money or fuel until they are in town,” she said.

Like many of her challengers for chief, Lutz-McKay acknowledged that her community is fighting a difficult battle against alcohol and drug addiction. Two other candidates, Jim Wolftail and George Morgan, have said the town needs aftercare services to help stabilize addicts coming back from treatment.

Lutz-McKay agrees, but also thinks that education and job training are of huge importance for tackling the issue. It’s something she hears about on a “daily basis” while dealing with the public as a Canada Post employee, she said.

“I talk to the people, and they’re saying, ‘We need jobs. We need to do something.’ They’re asking for education. They’re asking for some kind of support,” she said.

Along with Lutz-McKay, Wolftail and Morgan, Daniel Morris and Susan Magun are also in the running for the chief’s chair. The election date has been moved to Dec. 16, with advance polls on Dec. 2 at the Denetia School Gym in Lower Post, B.C., and the election office in Watson Lake.

Contact Jesse Winter at

jessew@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read