Two Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation councillors, Esau Schafer and Katriel Villacorta, have resigned, triggering a byelection. (Yukon News file)

Two Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation councillors, Esau Schafer and Katriel Villacorta, have resigned, triggering a byelection. (Yukon News file)

UPDATE: VGFN announces byelection date

Two Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation councillors have resigned, triggering a byelection.

In a Jan. 8 press release, the First Nation said Esau Schafer and Katriel Villacorta resigned from their positions and a byelection will be held.

“Under the constitution, if a vacancy occurs on council with more than six months remaining until the next regularly scheduled general election then the vacancy must be filled through a byelection,” it was noted in the statement.

“In accordance with the constitution and the laws of VGFN, and with the support of the Elders Council, a byelection will therefore be conducted by VGFN to address the vacancies on council.”

In an emailed statement, Jordan Peterson, VGFN’s director of intergovernmental relations and governance, said no date has been set for the byelection and no decisions are being made by council after Jan. 6.

The two letters of resignation were received on Jan. 4 and a council resolution was soon passed to call the byelection.

The press release noted the two remaining members of council — Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm and Deputy Chief Tracy Rispin — “remain steadfast in their positions and look forward to working with the new council members after the byelection.”

Schafer and Villacorta are the latest councillors to resign from the VGFN. Schafer, Villacorta and Rispin were sworn in to office on Aug. 6 following a byelection after all members of the previous council, with the exception of the chief, resigned.

The next general election for the First Nation will be in 2022.

Tizya-Tramm and Jordan Peterson, VGFN’s director of intergovernmental relations and governance, could not be reached for comment.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

byelectionVuntut Gwitchin First NationYukon First Nations

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

Just Posted

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

Local poet Joanna Lilley is photographed at the Beringia Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 20, where she will be hosting a poetry workshop on Jan. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Poetry for the ages

Workshop set for the Yukon Beringia Centre

President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris in the State Dinning Room of the White House on Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C. The administration announced plans Jan. 20 for a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a part of the refuge considered sacred by the Gwich’in. (Alex Brandon/AP)
U.S. President Joe Biden halts oil and gas lease sales in ANWR

“Its great to have an ally in the White House”


Wyatt’s World for Jan. 22, 2021

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

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

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Most Read