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

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