Darren Taylor will be the new chief of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation.
Taylor pulled 223 votes in the April 20 election for the First Nation, beating incumbent Roberta Joseph who took 146.
Erin McQuaig was announced as the deputy chief with 196 votes, beating Simon Nagano and Lisa Anderson who got 128 and 46 votes respectively.
Three councillors — Kylie Van Every with 210 votes, Kyrie Nagano with 194 votes and Ryan Peterson with 187 votes — were also announced elected after the counting of the ballots.
In a statement on April 20, Charles Brunner, the chief returning officer, congratulated the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in citizens for their “record-breaking participation in self-governance.”
The statement said more citizens voted in the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in 2023 election than in the past two elections, with a total number of 372 voters.
This was the first time the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in election included the option of electronic voting, with 16 per cent of eligible voters casting e-ballots, the statement read.
The election period started on Feb. 16 and continued for nine weeks, before finishing with the general poll on April 20.
Premier Ranj Pillai said Taylor has a “long history of serving his community as director of natural resources, in roles with land claims negotiation and implementation and as a previous chief of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.”
Pillai also congratulated other elected officials, thanking them for their “commitment and dedication to serving your community.”
“I look forward to working with the new chief and council to strengthen our partnership and collaboration on issues that matter to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and all Yukoners,” he said.
Pillai thanked outgoing chief Roberta Joseph for her dedication and service to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in in her past three terms as chief.
Joseph, who has served as chief for nine years, said the First Nation has been able to work for the community and provide infrastructure such as new education services, 18 housing units and an ongoing mental therapy centre which will be completed in May.
She said her council has also been able to contribute to ongoing cultural programs to support children and families and worked for the passage of several pieces of legislation including the Heritage Act, Governance Act, Finance Act and Emergency Act.
Joseph added that the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in worked with other First Nations to negotiate the repayment of loans borrowed from the federal government.
For the newly elected government, the outgoing chief said she would like to see the completion of an alcohol and drug treatment program with aftercare as well as the completion of an elder’s complex where elders can live independently, a community hall and a heritage centre where the architectural designs have already been completed.
“Congratulations to all candidates who put their names forward and those elected,” she said. “I wish them the best in the work they will be doing for the community.”
The swearing-in ceremony for the new chief and council will take place on May 31.
Contact Patrick Egwu at email@example.com