Kwanlin Dun announces spring election

The Kwanlin Dun First Nation will hold its next general election for a chief and six councillors on Wednesday, March 15.

The Kwanlin Dun First Nation will hold its next general election for a chief and six councillors on Wednesday, March 15.

The nomination period is open from Jan. 10 to Feb. 1 for prospective candidates.

Kwanlin Dun Chief Doris Bill told the News she will be seeking re-election. Bill was first elected in 2014, narrowly beating Jennifer Edzerza by just 13 votes. There were four candidates for chief and 17 council candidates in the 2014 election.

Bill said she wants to get more work done as chief, especially around community safety, housing and mental health.

“I gave it a lot of thought and, you know, it’s been a real challenge in some areas, but it’s also been really rewarding,” she said.

Kwanlin Dun is still building up its government, Bill said, a process she finds exciting.

“It’s not an easy task to run a government,” she said. “It doesn’t come with a handbook. In many ways, we’re still learning and feeling our way through many things.”

During Bill’s tenure as chief, she was instrumental in pushing for changes to the Yukon’s Land Titles Act that will allow self-governing First Nations to register settlement land without losing Aboriginal title. She also oversaw the construction of a turning lane on Hamilton Boulevard into the McIntyre subdivision and of several new bus shelters, as well as the purchase of an elders’ bus and new heavy equipment, she said.

The First Nation is also working with the City of Whitehorse on a plan to reduce homelessness and improve conditions for the city’s most vulnerable. Kwanlin Dun is also looking at establishing its own circuit court.

An important part of Bill’s job involves working with other governments, including the Yukon government. Though Bill recently criticized the former Yukon Party government for treating the Yukon Forum as a photo op, she said she was able “to get a lot of things done” with former premier Darrell Pasloski, who was also the MLA for the McIntyre subdivision.

“I thanked him for that work on election night, because we did manage to do an awful lot of work together,” she said.

That includes steps taken to improve community safety around McIntyre after the death of 17-year-old Brandy Vittrekwa, who was found dead on a trail in the community in 2014.

In 2015, the First Nation launched a community-wide clean-up to remove brush from trails and improve lighting around McIntyre. Last year, it created a pilot program with the Yukon government to allow citizens to report crimes and safety concerns to officers hired from the community. Bill said the number of calls to the RCMP has dropped since the program was started.

“It’s good news,” she said. “It’s making a difference.”

Another part of her job, Bill said, is learning to avoid exhaustion.

“This is a 24/7 job, and you have to be available 24/7,” she said. “You have to really take of yourself, too, and you have to learn how to balance that.”

Bill said she believes her re-election bid will be contested. But Norman Eady, the chief returning officer, said no other candidates have put their names forward for chief just yet.

Prospective candidates must provide a nomination form and a criminal record check to the chief returning officer by 4 p.m. on Feb. 1. The election office is located at 4 O’Brien Place in Whitehorse. Nomination forms are available at the election office, at the Kwanlin Dun First Nation main administration building or online at

Contact Maura Forrest at

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

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read