Liard First Nation elects new chief, council

Stephen Charlie beat out incumbent George Morgan by just six votes.

Stephen Charlie was elected chief of Liard First Nation on June 29. Charlie beat out nine other candidates, including incumbent George Morgan, for the seat following the First Nation’s election. (Facebook file)

Liard First Nation has elected a new chief and council.

Stephen Charlie beat out eight other candidates, including incumbent George Morgan, for the seat following the First Nation’s election on June 29, earning 81 votes overall.

Morgan came in with the second-most votes at 75.

Other candidates included Georgina Lutz (11), Susan Magun (57), Daniel Morris (35), Travis Stewart (70), Cindy Porter (35), Emma Donnessy (33) and Don Magun (57).

Charlie had told the News in an interview June 29, while the polls were still open, that if he were elected, he planned on bringing more transparency to Liard First Nation’s government and would also be taking a harder stance against other governments if they tried to push the First Nation around.

“I’m a very respectful person, but if you want to be respected, you better give that respect back, and that’s all I ask,” he said.

“… If elected chief, I will not put up with (disrespect) anymore. If I see an injustice and I see government overstepping their bounds and the honour of the Crown being… not lived up to, it doesn’t matter what party, but the government? I will say something.”

He said he was also planning on holding a general assembly and wanted to ensure there was more unity and clarity in communication across Kaska Nation. He also described Liard First Nation’s current elections process as “antiquated” and wanted to see reform across government policies and regulations.

That so many people ran in the election for various positions, Charlie said, was proof that Liard First Nation citizens were ready and hungry for change.

The News was not able to reach Charlie for comment on June 30 before press time, but, in an image posted to his election campaign Facebook page in the early morning said his election as chief was “a win for the people.”

In earlier campaign posts, Charlie wrote that he believed “the Kaska have a great opportunity to be a leading example for other First Nations in how they strengthen and develop their nation.”

“We need to move forward but we also need to remember where we came from and who we are as a Kaska people,” he wrote. “We will do this by respecting one another, returning to our traditional values, being transparent and sharing information, creating opportunities, having regular meetings, and working together as a team.

“I believe that the elders and youth have an important role to play when it comes to governance. We are a strong people and we have the potential to do amazing things together. Help me build up our nation. Join me in creating changes so that we all can benefit and reach our full potential.”

Voters also elected four new councillors — Amanda Brown (110), Timothy Stewart (92), Edward Brodhagen (125) and Derek Loots (121) — from a field of 17 candidates. None of the First Nation’s incumbent councillors ran for re-election for their positions.

Harlan Schilling was elected deputy chief with 40 votes, beating out Fred Lutz Sr. (19) and Walter Carlick (six), while Malcolm Groat and Catherine Porter were elected as councillors representing Kaska traditional territory in British Columbia, beating out four other candidates. (Porter and Groat received 41 and 40 votes, respectively, compared to George Miller’s 13, Ken E. McMillan’s 12, Melanie Miller’s eight and Nadine Handel’s four votes.)

Contact Jackie Hong at

An earlier version of this story listed candidates for chief and councillor positions who dropped out before the election. The News regrets the error.

First Nations

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

The Boulevard of Hope was launched by the Yukon T1D Support Network and will be lit up throughout January. It is aimed at raising awareness about Yukoners living with Type 1 diabetes. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Boulevard of Hope sheds light on Type 1 diabetes

Organizers hope to make it an annual event

City of Whitehorse city council meeting in Whitehorse on Oct. 5, 2020. An updated council procedures bylaw was proposed at Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 18 meeting that would see a few changes to council meetings and how council handles certain matters like civil emergencies. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse procedures bylaw comes forward

New measures proposed for how council could deal with emergencies

A Yukon survey querying transportation between communities has already seen hundreds of participants and is the latest review highlighting the territory’s gap in accessibility. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Multiple reports, survey decry lack of transportation between Yukon communities

A Community Travel survey is the latest in a slew of initiatives pointing to poor accessibility

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

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

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

Most Read