The chief of Liard First Nation George Morgan photographed in 2013. In a press release May 21, LFN said the coronavirus posed an “unprecedented risk … to the health and safety of LFN citizens — wherever they reside,” and that the postponement “is centred in Council’s on-going fiduciary duty to protect, preserve, and advance the interests of the entire LFN membership.” (Paul Tubb/Yukon News file)

Liard First Nation postpones chief, council election

Liard First Nation (LFN) has postponed the election for chief and council over COVID-19 concerns.

In a press release May 21, LFN said the coronavirus posed an “unprecedented risk … to the health and safety of LFN citizens — wherever they reside,” and that the postponement “is centred in Council’s on-going fiduciary duty to protect, preserve, and advance the interests of the entire LFN membership.”

The First Nation holds an election every three years; the last one took place in June 2017.

Council voted on May 20 to postpone the election.

“None of us has ever lived through a once in a 100 years health pandemic before,” LFN Chief George Morgan said in the press release. “We are already seeing spikes in jurisdictions that are opening early. It is important to be cautious and make the best decisions we can.”

LFN councillor Alfred Chief, in the same release, said it the First Nation “would be negligent to hold an election during this time.”

“All LFN citizens have a part to play in preventing the spread of the virus … We want to be responsible and take measures to protect the safety, health, and well-being of LFN members and staff. This illness poses a real risk to our Elders — and that’s a risk to Kaska culture and language,” Chief said.

Council has asked the election committee “to provide a health and safety plan approved by public health officials.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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