Doris Bill, the chief of Kwanlin Dün First Nation, at an announcement in Whitehorse on Nov. 28, 2018. The First Nation has a general election slated for Mar. 18 and Bill says she is running for re-election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

‘Maybe there’s a reason why I’m still here’: Doris Bill on seeking re-election

The chief of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation recently underwent treatment for thyroid cancer

There is too much in the works at Kwanlin Dün First Nation to give up now, said Doris Bill, and that is why she is running for re-election as chief.

Bill, who’s held the position for the past two terms, recently underwent thyroid cancer treatment, taking on light duties during a brief hiatus.

She cleared the air, saying that nothing is holding her back. While she continues to work with doctors in order to repair problems with her voice, Bill is cancer-free.

“I feel that I am more than capable of carrying out the duties of the chief,” she said. “I just feel that I have more work to do. Maybe there’s a reason why I’m still here.

“We’ve done a lot of work over the two terms that I’ve been in office. We’ve accomplished an awful lot and I really feel that consistency is important if we’re going to continue down this path — stability, as well.”

Under Bill’s leadership, Kwanlin Dün marked a first by registering a piece of its Settlement A lands with the Yukon’s titles office on Nov. 28, 2018, green-lighting its ability to bring residential and commercial properties to market.

Amendments were made to its self-government agreement in 2015, effective 2017, to ensure the territorial Land Titles Act applies to parcels of settlement land registered in the Yukon Land Titles Office, even if the First Nation was to have its own legislation dealing with the same subject matter under the act.

Dovetailed with that were changes the Yukon government made to the Land Titles Act, which allowed for First Nations to register settlement lands without relinquishing title. If re-elected, Bill said the focus would pivot to implementation.

“That means that our people can start getting out onto the land, something that many of our people have waited a long, long time for,” she said. “It was an enormous amount of work. I think I might have underestimated the amount of work before we went into this.”

Housing for at-risk youth in the community is also on the runaway, Bill said. So, too, is a supportive living initiative for citizens grappling with homelessness, additional housing in McIntyre and home repairs.

Bill said citizens have been raising concerns about access to health care for those who need to travel to Vancouver to undergo more specialized treatment offered there. One idea is building a residential health lodge.

“I’m going to push for that, whether or not I’m chief,” she said. “It would be something to ease the burden on people who have to be down there for medical.

“Yukon First Nation people deserve the same standard of care as everyone else.”

She recounted a situation where elders had to travel to appointments in downtown Vancouver from Burnaby in order to save money.

“The rooms were so expensive,” Bill said. “They could not afford it.”

Patients would benefit from a health advocate who could help them navigate the system, she added.

Under Bill’s leadership, the community safety officers program, which acts as an intermediary between the RCMP and citizens, was introduced. Bill said two more years of funding has been secured for it.

Bill also lobbied for federal compensation for self-government negotiations. Roughly $20 million over seven years has been earmarked for the First Nation, she said, adding that the money will start to flow back this year. It’s unclear when that will happen exactly.

Chief returning officer Norman Eady said that two others are vying for chief — Sean Smith and Ian Kuster. There are 16 candidates for councillor positions.

The general election is slated for Mar. 18.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

electionKwanlin Dun First Nation

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

Just Posted

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Whitehorse RCMP will provide internet safety training due to an uptick of child luring offences. (iStock photo)
RCMP hosting internet safety webinars for parents and caregivers

The webinars will take place on March 23 and 25

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Most Read