Chief Kristina Kane is back at the helm of the Ta’an Kwach’an Council.
Kane, who resigned from the position on Jan. 9 citing concerns for her personal health and safety, announced on Friday that she had had a change of heart.
According to a TKC news release, her decision was largely influenced by a ruling from the First Nation’s judicial council.
The council, made up of two judges, had been tasked with reviewing Kane’s eligibility as chief following a complaint made by a TKC citizen on April 29 last year.
The complaint alleged that Kane had violated the First Nation’s constitution by acting as director, and then chief, since 2009 despite having a criminal record.
Last July, documents obtained by the News revealed that Kane had been twice charged with theft under $5,000 and sentenced to six months probation in 1998.
Kane was 19 years old when she was caught stealing shoes from a store in Burnaby, B.C. on March 29, 1997. Later that year, on Dec. 31, she was caught stealing cigarettes from a store in Whitehorse.
The constitution of the TKC states that citizens are not eligible to be chief if they have been convicted of an indictable offence or of theft, fraud or false pretences.
Kane had argued that she had submitted all the required documentation when she ran for chief.
Another document obtained by the News states that by March 25, 2014 there were no record suspensions (previously called pardons) on her files, according to a court clerk at Yukon Justice.
Last Thursday, the judicial council ruled that Kane should be suspended from her position until she could produce a record of pardon, which she did that day, according to the release.
As a result, she was allowed to resume her duties as chief.
In the release, Kane said it is important not to give in to bullying and intimidation.
It’s important for the First Nation to keep working to improve the lives of its families and community, she added.
Kane’s three-year term ends in October.
Contact Myles Dolphin at firstname.lastname@example.org