New Naa Shade Hni (Chief) Eric Morris with Chief Electoral Officer Sharon Shorty after the Teslin Tlingit Council election on Sept. 15. (Submitted)

Teslin Tlingit Council elects chief, deputy chief

Teslin Tlingit Council citizens have elected Eric Morris as the new Naa Sháade Háni

Teslin Tlingit Council citizens have elected Eric Morris as the new Naa Sháade Háni (Chief) and Alex Oakley as Naa Sháade Háni (Deputy Chief).

Out of 608 eligible voters, 294 citizens voted in this election, representing 48 per cent of eligible voters.

The final vote totals for chief were 122 votes for Morris, 62 for John Peters Jr., 52 for Robert Magill and 55 for Tod Smarch.

The final votes for deputy chief were 192 for Oakley and 91 for Carl Smarch.

Morris previously served as chief from 2000 to 2008.

The incumbent chief Richard Sidney didn’t run in the election.

Polling stations took place in Teslin and Whitehorse on Sept. 15 with COVID-19 precautions in place.

Two advance polls also took place on Sept. 1 and 8.

Two all-candidates forums took place in Whitehorse and Teslin in August and were streamed online.

In 2018 Teslin Tlingit Council decided to transition to a ‘citizen election process’ that allows citizens to vote directly for their chief. Previously elections took place in the traditional method that saw the chief selected by elders and clan representatives on the general council.

A member of each clan sits on the executive council, and five representatives appointed by each clan form the general council.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

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