Three candidates vie for AFN seat

Two political veterans and one newcomer want to be the Yukon's representative at the Assembly of First Nations. The list of candidates for the Yukon regional chief was released Wednesday.

Two political veterans and one newcomer want to be the Yukon’s representative at the Assembly of First Nations.

The list of candidates for the Yukon regional chief was released Wednesday. Current representative Mike Smith will seek a second term against former MLA Marian Horne and political newbie Connor Whitehouse.

The election will take place sometime during the general assembly for the Council of Yukon First Nations from June 23 to 25. A specific date hasn’t been set yet.

Smith was first elected to the position in 2012 when he beat out incumbent Eric Morris.

He has been in politics for decades, serving three terms as chief of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation until he decided not to run again in March 2011.

Marian Horne is a Teslin Tlingit First Nation citizen. She is a former Yukon justice minister. Today, Horne is the president of the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council.

Horne served as MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin from 2006 to 2011. She also ran for MLA for the Whitehorse Centre riding in 2011 but lost to NDP Leader Liz Hanson.

The third name on the ballot is less familiar.

Whitehouse works for the Yukon Hospital Corporation as a health and social liaison for First Nation health programs. He is a Tr’ondek Hwech’in citizen.

He volunteers on boards and committees with organizations including the women’s directorate, the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council and the Law Society of Yukon.

If elected, Whitehouse said his focus will be on building relationships between governments and nations.

“We must ensure that the spirit and intent of the self-government and land claim agreements are honoured and upheld,” he said in a statement.

“I will continue to advocate for government officials to support and launch a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women across Canada. We need to pressure government to address violence against women and gender inequalities.”

Neither Smith nor Horne could be reached in time for today’s deadline.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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