Tr’ondek Hwech’in pick new chief

Roberta Joseph is the new chief of Tr'ondek Hwech'in. Joseph won with 90 of the total 261 ballots cast in Monday's general election. She narrowly beat former chief Darren Taylor by five votes.

Roberta Joseph is the new chief of Tr’ondek Hwech’in.

Joseph won with 90 of the total 261 ballots cast in Monday’s general election.

She narrowly beat former chief Darren Taylor by five votes, following a recount.

The recount was required after it was discovered that mistakes had been made at the Whitehorse polling station.

“There wasn’t really a tie to begin with,” said Chief Electoral Officer Crystal Trudeau.

“Joseph’s count was good but Darren’s count was off by five votes. One councillor’s number was off by five, as well.”

Had there been a tie following the recount, Trudeau would have proceeded with a drawing of lots.

That means putting the names of both candidates into a box and pulling one out.

“I’m relieved I didn’t have to do that,” she said.

The other candidates for chief were Jay Farr and Clara Van Bibber, who received 50 and 34 votes respectively.

Joseph had finished in third place when she ran for chief in 2011.

She said she decided to run again this year because other Tr’ondek Hwech’in citizens encouraged her to.

They told her it was time for a change.

“Something that’s really important to have is a strong leadership in the community, and for the chief and council to be working together to provide that unity and strength for the community.”

For the past 10 years, Joseph has worked for the First Nation as a fish and wildlife co-ordinator, and also as general manager.

Born and raised in Dawson City, she also spent time living in Whitehorse.

One of her main goals is to educate First Nation members on their final agreement.

“There is a lot of turnover of staff and new people who may not really understand how important our final agreements are and how important it is to continue its implementation,” she said.

Another goal is to address the pressing infrastructure needs in the community.

She said those include establishing long-term plans for new housing developments and eventually, a new community hall.

“It won’t happen in my term but at least we can start working on how to budget for it,” she said.

As for the Peel watershed, Joseph said she’d continue in the footsteps of her predecessor.

Former chief Eddie Taylor, who decided not to seek a third consecutive term this year, was a champion for the cause.

Tr’ondek Hwech’in, along with the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun and two conservation groups, filed a lawsuit against the territorial government in January over its new plan for the Peel watershed.

“I have really strong feelings about the Peel watershed as well,” Joseph said.

“It’s a community-driven effort to ensure that our agreements are honoured and the processes within the agreements continue to be honoured as well. The Peel is very valuable to our people and it means a lot to continue to protect it as much as we can.”

Joseph will be working with a team of fresh faces for the next three years.

Only one councillor, Ryan Peterson, is returning for a second term. He received 177 votes, the most of any candidate.

He was first elected in a byelection this past spring.

Darren Bullen, Simon Nagano and Selina Procee were also elected to council.

Joseph said she’s looking forward to working with them.

“I think they will provide the good leadership we need,” she said.

Eddie Taylor, who was originally running for council, dropped out a few days before the election for unknown reasons.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three new COVID-19 cases identified in Watson Lake

The Yukon government has identified three locations in town where public exposure may have occurred

Teagan Wiebe, left, and Amie Wiebe pose for a photo with props during The Guild’s haunted house dress rehearsal on Oct. 23. The Heart of Riverdale Community Centre will be hosting its second annual Halloween haunted house on Oct. 30 and 31, with this year’s theme being a plague. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Plague-themed haunted house to take over Heart of Riverdale for Halloween

A plague will be descending upon the Heart of Riverdale Community Centre… Continue reading

Indigenous lobster boats head from the harbour in Saulnierville, N.S. on Oct. 21. Elected officials in the Yukon, including all 19 members of the legislature, are backing the right of Mi’kmaq fishers on the East Coast to launch a moderate livelihood fishery. (Andrew Vaughan/CP)
Yukon legislature passes motion to support Mi’kmaw fishery

“It’s not easy, but it’s also necessary for us to have these very difficult conversations”

A pedestrian passes by an offsales sandwich board along Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse on Oct. 22. NDP MLA Liz Hanson raised concerns Oct. 21 in the legislature about increased hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption that correlate with an extension in the hours alcohol can be sold in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Alcohol-related hospitalizations rise after off-sales hours extended

Reduced hours for off-sale liquor establishments likely part of Liquor Act spring reforms

Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys) speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. The Yukon government has announced $2.8 million in tourism relief funding aimed at businesses in the accommodation sector that have already maxed out existing funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tourism relief funding offers $2.8 million to hotels and overnight accommodations

$15 million in relief funding is planned for the tourism sector over the next three years

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging the reduction of its caribou quota to zero. (Yukon News file)
YG replies to outfitter’s legal challenge over caribou quota

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging… Continue reading

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this year, saying that with COVID-19, it’s “more important than ever.” (Black Press file)
Get flu vaccine, Yukon government urges

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

asdf
COMMENTARY: Me and systemic racism

The view from a place of privilege

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Electricity and air travel

Letters to the editor published Oct. 23, 2020

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Irony versus Climate

Lately it seems like Irony has taken over as Editor-in-Chief at media… Continue reading

Most Read