Vuntut Gwitchin councillor Cheryl Charlie has submitted her resignation, leaving Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm as the only remaining person voted in or appointed as part of the First Nation’s 2018 election.
The Vuntut Gwitchin Government announced Charlie’s resignation in a statement posted to Facebook July 2.
According to the statement, Charlie “has made her difficult decision based on the needs of her young family in consideration of the demands of such a position.”
“She would like the people to know that it has been an honour to serve them and she will be concentrating on her family and their wellbeing,” the statement continues. “We would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank Cheryl for her service, we are proud of her efforts and supporting our government, leadership and the people.”
Charlie, along with Marvin Frost Jr. and Brandy Star Tizya were appointed to councillor positions following the 2018 election. Darius Elias was later appointed to fill the fourth councillor position.
All four have since submitted their resignations; Elias did so the most recently before Charlie, handing his in on June 10 and also citing the desire to spend more time with family.
Charlie had previously served as deputy chief but was temporarily suspended from council after being charged with impaired driving last summer. Elias, who was also suspended at the same time, was appointed deputy chief afterwards.
Charlie had recently been leading Vuntut Gwitchin’s push, as part of a larger effort by Gwich’in Nation as well as conservation groups, to have banks commit to not funding exploration or development activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge, in Alaska, is home to the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd but in recent years has also been the subject of renewed interest for oil and gas drilling.
Vuntut Gwitchin’s elders council is currently in the process of selecting and nominating candidates to fill the empty councillor positions.
Chief and council typically serve four-year terms.
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