Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation has suspended its deputy chief and a councillor. (James Munson/Yukon News file)

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation suspends deputy chief after impaired driving charges

Deputy Chief Cheryl Charlie was charged June 6. Councillor Darius Elias has also been suspended.

Two members of Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation’s chief and council have been suspended with pay, Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm told the News.

They are Deputy Chief Cheryl Charlie and councillor Darius Elias, a former MLA.

Court documents show that Charlie was charged with two counts of driving under the influence in Old Crow on June 6. She is scheduled to make her first court appearance on July 30.

Old Crow is a dry community.

Tizya-Tramm said he couldn’t comment on Charlie’s case as it’s before the court.

“We just want to make sure we are accountable and transparent,” he said.

The News reached out to Charlie directly, but didn’t immediately receive a response.

There are no charges against Elias.

Asked whether the issues are separate, Tizya-Tramm said, “We’re not entirely sure.”

An internal investigation has been launched to find out, he said.

“We want to rely on an evidence-based approach. We have to get that clear picture, so I can’t comment, as the investigation is ongoing.

“We will wait for the courts before there are any actions.”

Both suspensions are to last for two weeks.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

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