Vuntut Gwitchin’s government shakeup

The deputy chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation resigned Monday. Lorraine Netro issued a short statement after submitting her letter of resignation to chief and council.

The deputy chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation resigned Monday.

Lorraine Netro issued a short statement after submitting her letter of resignation to chief and council.

“During the past year I have served my community in good faith,” she wrote. “I appreciate the wealth of experience I have gained. This was a difficult decision for me to make.

“I leave for personal reasons, I look forward to some time off and I will remain an active community member.”

Netro and fellow councillor Margaret Smith were acclaimed during the November 2010 election in Old Crow. Shortly after, Katherine Nukon and Brandon Kyikavichik were appointed and Netro was appointed deputy chief.

Contacted Tuesday, Netro wouldn’t comment on her resignation.

“My responsibility is to the community,” she said. “I have high respect for my community. I have high respect for my people. I don’t want to play this out in the media.”

Chief Norma Kassi also refused comment.

Both women have served the community as New Democrat MLAs. Each served two terms.

Kassi sat in the house from 1985 to 1992. She didn’t run for re-election in 1992.

Netro was first elected in 2000 and changed her name to Lorraine Peter after being married a year later. After serving a second term she lost to Liberal candidate Darius Elias 2006. Elias is Kassi’s son.

It is now the job of the elders’ council to try and appoint a replacement, according to the First Nation’s constitution.

The territory’s northernmost government could not confirm if a by-election would be held if a replacement could not be found.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com

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