Members of the Liard Aboriginal Women's Association are hopeful about a change in leadership in their community.

Daniel Morris was elected Monday as Chief of the Liard First Nation in Watson Lake.

He was chief from 2000 to 2004, but was removed from office after being convicted of a violent assault.

Anne Maje Raider

Anne Maje Raider, executive director of the Liard Aboriginal Women's Association, says that despite past conflicts with chief and council, she hopes people can put aside their differences to improve conditions for everyone in the community.

Ann Maje Raider is the executive director of the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Association.

She says despite his past, her organization is willing to work with the newly-elected chief.

“It sounds like he's taken steps and he's done work on himself,” Maje Raider says. “Now will be the test of time as to how he's changed, how he's grown. We're prepared to trust in the process and to work towards helping people with culture and healing and well-being.”

Maje Raider says that despite past conflicts with chief and council, she hopes people can put aside their differences to improve conditions for everyone in the community.

In 2007, Morris' decision to run for office was opposed by the Yukon Aboriginal Women's Council.

Deputy Chief praises group's work with women

Walter Carlick, newly-elected Deputy Chief in the Liard First Nation says he would like to see a new working relationship with the Liard Aboriginal Womens' Society. 

"They do good work with people, they help people. They work with elders quite a bit. They hold camps and bring our people out there. I can't speak for Daniel but for myself I know we will work with the Liard Aboriginal Womens' Society," he said after being elected. 

Morris apologized to community

As part of his election campaign, Morris apologized to community members.  

“I admit and do blame myself for hurting my family," he election flyer reads (a copy is embedded below). "I want everyone know to this day I regret my actions and the wrong choices I made back in 2003. Since then I have made positive changes in my life."

Morris' letter says he took an anger management course, got counselling and has worked on getting his family back together again.

Morris' letter also addresses accusations that he stole money from the Liard First Nation. He says he never stole money from the office, but admits that when he was chief, the office did give out loans to members and employees of the First Nation, some of which are still outstanding.

Morris points out that Ottawa investigated the allegations, and he was never charged with fraud.