3 N.W.T. First Nations mull electoral boundaries court action

A judge has set a date to hear the City of Yellowknife's challenge of current electoral boundaries. Meanwhile, other groups that don't like the new electoral map are also mulling court action — but for different reasons from the city.

Yellowknives Dene, Fort Resolution and Lutsel K'e bands oppose new Tu Nedhe riding amalgamation

Tu Nedhe MLA Tom Beaulieu says he doesn't support adding Weledeh-speaking communities to his traditionally Chipewyan-speaking riding. (CBC)

A N.W.T. Supreme Court judge has set Aug. 12 as the date to hear the City of Yellowknife's challenge of current electoral boundaries.

Meanwhile, other groups that don't like the new electoral map are also mulling court action — but for different reasons from the city. 

The Yellowknives Dene, Fort Resolution and Lutsel K'e First Nations — which are now lumped together in the same riding of Tu Nedhe — are opposed to the amalgamation for cultural reasons.

Tu Nedhe MLA Tom Beaulieu says Yellowknife isn't making that argument.

"If they're saying that Bill 18 [which established the new boundaries] is good but don't think it's gone far enough — and that's the indication I got from the mayor — then we're not supporting Bill 18 at all from Tu Nedhe," he said. 

Beaulieu's traditionally Chipewyan-speaking riding was the smallest in the territory.

He says it doesn't make sense to make the Weledeh-speaking Yellowknives Dene part of it.

The Yellowknives, Lutsel K'e and Fort Resolution bands are hiring a lawyer to decide whether to join the Yellowknife challenge or mount one of their own.


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