North

Kenny Cayen removed as Dehcho First Nations grand chief

According to Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation chief Lloyd Chicot, recently acclaimed Kenny Cayen has been removed as grand chief of the Dehcho First Nations.

The executive director of the Dehcho First Nations and other chiefs have refused to comment on the situation

Kenny Cayen, pictured here in West Point First Nation last summer, has been removed as grand chief of Dehcho First Nations. (Nicole Wang for CBC North)

Dehcho First Nations Grand Chief Kenny Cayen has been removed from his position, according to one chief.

Lloyd Chicot, the chief of Ka'a'gee Tu First Nation — a member of the Dehcho First Nations — said Cayen was removed during a leadership meeting Feb. 16.

Chicot was on medical travel during that meeting and did not attend.

Cayen has been in his position for less than a year. He was acclaimed as grand chief in June 2021.

The Dehcho First Nations is made up of eight First Nations and two Métis Locals throughout the southern N.W.T.

Most chiefs either declined to speak to CBC or did not return requests for comment. CBC also contacted Dehcho First Nations executive director Alison de Pelham by email. She declined to comment but said a press release would come out next week after a leadership meeting.

Chicot said there were a number of reasons for Cayen's removal, including his failure to be available for meetings, refusing to get vaccinated or move to Fort Simpson, which are both requirements of the position. His swearing-in ceremony was also delayed because Cayen was not available to attend.

Chicot said Cayen had until Jan. 15 to meet the obligations of grand chief but did not respond.

Attempts to reach Cayen for this story were unsuccessful, but Chicot said Cayen represented West Point First Nation in Dehcho First Nations meetings as recently as Feb. 22.

According to Chicot, the Dehcho First Nations will meet March 1 to appoint an interim grand chief.

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