North

Long-overdue Inuvik Native Band election to be held in March

The Inuvik Native Band is holding a long-overdue election for chief and council, its first since 2012.

Elections supposed to be held every 3 years; last one was held in 2012

Melba Mitchell, acting chief for the Inuvik Native Band, says she hopes the winning candidates commit to fulfilling the full three-year term. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

The Inuvik Native Band is holding a long-overdue election for chief and council, its first since 2012.

"It was overdue for the old Chief and Council to step down and bring in a new council," said Melba Mitchell, acting chief for the Inuvik Band.

The Inuvik Band's election code says there should be an election held every three years. At the annual general meeting in November, members in attendance told the council to call an election. 

In the last election in 2012, a chief and eight council members were elected.

In 2014, Chief Herbert Blake resigned in order to accept a job with the GNWT's Department of Transportation. Mitchell is currently acting chief, and there are three remaining council members.

Mitchell said the delay in holding an election was also due to having open positions for a band manager and band finance manager. Those positions were filled in 2016.

She says having fewer people on council makes it more difficult for the band.

"One of the impacts is that we can't apply for any funding until the new council steps in for the new programs."

Mitchell says she hopes those who are elected to the next council are in it for the long haul.

"I think when you run for a position — for chief or councillor — that you stay on and make sure that everything is done, because it was really hard with just four of us, and we made that commitment when we first ran that we were going to be on and we stayed on."

The election will be for seven council members and a chief. Mitchell says she hasn't decided if she is going to run again.

Nominations are due Friday at 5 p.m. Forms are available at the elections office in the Capital Suites Building. The election is scheduled for March 20.

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