Peter Johnston sworn in as grand chief of CYFN in emotional ceremony
'My heart is so full right now,' said Johnston, a former chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council
There was a lot of emotion Wednesday as Peter Johnston was sworn in as the new grand chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations.
Johnston, the former chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council, was acclaimed in the position. He'll take over from former Grand Chief Ruth Massie, who's retiring after six years in the job.
"My heart is so full right now. The biggest part is when I see my people behind me, and they're here. I can tell the elders 'I am your chief again,' and it makes me feel so good."
The ceremony was during the council's general assembly, and all three leaders of the Yukon's political parties were invited to speak.
Johnston says, with a territorial election looming, he wants to help support leaders in each Yukon community.
"Particularly the First Nation leadership, get their members out to the balloting so they can make their point very clear. And my message going forward is that it's very important that we vote."
Johnston will serve a three-year term as CYFN grand chief, the top job at the umbrella organization for Yukon First Nations.
He says among his priorities are making sure that young people have opportunities, and building good relationships with other levels of government.