Roberta Joseph new chief of Dawson's Tr’ondek Hwech’in

Roberta Joseph was elected the new chief of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Dawson City, Yukon, after a recount yesterday confirmed she won by just five votes.
Roberta Joseph was elected the new chief of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, a group of about 1,100 in Dawson City, Yukon. (Facebook)

The Tr'ondek Hwech'in in Dawson City, Yukon, have a new chief.

Roberta Joseph was elected to the position after a vote recount yesterday, which found she won by just five votes. 

Joseph says it still doesn't feel real, but she's already set concrete goals.

“Housing  is one of the biggest, and I think that developing a long term capital and infrastructure plan would be good for our First Nation,” Joseph says. “So that's something I would work towards as well trying to address the immediate concerns."

Joseph says she will continue the work of the previous council to protect the Peel watershed against development.

The First Nation also elected three new council members yesterday, a fourth was re-elected.

The councillors are: Ryan Peterson, Darren T. Bullen, Simon Nagano and Selina Procee. 

The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in are a Yukon First Nation based in Dawson City. The citizenship of roughly 1,100 includes descendants of the Hän-speaking people, who have lived along the Yukon River for millennia, and a diverse mix of families descended from Gwich’in, Northern Tutchone and other language groups.

The Tr’ondek Hwech’in completed a land claim agreement in 1998.

The First Nation is one of two — alongside the Na-cho Nyak Dun First Nation  currently battling the Yukon government over its Peel watershed land use plan, which it says violates the land claims signed with First Nations.