North

Smith's Landing First Nation removes chief after allegations of bullying staff members

Councillors have signed a notice to Smith's Landing First Nation members stating that John Tourangeau, who's been chief since June 2017, has been removed from office.

The notice dated Friday states that Chief John Tourangeau has been suspended 4 times since June 2017

Smith's Landing First Nation sits on the border of N.W.T. and Alberta. The First Nation has removed its chief, John Tourangeau, according to a notice dated Friday. (CBC)

A First Nation on the border of N.W.T. and Alberta has removed its chief, according to a notice posted Friday.

John Tourangeau is no longer the chief of Smith's Landing First Nation. He's been in office since June 2017, according to the notice.

"Council made the decision to remove him from office ... because, since his election in June 2017, he has been suspended a total of four times," states the notice posted to the First Nation's website.

Councillors reference Section 19.4 of the First Nation's Customary Election Regulations.

The notice goes on to state that Tourangeau was most recently suspended after he failed to meet with council, "despite repeated requests and opportunities to address the findings in an Independent Investigator's Report that he had bullied [Smith's Landing First Nations] staff members." 

The First Nation's four councillors — Frederick Daniels, Thaidene Paulette, Geronimo Paulette and Tony Vermillion​ — signed the notice dated May 10. 

According to the First Nation's website, it says the chief and council's term is dated from June 2016 to 2019.

Nominations for the candidacy of chief and four councillors open on May 13 and close on May 29, according to another notice.

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