A Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) citizen, Cindy Dickson, has filed a petition in the Yukon Supreme Court alleging that the First Nation’s requirement that candidates running for council must live on settlement land violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Ms. Dickson’s 2018 nomination to run for a councillor position was rejected because she resides in Whitehorse. Under the First Nation’s constitution, citizens eligible to run in elections must live on settlement land. This means they must live in Old Crow, Yukon, which is the only community on VGFN settlement land.
The VGFN argues that the Charter does not apply to the VGFN constitution and that, if the court finds the Charter does apply, the residency requirement is a reasonable limit that reflects the views of the community’s citizens.
The Yukon Supreme Court will hear Ms. Dickson's petition beginning February 5, 2020. Fasken’s Bridget Gilbride and Harshi Mann are representing Ms. Dickson.