Appeal pushes Smith’s Landing First Nation back to the polls in August

Map of Smith's Landing Boundary and Wood Buffalo Park in green.

After an election appeal was called, members of the Smith’s Landing First Nation in Northern Alberta are being forced to vote for a new council again. Chief Gerrry Cheezie’s election was not challenged, but he and the newly elected council agreed to follow arbitrator Don Mallon’s call to have another election for the council at the end of August.

According to a press release issued Tuesday, only two of the eight areas to be appealed were upheld. The issues being challenged, forcing the re-election is that a candidate alleged she was disqualified unjustly, and there was no election poll on election day in the community of Smith’s Landing. A poll was in Fort Smith, just north of the community, and one in Edmonton, Alberta.

Candidate Skye MacDonald will now be added to the list of council candidates including the same list during the last election, Dianne Benwell, Fred Daniels, Miranda Norn, Delphine Paulette-Clarke, Geronimo Paulette, Thaidene Paulette, Eileen Tourangeau, and Tony Vermillion.

“The exact date of the election, and a candidates forum will be released later this week,” said Chief Cheezie.

The First Nation has held three elections and faced three appeals in the past four years, which has been quite costly for the community.

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Start your morning with the Splash on Denendeh Sunrise from 7:30-8:30am. Campbell was trained and mentored by longtime CKLB host and Gwich'in entertainer William Greenland. Prior to hosting the morning show and filling in on the Saturday Request Show, he had stints in the Yukon on CKRW the Rush, CBC North in Yellowknife, and began his broadcasting career at CJCD Mix 100. Before moving North he was born and raised on the banks of the Tobique River, the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik, Tobique Maliseet First Nation.