The Acho Dene Koe First Nation in Fort Liard has postponed its election because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The First Nation announced the postponement in a news release sent Wednesday April 22. The election was originally planned for June 8, but leaders fear that the pandemic could risk introducing the virus to potential candidates, members and residents of Fort Liard.
The new election dates are:
- The nomination period opens on Sept. 25.
- The nomination period closes on Oct. 9.
- The election is on Nov. 9.
“The Acho Dene Koe First Nation has an obligation to follow the Chief Public Health Officer of NWT’s Public Health Emergency declaration,” Chief Gene Hope and the council said.
Elections are held every three years. The chief and council say one factor which led to the decision to delay the election was because they want to make the process as fair as possible.
During the COVID-19 pandemic candidates are advised not to go door to door with their campaign materials which could potentially give someone running an unfair advantage, the Acho Dene Koe First Nation says.
“Indigenous communities are especially vulnerable to COVID-19,” the chief and council said.
The chief and council say the postponement was a “difficult decision” and that members of the First Nation who wish to appeal can do so by submitting a written statement via email to the nation’s elections officer at firstname.lastname@example.org