Kelly McLeod named new interim deputy chief for GTC

From left to right: Kristine McLeod, deputy grand chief; Bobbi-Jo Greenland-Morgan, former grand chief; Ken Kyikavichik, grand chief; and Jordan Peterson, former deputy grand chief. (Photo retrieved from Gwich'in Tribal Council Facebook page)

Kelly Mcleod, president of the Nihtat Gwich’in Council has been named interim deputy grand chief for the Gwich’in Tribal Council until February of next year.

He’ll be taking over the position from his late sister, Kristine Mcleod, who died unexpectedly in a car accident in August.

Ken Kyikavichik is the Gwich’in Tribal Council grand chief and he’s looking forward to working alongside Mcleod.

Kyikavichik adds although it was a difficult decision to make, Mcleod is the best choice for the position.

He talks about Mcleods ability to unify the Gwich’in people through his sister’s vision.

“Kelly and Kristine share the same values and thoughts about serving our Gwich’in Nation . . . I know that Kelly clearly understands his sister’s vision and what she had planned to accomplish. We are in very good hands until a longer-term decision can be made on the position” he says in a social media post.

Mcleod will assume the role on Nov. 1 and will be responsible for providing executive support to the chief operating officer, Sharla Greenland.

An executive board of 10 people was responsible for choosing Mcleod for the position.

A new deputy grand chief is set to be announced at the Annual General Assembly in February.

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Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108