Gwich'in Tribal Council cuts 2 directors, 1 manager, citing budget shortfalls

The Gwich'in Tribal Council has laid off two of its directors and a manager because of a budget shortfall, according to a press release issued Tuesday.

The cuts were blamed on reduced "Imperial Oil funding and ongoing use of Gwich'in own source revenue."

No-one in the organization was made available to explain the budget shortfall.

The organization declined a request for interviews with either Gwich'in Tribal Council (GTC) grand chief Bobbie Jo Greenland-Morgan or vice president Jordan Peterson about whether or not any other cuts had been mode or further cuts were expected.

According to Olivia Mensah, GTC director of human resources, the council was declining interviews because enough information was contained in the media release.

According to the press release, the positions of director of Gwich'in services, director of corporate services and the Inuvik office manager have all been eliminated. Tony Devlin was the director of corporate services and often spoke for the Gwich'in Tribal Council on public matters.

Devlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Robert Charlie was previously listed on the organization's website as director of Gwich'in services, while Cheryl Wright was listed as the office manager. Neither name nor position now appears on the Gwich'in Tribal Council website staff listing.

As of Wednesday evening, Charlie had not responded to a request for comment, while Wright declined comment to CBC.

The Gwich'in Tribal Council was founded in 1992 to manage the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. It represents land claim beneficiaries of the Mackenzie Delta region in Inuvik, Fort McPherson, Aklavik and Tsiigehtchic.

The organization's members are working toward self-government.

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With files from Mackenzie Scott