Harry Deneron asking federal judge to reinstate him as Fort Liard chief

Saskatchewan man, once convicted of fraud, rehired by Acho Dene Koe First Nation

The recently suspended chief of the Acho Dene Koe First Nation in Fort Liard, N.W.T., is asking a federal court judge to reinstate him.

Harry Deneron has been chief of the First Nation off and on since 1975. On March 9, four out of the six Acho Dene Koe councillors — Sonia Timbre, Dennis Nelson, Irene McLeod and Joe Bertrand — held a special meeting and voted to suspend Deneron as chief.

The councillors said they had lost confidence in his leadership amid an ongoing civil suit against him.

In federal court documents, Deneron maintains that he and the community were not given enough notice of the March 9 meeting. He also says there weren't enough councillors present to make quorum. 

He claims he was only told about the meeting two hours before it happened, which goes against the band's code and custom. He says that as per the band's election code, council doesn't have the authority to suspend a chief with just a band council resolution.

Deneron's asking a federal judge to review how the band removed him and whether it had grounds to do so. He's asking the judge to quash the band's decision and to be reinstated as chief.

The four council members who voted to have Deneron removed have yet to submit any documents to the court. They have until April 7.