Pauline Frost holds narrow lead in Vuntut Gwitchin council election

Pauline Frost has been elected as the new chief of Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation government. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Pauline Frost has been elected as the new chief of Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation government. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Pauline Frost has been elected as the new chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation government.

According to results from Monday night's election, Frost received 68 votes, narrowly defeating her opponents Bruce Charlie (65 votes) and Paul Josie (64 votes).

A fourth candidate, Bonnee Bingham, finished with 13 votes.

The results are pending an automatic recount within three days.

Frost's victory marks a return to political office for the former Liberal MLA for the Vuntut Gwitchin riding.

A former cabinet minister, Frost was defeated in the 2021 territorial election, when she found herself tied in votes with the NDP candidate, Annie Blake. The riding went to the NDP when Blake's name was drawn from a box — a rare step taken under Yukon election law when a recount confirms a tie.

Frost succeeds former Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm, who announced this year he would not seek another term. This month, Tizya-Tramm was elected as a trustee to the territory's new First Nation School Board.

Monday night's election did not see ballots cast for councillors. While there are four positions, two candidates were acclaimed: Jeneen Njootli and Debra-Leigh Reti.

According to a Facebook post by the Vuntut Gwitchin government, a public meeting will be held where elders will recommend candidates to fill the vacant positions, as per Article VIII of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Constitution. That meeting will be on Nov. 29.

The new council will be sworn in on Jan. 11.