Vuntut Gwitchin councillors resign, leaving only chief, deputy chief on council

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Two Vuntut Gwitchin councillors have resigned from their positions, leaving only the chief and deputy chief in leadership.

Katriel Villacorta and Esau Schafer have submitted their resignations, Rebecca Shrubb, the Vuntut Gwitchin government's associate director of intergovernmental relations and governance, confirmed in an email to CBC on Jan. 7.

She did not say when they submitted their resignations, or respond to a follow-up question about how and when the councillor positions would be filled.

Villacorta and Schafer's departure leaves only Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm and deputy chief Tracy Rispin in leadership.

Tizya-Tramm did not respond to requests for comment.

CBC was unable to reach Schafer and Villacorta declined an interview.

Can't support leadership, says Villacorta

However, in a public Facebook post dated Jan. 4, Villacorta wrote that she resigned "as I no longer feel that I can continue to sacrifice my mental health or my integrity as a strong resilient Indigenous women in leadership.

"I'm grateful for the trust of the Elders that put me in this position and I only hope that my resignation is not looked at as a let down but as a reflection of my character," she wrote. "I came here to work for and serve our community and due to what I have experienced over the past 5 months, the current leadership is not one I can continue to support."

Villacourt and Schafer are the latest in a series of councillors to resign from the Vuntut Gwitchin government.

Tizya-Tramm is the only original member remaining on government from Vuntut Gwitchin's 2018 election for chief and council.

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