Dana Tizya-Tramm, elected chief in November, says he plans to focus on bolstering current government structures to better serve Vuntut Gwitchin members in Old Crow and elsewhere, as well as create more transparency. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC) Dana Tizya-Tramm will be sworn in today as chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in Old Crow, Yukon.
The former councillor and president of Youth of the Peel was elected chief in November. At 31, he is believed to be the youngest chief the First Nation has ever had.
He said that a key goal for him as leader is empowering young Indigenous people.
"I think it’s a very important time and place and space that we’re in," he told CBC, after his election in November.
"I’m so grateful to have an opportunity to influence and connect our youth with our elders as we work on our identity and our place in the world — internationally and in this cozy little spot up in the top of Yukon."
Tizya-Tramm moved back to his home community of Old Crow from Vancouver several years ago, focusing his energies on youth programs like Our Voices, which provides experiential learning for Indigenous youth.
The First Nation’s three new council members — Cheryl Joyce Charlie, Marvin Frost Jr., and Brandy Star Tizya — all won their seats by acclamation in November and will also be sworn in today.
They are also relatively young members of the community, something that Tizya-Tramm said is very exciting. He said he’s already getting set to work with the new group.
"I hope this is a signal to other First Nations youth, and youth in general … that there is a place for you in your governments," he said. The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation is based in Old Crow, Yukon’s northernmost community. (Alexandra Byers/CBC) Tizya-Tramm also said he plans to focus on bolstering current government structures to better serve Vuntut Gwitchin members in Old Crow and elsewhere, as well as create more transparency.
"As a self-governing First Nation … we have nothing to hide," he said. "So I’d really like to open the government up to our beneficiaries, to our youth, to our elders."
Tizya-Tramm will serve a four-year term.
Today’s swearing-in ceremony begins at 2 p.m., with a traditional dinner afterwards.
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