Supreme Court upholds Yukon First Nation's residency requirement for elected officials

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The country’s highest court has upheld a requirement from a Yukon First Nation that elected officials live on settled land and dismissed an appeal from Cindy Dickson, a resident, that her Charter rights were violated by that requirement. 

In a decision released Thursday morning, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN)’s residency requirement is constitutional.

“The residency requirement protects Indigenous difference,” the court wrote. “Requiring VGFN leaders to reside on settlement land helps preserve the leaders’ connection to the land, which is deeply rooted in the VGFN’s distinctive culture and governance practices.” 

In a split decision, the court ruled the Charter does apply to

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