Elders in the Ucluelet First Nation have removed their hereditary chief, Wilson Jack, from his legislature seat in the community after he was sentenced in provincial court for poaching elk out of season earlier this year.
Les Doiron, president of the Ucluelet First Nation, says the sanctions are precedent setting for hereditary chiefs and demonstrates that the community takes hunting violations seriously.
“For the people that thought that a hereditary chief got off lightly, I think this goes to show that our people didn’t take it lightly,”
The removal comes with several conditions, according to a letter sent to Jack from Les Doiron.
- Jack is no longer allowed to represent the Ucluelet First Nation at any level.
- His harvesting rights have been suspended.
- He must host a dinner to apologize to the community.
- He cannot serve his community hours, which are part of his sentence, in Ucluelet First Nations territory.
Doiron says Jack has to answer to his own people.
“As the chief goes, everyone else goes. He is supposed to be leading by example.”
Jack is currently serving two years probation from his provincial court sentence.
Elk poaching mystery
In 2013, some Vancouver Island First Nations offered a $25,000 reward for poachers who were targeting a herd of elk that was moved to the area several years prior, with the aim of creating a sustainable population.
At least eight animals were killed in the Nuu-chah-nulth traditional territory, around Port Alberni and Barkley Sound in in 2013 and 2012. The bodies of the animals were abandoned or partially harvested.
Officials from the Huu-ay-aht Nation told CBC in 2013 they are completely opposed to the killing of elk for sport or fun, and the fact that much of the animals were left behind troubles them.
With files from Megan Thomas, Wawmeesh Hamilton