Tsiigehtchic moves closer to switch from charter to hamlet
Tsiigehtchic appears set to change from a charter community to a hamlet, a process some members of the community have pursued for years.
The NWT’s Department of Municipal and Community Affairs first received a petition in 2019 asking for hamlet status, which would give the community a new governance structure.
The department controls the process through which communities can apply to change their designation.
As a charter community, Tsiigehtchic has a band council that in effect automatically acts as a municipal council. Only band members can seek election to that council.
As a hamlet, Tsiigehtchic would have both a band council and a separate municipal council. That would allow all eligible residents to vote or run for municipal office. “The authority and operations of the community government would be more easily defined and separated,” Maca added.
On Thursday, Maca said it was beginning the process to change Tsiigehtchic’s status.
“The process will include providing public notice, consulting with relevant persons and groups, and obtaining approval from 60 percent of voters in the proposed hamlet,” the department stated.
“The process will begin on February 2, 2023 with a 180-day public notice period, and is anticipated to be complete in August 2023.
“The next steps include a 90-day period where residents of the community can submit written concerns about this proposed change. The deadline to submit your written concerns is May 3, 2023.”
Where to submit written concerns was not immediately clear, though the same new release provided the email address of the department’s regional superintendent for anyone seeking more information.