A former chief of the Kahkewistahaw First Nation in southeastern Saskatchewan has forced a by-election on the reserve.
Louis Taypotat, 75, was excluded from running in the 2011 election because he did not have a Grade 12 education.
He challenged the rules, initially lost in a federal court but has now won on appeal.
The Federal Court of Appeal has ordered that a new election for chief be held by Oct 12.
In its ruling, the court says the band’s election rules violate the Canadian Charter of Rights.
Taypotat contends he is a victim of discrimination.
“That’s the reason why I challenged it because everybody has rights on the First Nation, regardless of who…” he says.
Louis Taypotat had served as chief of the band for a total of 32 years.
He has a long history of accomplishments both on the Kahkewistahaw First Nation and rodeo circuit.
Taypotat also helped negotiate a $95 million land claims settlement and has been given a lifetime achievement award by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.
He says he is running because people have asked him to.
On Thursday morning, chief and council of the First Nation met to discuss the court ruling.
They plan to file an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The band is also asking the Federal Court of Appeal for a stay of proceedings pending the Supreme Court’s decision on whether it will hear the case.
Meanwhile, a by-election is going ahead.