The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the elections act of Saskatchewan’s Kahkewistahaw First Nation which prevents candidates from seeking office if they don’t have a high school education.
The Federal Court of Appeal ruled the law was unconstitutional, but that decision has now been overturned.
The legal battle began in 2011 when 75-year-old Louis Taypotat was prevented from running because he had never graduated from high school.
His nephew, Sheldon Taypotat, won the 2011 election. Last year, Sheldon ran for re-election but was defeated by his uncle Louis, who has been chief of the reserve for a total of 32 years.
In the meantime, the question of the election act and whether it was constitutional eventually made its way to the Supreme Court.
This morning, the high court handed down its ruling upholding the law. That means Louis Taypotat would not be eligible to run in the next band election, unless he gets his high school diploma.