The Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is conducting a by-election for Chief. This comes after the Elders Council informed Chief Karen Bird in May it was removing her from office for unprofessional conduct and behaviour.

The May 10 2022, letter alleges that the Elders Council received a complaint of lateral violence displayed by Bird at a meeting of Chief and Council and Band staff in December at the River Cree Resort in Edmonton and that Bird ignored quorum decisions and Band customs. 

Days later Bird responded to the Elders Council allegations, claiming the Council does not have a mandate for removal. She adds the decision also violates PBCN’s 2014 Elections Act in part because she was not presented with a petition signed by electors.

“I fully intend to bring the decision of the Elder’s Council before the courts as I believe a review by the courts will determine the Elders Council acted without authority in deciding to remove me from office,” Bird said in her statement.

Bird, who was elected Chief of PBCN in April of 2021, said since coming into office she has encountered a poor governance system along with a dysfunctional administration which she said does not follow direction. Bird said she was also confronted with a large fiscal deficit. She claims her attempts to make changes to deal with these problems have faced pushback.

A nomination meeting for Chief will be held July 4, with the vote taking place July 25.