Steven Tatoosh, front, and the rest of his Hupacasath First Nation council including Brandy Lauder, left, Warren Lauder, second from right, and Jim Tatoosh were all re-elected in April 2019 for the next two years. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Longtime B.C. First Nation chief charged after break-and-enter

Hupacasath First Nation’s Steven Tatoosh faces numerous charges following a Jan. 28 incident

The Chief Councillor of Hupacasath First Nation in Port Alberni has been charged with break and enter and possession of stolen property after an incident on Jan. 28.

Steven Patrick Tatoosh, who was re-elected for his fifth term as chief in April 2019, has been on medical leave from the First Nations council since August, a council member confirmed.

“He asked to leave council. He needed to take a medical leave,” said the councillor, who asked not to be named.

“There are only three ways to remove an elected chief: that’s if he dies, if he formally steps down as chief…or if he’s convicted. We can’t actually remove (Steven Tatoosh),” the councillor said.

“Hupacasath Council and administration have worked diligently and tirelessly to address the issues caused by these unfortunate circumstances surrounding this vacancy,” said Jim Tatoosh, another Hupacasath councillor (Tatoosh was erroneously referred to as acting chief in a previous edition of this article). “As a community we are unified and working hard to continue on a path of health and prosperity and ensure our community is well represented on all levels.”

Hupacasath Council terms are for two years.

On Tuesday, Jan. 28 at approximately 7:40 p.m. a homeowner in the 3600-block of Eighth Avenue noticed her detached garage door was partially open, and saw a beam of light moving about as someone was looking around inside. The woman called police and kept an eye on the activity until police arrived, according to Port Alberni RCMP media liaison Cpl. Amelia Hayden.

The Port Alberni RCMP were quick to respond and located the suspect still on site upon their arrival. A 42-year-old Port Alberni resident was found inside the garage and he was promptly arrested. Further, he was found to be in possession of stolen property belonging to at least two other individuals.

A vehicle owner in the 2600-block of Sixth Avenue had reported to the Port Alberni RCMP earlier in the day that they had their wallet and some other small items stolen out of their unlocked car, likely as it was parked overnight. Subsequent to the arrest, police were able to recover some of these belongings. Police also recovered other stolen items belonging to a third individual.

Steven Patrick Tatoosh was charged with one count of Break and Enter and three counts of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 19, 2020.

“We were fortunate here to have been able to recover at least some the vehicle owner’s identification and belongings. It’s really important that everyone take whatever steps they can to prevent these crimes of opportunity and to safe guard their identity and valuables,” Hayden said.

(This article has been edited to correct a reference to Jim Tatoosh as acting chief for Hupacasath First Nation. Jim Tatoosh said he and other councillors have taken on additional duties to fill the vacancy of chief councillor; there is no acting chief councillor position provided under the Indian Act, of which Hupacasath currently falls under).

Crimecrime ratePORT ALBERNItheft

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(BLACK PRESS file photo)

Just Posted

Kitimat LNG Canada worker tests positive for COVID-19

The company announced the positive case to its workers on March 28

Bachrach to donate salary hike to community organizations

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP among growing list of MPs giving raise away amid economic crisis

COVID-19: Haida Gwaii School District busy with plans to keep kids learning

District educational staff will take survey responses from parents, guardians into account

‘Focus on prevention’: Haida Nation webinar emphasizes avoidance of an outbreak

Dr. Caroline Walker says prevention is key to avoid “worst-case scenario” of an outbreak on-island

Want to volunteer during COVID-19? Here’s how to apply to the Queen Charlotte EOC

Young, healthy people can submit an online application to the Emergency Operations Centre

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

Most Read