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

West Kootenay residents stranded in Peru seek a way home

Three West Kootenay residents are in remote places, unable to get to Lima’s international airport

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

Kootenay Meadows Farm experiencing shortage of glass milk bottles

Some grocery stores have stopped accepting bottle returns amid COVID-19 concerns

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read