No suspects in vandalism incident on Dene Chief Yakeleya’s car

Norman Yakeleya
Norman Yakeleya, pictured when he was Sahtu's MLA. (Photo by
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Police have no suspects for the incident involving Dene National National Chief Norman Yakeleya, who had his gas tank drilled into when visiting family who were ill in Grande Prairie.

Yakeleya says he was visiting a family member who had been medevaced south.

Yakeleya drove down from the NWT to Grande Prairie with his wife and stopped at a motel the night before he was set to visit the hospital. Overnight he said his wife woke up and heard an explosion from outside the motel. He went downstairs and found a car ablaze in the parking lot.

Yakeleya said there had been a couple of incidents in Grande Prairie that night. But it wasn’t until the next morning when driving to the hospital and someone pulled them over, that Yakeleya realized his gas tank had been drilled into.

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“Gods must be shining upon us that day because we drove with fuel coming out, a hole in our gas tank, the car running, running, and nothing happened,” he said.

A screenshot of Yakelaya’s gas station. (Supplied by Dene Nation Facebook.)

Yakeleya drove back to the motel, hired a rental car and continued onto the hospital, where his family member is recovering well.

The Dene Nation posted a screenshot taken from a text message from Yakeleya of a gas tank that had been drilled into.

“Have other travellers experienced this type of vandalism?” the post read.

Local RCMP confirmed there was a complaint of mischief to a gas tank made on March 23. 

Police added they have no suspects and that there does not seem to be any usable surveillance footage available.

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