09/26/2014 03:50 EDT | Updated 11/26/2014 05:59 EST

Federal court upholds Alberta First Nation's removal of chief over conflict

BROCKET, Alta. - A federal court has upheld a ruling by an Alberta First Nation to remove its former chief from office.

The Piikani (pee-CAW-nee) First Nation says it stems from a conflict of interest which initially led to Gayle Strikes With A Gun's suspension in 2012 prior to being stripped of her title late last year.

Piikani councillor Fabian North Peigan says it's a victory for the integrity of the nation's governance.

He adds the court battle has taken a toll on councillors.

Acting chief Clayton Small Legs will continue to assume leadership duties until the band's next election in January.

The First Nation is about 200 kilometres south of Calgary.

"It's been challenging because it interferes with your ability to be effective when you need to be," North Peigan said Friday.