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Two new faces join Metlakatla council
The votes are in, and there will be two new faces around the council table in Metlakatla.
Five of the six incumbent councillors were seeking re-election, with only four getting the nod from the voters. Alrita Leask received the most votes of the 16 candidates with 80, followed by incumbent James L. Nelson with 75 votes and incumbent Alvin Leask with 70 votes. The final councillor to be re-elected was also the last candidate to make the cut, as Cindy Smith received 60 votes.
Joining the returning councillors and Chief Harold Leighton at the table are Wayne Haldane with 64 votes and David Leask with 63. Haldane is a Prince Rupert-based fisherman of 55 years who has coached the Metlakatla Crest in the All Native Basketball Tournament for the past decade, while Leask lives in Metlakatla and has worked for the Nation in some capacity for the past 15 years.
The results left incumbent Robert Nelson without a seat. Nelson finished just outside of the top six spots with 56 votes, four below Smith.
A total of 351 members of the Metlakatla First Nation cast their vote in the election, which took place on Aug. 24 in Metlakatla and Aug. 25 in Prince Rupert. The numbers were even split, with 177 votes being cast in Metlakatla Territory and 174 being cast on Metlakatla First Nations land.