This image shows the Kitsumkalum community hall. The First Nation is about to head to the polls to elect a new council. (Brittany Gervais/Terrace Standard)

Don Roberts returns as Kitsumkalum chief councillor

Will serve eighth term

Don Roberts will serve an eighth consecutive two-year term as chief councillor of the Kitsumkalum First Nation following a Feb. 24 election win over four challengers.

Of 240 votes cast for the position of chief councillor, Roberts received 89 with Troy Alexander Sam receiving 66, James Cooley 61, Nicole Halbauer 16 and Janice Robinson 7. There was one spoiled ballot.

This was Halbauer’s second recent attempt at elected office. She ran unsuccessfully for the NDP in the Skeena riding in last fall’s provincial election.

Kitsumkalum voters also chose seven councillors out of 20 candidates and as with the chief councillor’s position, preferred incumbents over others.

Kitsumkalum election regulations allow for a candidate to run for chief councillor and a seat on council so while Sam was unsuccessful in defeating Roberts, he was re-elected to council, finishing with 124 ballots.

The other five successful incumbents were Cynthia Bohn with 141 votes, Wayne Bolton with 117, Aaron Horner with 120, Kathy Wesley with 99 and Lisa Wesley with 108. A seventh incumbent, Kenneth Brown, was initially nominated but was not on the final candidate list. He is being replaced by Jeanette Spalding who received 105 votes.

Halbauer was also unsuccessful in a bid for a council seat as were Matthew Bartlett, James Bohn, Warren Bolton, William Christiansen, Michelle Horner, Armin Musterer, Neil Okabe, William Osborne, Marcel Robinson, Christina Sam-Stanley, Herbert Spalding and Charlene Webb.

The Kitsumkalum First Nation has now embarked on what it expects will be the final details of a land claims treaty with the provincial and federal governments. It builds off an existing agreement in principle and will be put to a vote among Kitsumkalum members.

At the same time, the Kitsumkalum are expanding an inland port through their economic development arm and have plans to build a new school as well.

Terrace Standard

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