David Kenworthy takes oath as new Katzie councillor. (Contributed)

Katzie First Nation council ready for two years

Swearing in ceremony draws more than 300 people

Katzie First Nation now has its new council in office, ready to take on the next two years following the swearing-in ceremony earlier this month.

Newly elected Chief Grace Cunningham said she wants to create transparent and open communications for all members, both on and off the reserve.

“Connecting to our members on a deeper level so we can confidently be addressing the needs of the nation is a must. We will create that dialogue and bring their voices to the forefront,” said Cunningham.

One objective is economic development and growth, while she also wants to continue the strategic planning currently underway and create new partnerships.

“Our elders have much to offer by way of support and guidance, we will embrace this.”

The swearing-in ceremony featured a traditional mask ceremony and drew more than 340 people from around the area.

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Surrey and Langley councils were represented along with MLA Bob D’Eith.

“Many shared the experience about the energy from the ceremony itself and how it has ‘touched’ or ‘moved’ them,” said Cunningham, who was elected in February after drawing more votes than incumbent Susan Miller.

Peter A. James was elected to his third term on council with 143 votes and Rick Bailey was also re-elected to a third term with 199 votes. The new councillor elected was David Kenworthy, who earned 180 votes.

As chief, Cunningham will handle the health, social services and economic development portfolios, while Bailey will focus on aboriginal rights and justice. James will have infrastructure and housing, and Kenworthy will have the education and culture portfolios.