Newly elected Chief Roxanne Lindley says Westbank First Nation election fought largely on social media
By John McDonald
Newly elected Westbank First Nation Chief Roxanne Lindley.
Image Credit: Westbank First Nation
September 16, 2016 - 2:37 PM
VICTORY ENDS ROBERT LOUIE'S 15-YEAR REIGN
WESTBANK FIRST NATION - An elated Roxanne Lindley — newly elected chief of the Westbank First Nation — says she and her council counterparts will do “beautiful things” in the next three years.
Lindley defeated incumbent Chief Robert Louie, who was seeking a sixth consecutive term and becomes the first woman chief in band history.
She credits her win to a campaign fought largely on social media, releasing a series of beautifully shot videos on Facebook that outlined her vision for band governance.
Lindley said she tried to avoid the negativity in the campaign, especially that which surfaced when former chief Ron Derrickson accepted a nomination for chief, only to withdraw it and endorse Lindley.
There is no love lost between Derrickson and Louie, who were on the opposite sides of a movement to oust Derrickson as chief in 1986.
Despite several provincial inquiries and royal commission, Derrickson was cleared of wrong-doing and won a large defamation suit over statements made to local media.
Official results released by the Westbank First Nation electoral officer Karley Scott show Lindley bested Louie by 34 votes, 175 to 141. Derrickson received 26 votes despite withdrawing his nomination and the other candidate on the ballot, Larry Derrickson Sr. took 43 votes.
Incumbent councillors Chris Derrickson and Brian Eli were re-elected with 170 and 121 votes respectively while newly elected councillors Fernanda Alexander and Thomas Konek drew 155 and 140 votes respectively.
Incumbents Mic Werstiuk and Mike De Guevara failed to regain their council seats with 109 and 71 votes respectively.
Scott reported 390 votes cast out of a possible 550 with four ballots rejected as spoiled.
Westbank First Nation is a self-governing band with approximately 800 members, living largely on Indian Reserves #9 and #10 on the west side of Okanagan Lake.
Find past stories on the Westbank First Nation election here.
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