Polls open for Okanagan Indian Band election - InfoNews

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Polls open for Okanagan Indian Band election

FILE PHOTO: Okanagan Indian Band chief Byron Louis
Image Credit: Submitted
March 29, 2019 - 11:43 AM

VERNON - The polls are open today for members of the Okanagan Indian Band voting for a new chief and council.

Along with incumbent Chief Byron Louis, two new names appear on the ballot vying the top position, while 24 candidates are competing for 10 councillor spots, to sit for the mandated two-year term.

Current councillor and former Chief Dan Wilson - who was chief from 1999 to 2003 and has been on council since 2015; and Cindy Brewer, who has been on council since 2017, are on the ballot running against the incumbent Chief Louis. Both Wilson and Brewer are running for chief or councillor.

Wilson previously sat on council from 1987 to 1993 and was Chief of the Okanagan Indian Band and chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance from 1999 to 2003. He was elected to council in 2015. According to his bio, he has a Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as a law degree from UBC.

According to Brewer's bio, she is a grandmother and has lived on the reserve for more than 40 years. Her first experience with the band council came in 2017 when she was elected as a councillor.

Incumbent Chief Lewis was first elected to council in 1991 and served six consecutive terms as a councillor, before being elected chief in 2011.

Incumbent councillors Val Chiba, Timothy Isaac, Garett Lawrence, Allan B. Louis, W. Dean Louis, Sheldon Louis, Shawna Whitney and Leland Wilson are all standing for re-election.

The newcomers seeking a spot on council include Kevin Alexis, Lyle William Brewer, June Cole, Sharon Cullen, Darryl M. Marchand, Raymond Marchand, Shane Miller, Buffy Mills, Michael Ochoa, Ryan Oliverius, H. Russell Williams and William Wilson.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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