Saturday, September 20, 2014
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Fort Nelson First Nation elects new chief

William Stodalka / Alaska Highway News

Liz Logan is the newly elected chief of Fort Nelson First Nation.


She said she plans to resign her post as the head of the Treaty 8 Tribal Association this Friday, and to return to her former position as chief of the First Nation of about 800 people.

She received 222 votes, the most out of any of the 22 candidates who ran for the seven council positions. (Four of these candidates withdrew before election day.)

Sharleen Gale is no longer the chief of the First Nation, but will serve as councillor. She received 130 votes.

Other councillors who won were Roberta Dendys, Samantha Kotchea, Vance Parson, Kathi Dickie, and Renee Lomen.

Dendys received the most votes, at 154. Dickie received 153, Kotchea received 130, Gale received 130, Parson received 121, and Lomen received 120.

Dendys, Parson and Gale were the only three of the previous council to remain re-elected.

Previous Councillor Theresa Fincaryk ran but lost by a close margin, getting 13 fewer votes less than her competitor.

Previous Councillor Curtis Dickie was not on the list of candidates who ran for this year’s election.

In the Fort Nelson First Nation, people can vote for up to seven councillors, and then these councillors select amongst themselves who should be chief.

This represents more councillors leading the Fort Nelson First Nation from the previous council, which had six members.

Requests for interviews sent through Fort Nelson First Nations electoral officer to the other councillors about the election were not returned as of press time.

Logan is not new to the position, having served the position for eight years before the 2014 election.

“I just decided that I wanted to come back and work with my nation,” she said. "When I was nominated, I let my name stand … My community knows who I am. They know that I have proven leadership.”

Logan said she campaigned on her skills and experience, and believed that showed in the number of votes she received. When asked about what were some of the accomplishments she could point to during her previous term, Logan said that she thought she “brought stability into the community” and paved more roads.

In her new position, she said she was “very vocal about open communication. We do have monthly community meetings. And so we may have to have a look at how those are run; maybe change our format,” she said. “We may have to look at different ways of communicating with our constituents and members.” She plans to gather ideas about that, and other issues related to Fort Nelson First Nation, at a community meeting scheduled for later this month.

“I’d like to sit down with the membership and ask them what they feel that the challenges are.”

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