Band Members filled the Band Office Gymnasium April 29th to witness the swearing in of Seabird Island’s newly elected Chief & Council. The results of the election saw Clement Seymour retain his role as Chief for the fifth consecutive term, as well as the addition of two new and seven returning Councillors.
Stō:ló Tribal Council Vice President and Band Member Tyrone McNeil welcomed the crowd and thanked those who came to witness the swearing in of the Band’s next line of leaders. Standing in a line at the head of the gymnasium, the Councillors were called individually to read and sign the oath of office. Councillor Vivian Ferguson described this election as being “… both a sad and a joyous moment,” and she was hopeful of what this next term could bring, “…we take on another two years to serve you, do our best for you, to be accountable to you, and give you a fair government”.
Many of the Councillors thanked the two departing members of Council, Dianna Kay and Rod Peters. “I would like to thank Daughter [Dianna] and Rod for sharing their knowledge, support, and their hard work,” said Councillor Marcie Peters who has served as Councillor on and off since 1981.
The election also saw Maggie Pettis regain a seat after having served for nine consecutive terms between 1995 and 2013. She reflected on her two year absence as a learning experience. “I really enjoyed my last two years off. It opened my eyes to areas where I think we need to see some improvements and in relation to how communication is lacking within Council.” She also encouraged Band Members to get in touch with her. “I open my door to each and every one of you. To hear what you have to offer and give us advice is what we are here for.”
Lolly Andrew was the only elected member who was about to begin their first term as Councillor and she was excited to take on this new role. “I am going to be the new one and I have a lot of learn. I look forward to learning and working together with those behind me,” Lolly said as she motioned to the other members of Chief & Council. Returning Councillor Jason Campbell was also optimistic about working with the new and returning members. “I look forward to working with the other members of Chief & Council, and I would like to thank the people for trusting us with this job and I hope we can live up to that trust,” said Jason.
Chief Clem Seymour closed the ceremony by thanking and welcoming the elected Council members. He took a moment to explain to the Councillors how important the role they have undertaken is and had some words of advice. “The commitment you have taken on to work together and look after something for our people is very important to all of us… always understand that when we make our decisions, that we bring our people along with us and take care of what we have in front of us”.
The elected members of Seabird Island’s Chief & Council for the 2015-17 term include Marcie Peters, James Harris, Vivian Ferguson, Alexis Grace, Art Andrew, Jason Campbell, Margaret (Maggie) Pettis, Carol Hope, Arlene (Lolly) Andrew and Chief Clem Seymour.