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VIDEO: New Chief (Kukpi7) elected for Splatsin

Former councillor Doug Thomas defeats seven-term incumbent Chief Wayne Christian by five votes
Former councillor Doug Thomas has been elected new Chief of the Splatsin band following the band’s general elections on Monday, Jan. 10. Thomas defeated seven-term incumbent Chief Wayne Christian by five votes. (Splatsin photo)

There will be a new Chief to lead the Splatsin band.

Former Tkwamipla7 (councillor) Doug Thomas has been elected Kukpi7 (Chief) of Splatsin, finishing first with 89 votes in the band election Monday, Jan. 10. Thomas defeated incumbent, seven-term Chief Wayne Christian, who took 84 votes. Randy Williams finished third with 49 votes.

“To be elected Kukpi7 is an honour,” said Thomas. “We have a lot of work ahead of us to improve all of our lives. We can work together not only as a newly elected chief and council but as a community.

“Continuing Truth and Reconciliation initiatives is a key element in overcoming prejudice and racism that many of our people face. Getting our history into the mainstream realm is a must. Another goal is to get our people engaged by listening and acting on their words as many of them have given up on the system. We need to adapt to new ways of engagement and merge with our traditional ways of living.”

Thomas thanked Christian for his 40 plus years of service to the Splatsin people. Christian served seven consecutive terms as Kukpi7 with major accomplishments dating as far back as 1980 when Splatsin took jurisdiction over its children resulting in its own child welfare system.

Five Tkwamipla7 (councillor) positions were filled with Loretta Eustache taking the most votes with 137. She was followed by Sabrina Vergata with 111 votes, Leonard Edwards with 110 votes, Beverly Thomas with 103 votes, and incumbent Tkwamipla7 Theresa William with 92 votes.

Other candidates who ran for Tkwamipla7 include Crystal (River) Johnson with 90 votes, Edna Felix earned 89 votes, Trina Antoine had 88 votes, Brock Thomas-Charles with 64, Laureen Felix earned 49 votes and Floyd (Stan) Felix had 33.

Splatsin Band Members cast 223 ballots in Monday’s election.

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Newly elected Splatsin chief and council (from left): Tkwamipla7 Leonard Edwards, Kukpi7 Doug Thomas, Tkwamipla7 Beverly Thomas, Tkwamipla7 Theresa William and Tkwamipla7 Sabrina Vergata. (Splatsin photo)

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