Members of the Okanagan Indian Band will head to the polls to elect a new chief and council at the end of March, and the band is now seeking nominations.
The OKIB has hired One Feather Indigenous Election and Voting Services to assist in hosting election information and meetings.
The decision was made to help members and staff remain safe during the pandemic by minimizing contact, the OKIB said in a media release Friday.
“With 50-plus years of combined Indigenous elections management, One Feather are the leaders of Indigenous best practices for First Nations and Metis elections and voting events in Canada.”
Incumbent Chief Byron Louis has held his position since he was first elected in 1991, serving six consecutive terms. He claimed the 2019 election with 240 votes over runner-up candidate Dan Wilson’s 183.
The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, Feb. 16. Anyone interested in running for chief or for one of 10 councillor positions must visit the One Feather/OKIB page for details, including the notice of nomination meeting, notice of voting place, nomination and declaration form, mail-in nomination instructions and the voter list.
Members are being encouraged to vote by mail-in ballot to minimize contact at the polls, but members will still be allowed to vote in-person on election day.
A nomination meeting will take place Feb. 16. at Head of the Lake Hall in Vernon from 4 to 7 p.m. Members can join online by Zoom using this link, or phone in at 1-778-907-2071.
Voting on March 30 will take place at the same location from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information, visit onefeather.ca/nations/okib.