Tsi Del Del (Alexis Creek) Chief Percy Guichon was re-elected for a second term, receiving 134 votes over his sole opponent, Ervin Charleyboy, who received 71 votes.
Speaking from the band office the morning after the Jan. 9 election, Guichon said he’s happy with the results.
Six councillors were also elected, including four incumbents: Terry Char, 77 votes; Rocky Guichon, 75; Otis Guichon, 63; and Clayton Charleyboy, with 62. New on council are Harold Corn with 75 votes and Gerald William with 60 votes.
Lauding the council, Guichon said he looks forward to working with the new council and continuing to improve the community in all areas.
He also said he is grateful for the vote of confidence and that he thinks the majority of voters made a very strong statement that they wanted to elect a chief and council that are going to protect the nation’s land, fish, and way of life.
“It’s a strong statement coming from the membership,” Guichon said, adding he’s excited to have the opportunity to lead the Alexis Creek Nation.
“A lot of people that voted have told me they aren’t in favour of the present proposal for the Prosperity mine and its impact on Fish Lake.
“They enjoy going to Siwash Bridge.
“There are lots of spots where people go fishing along the Chilcotin River, but that’s the prime spot. For thousands of years we’ve been fishing there,” Guichon said.
Tl’etinqox (Anaham) Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chair for the Tsilhqot’in National Government, said while he’s glad to see two fresh new faces on the council, he’s concerned there are no longer any women on the council.
“From Percy’s point of view, the two women he lost are a big loss for his leadership, but that’s what happens with elections.”
Guichon pointed out there are women working at the band council that will be involved.
Alphonse said he hadn’t anticipated a change in leadership.
“I think Ervin would have had a very serious chance of regaining his old position in the community as chief if he hadn’t come out in favour of Prosperity. That cost him this election and that’s a reminder that you need to listen to your membership,” Alphonse said, adding he thought Charleyboy had been listening to outside sources too much, and not his own people. He thinks the election was a mini referendum on the Prosperity issue.
Charleyboy, who also ran for councillor, told the Tribune he still plans to continue promoting the new Prosperity Mine project.
“I’m not going to quit. I’m still supporting Prosperity. I’m looking at young people here and I’m going to be talking to young people about training. That’s what I want to do,” Charleyboy said, adding there are a lot of young people in his community with nothing to do.
Charleyboy also said he’s put in a call to Aboriginal Affairs because he’s considering appealing the election.
Anyone wanting make an appeal must submit an affidavit within 45 days of an election.