It was a close race, but Yunesit’in (Stone) now has a new chief.
The community, located 90 kilometers west of Williams Lake, elected chief Lennon Solomon for a four-year term on Sept. 9.
Electoral officer Blair Mackenzie confirmed of the 152 votes cast, 78 were claimed by Solomon with 74 going to Rosalie Montgomery.
Among those offering their congratulations to Solomon following the results early Wednesday evening were Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua and the Yeqox Nilin Justice Society.
“I’ve lived in Yunesit’in most of my life and grew up working, hunting and fishing the beautiful land,” Solomon , 39, wrote on Facebook a day prior.
Solomon is open to constructing a cannabis cultivation facility and retail store within the community, and said he would like to help upgrade their current on-reserve farming equipment.
He said he would also like to top up their current living allowance for post-secondary students, and develop an off-reserve housing program which will help off-reserve members secure mortgages for a home.
Montgomery will continue serving as Yunesit’in’s education coordinator.
Outgoing Chief Russell Myers Ross did not seek re-election after serving two consecutive terms as chief.