Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars is “excited and super stoked” to be staying on for another four years after being re-elected by acclamation last week.
“We have a ton of work to do still in this post-covid world and post specific claim world,” he said, referring to the recent vote in his community that supported accepting a specific claim settlement agreement with the federal government that includes compensation of $135 million.
“We have some big things envisioned for this community and some big builds.”
There was one other person who accepted a nomination to run for chief who resigned and community members will go to the polls on Aug. 18 to elect two councillors as the terms held by current councillors JoAnne Moise and Shawna Philbrick are up.
Eight people are vying for two councillor spots including Dana Alphonse, Joey Alphonse, Ann Louie, JoAnne Moiese, Shawna Philbrick, Dancing Water Sandy, Anthony Sellars and Norma Sure.
“The funnest part of the vision we have planned is the community engagement portion,” Sellars said of the work council will be doing. “What does the community want to see? Nothing is out of the realm of possibility now for us and that is beyond exciting.”
This will be his second four-year term as chief and being acclaimed comes as a “validation,” for the work the council’s done, he said.
“I’m very proud of this group and what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
Thinking back to his younger self, he always knew he wanted to get into politics because that was a way to make change in the community.
“Over the past five and 10 years the changes have been staggering,” Sellars said. “Coun. Rick Gilbert had a good quote, he said ‘we’ve done more in the last two years than we’ve done in the last 50.”
Sellars noted what has allowed that to happen is that previous chiefs and councils have set the framework for future chiefs and councils.
“And the legal landscape has significantly changed in Indian country and it’s given us leverage and a seat at the table so we can see a lot more successes.”
During the remaining days of summer he hopes to take at least a week off during dip netting season, amidst his very busy schedule.