Three Williams Lake First Nation councillors will be sworn in on Monday, Aug. 24. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Williams Lake First Nation to welcome two new councillors

An election was held recently at the community south of Williams Lake

The Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) will be welcoming two new members to council following an election on Aug. 19.

Results for the election in which three council positions were available were declared shortly an hour after the polls had closed by chief electoral officer Lisa Camille and deputy electorate officer Maggie Berns.

Re-elected as councillor was knowledge keeper, elder and former chief Rick Gilbert who, in the 1970s, had served as the nation’s first band administrator.

Read More: B.C. First Nations head to the polls amid pandemic

Chris Wycotte Sr., who chief administrative officer Aaron Mannella described as another experienced knowledge keeper and has served more than 17-years on WLFN council in previous terms, was also elected.

Joining Gilbert and Wycotte Sr. is UNBC student and co-owner of Four Winds Driving School in Williams Lake, Shae Chelsea who garnered the third most popular vote.

“The highest turnout for voters we’ve ever had was in 2018 and we had 221 voters at that time,” Mannella said, noting there was a great mix this year of in-person voting and individuals who took advantage of advance polls.

“Last night we had just under 200 voters of the eligible 400 registered band members.”

The WLFN has a total of five councillors who work closely with Chief Willie Sellars. Still serving their terms on council until August of 2022 are Shawna Philbrick and JoAnne Moise.

With their custom election code requiring Gilbert, Wycotte Sr. and Chelsea to be sworn in within seven days of the election results having been declared, a special ceremony to honour them, along with outgoing councillors Andrew Meshue and Lennard Supernault, will be held Monday, Aug. 24.

Read More: New name for First Nations community near Williams Lake

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