Cheslatta Carrier Nation will be holding its elections for chief and council this year in June.
The elections will be held on June 2, as per the elections officer Loreen Suhr to elect on chief and two councillors. In a move keeping in mind health and well-being of all its band members, the elections this year will however look different.
On April 23, a final list of candidates running in the election this year was released.
For the council, the candidates in the running are Hazel Burt, Ted Jack, Tara Quaw and Janet Whitford. For the chief, there are two candidates in the running, incumbent Chief Corrina Leween and Cathy Troy.
This year, the Cheslatta Carrier Nation chief and council elections will be held entirely by mail to avoid personal exposure of the members. This move was made considering the COVID-restrictions as well as to limit exposure during the pandemic, by the Chief and council after they approved a Band Council Resolution to temporarily amend the Cheslatta Carrier Nation Custom Election Code for 2021.
As per the temporary amendment there was a nomination period of 30 days held instead of a nomination meeting. On April 19, a list of nominated candidates was released along with the name of the nominator and seconder and whether the candidate had a criminal record or not.
The current Chief Corrina Leween and councillors Hazel Burt and Ted Jack were re-elected back in 2017 by acclamation after they turned out to be the only candidates to come forward at the nomination meeting. This year however, a total of seven candidates were nominated for the council and five for the chief. After this, the candidates had until April 21 to provide a signed acceptance form to officially become a candidate in the running.
Because the election will be held entirely by mail, the ballots will be mailed to all Cheslatta Carrier Nation members by April 26 and they must be returned by mail to the electoral officer, postmarked by five p.m. of May 27, 2021.
The ballots cast will be counted by Suhr in Prince George on June 2 with an independent witness in attendance. Another unique thing about this year’s elections would be that the election will be live streamed on either the Cheslatta Carrier Nation’s Facebook page or via Zoom.