For the first time, Shiloh Joe will appear on the shíshálh Nation ballot.
The eldest granddaughter of Diane and Clarence Joe Jr. is stepping forward for consideration as the next hiwus (Chief). Joe said her grandparents had a significant impact on her, as her grandmother instilled strong values in her, while her grandfather was on council when shíshálh Nation signed its self-government agreement in 1986. Joe was three years old at the time.
“It would be such an honour for me to be able to take our self government into its next phases,” she said. “I feel like the baton needs to be picked up. I’m ready and I feel that I have the tools and the skills to be able to do that work.”
“I’d really like to support the community, to have a really strong vision for what we want,” she said, adding that comes through financial and strategic planning. “I see the chief and council as the conduit to bring that vision to life on behalf of community members.”
Joe is currently a member of the Nation’s senior management as the Community Services Divisional Manager of four years. With six years of community services work, and working with shíshálh Nation council, Joe would bring her administrative and technical skills to the position as hiwus. She is also enrolled in Simon Fraser University as she studies Indigenous business leadership to obtain her master of business administration. Her accomplishments include securing funding for a number of initiatives and programs including the establishment of the Wellness and Recreation Department, housing projects and a supportive family housing program.
“I feel like leadership for us as Indigenous people is about being of service. I've spent the last 20 years in management positions, providing services to people. As I've been moving through my healing journey really deeply in the last 10 years, it really drew me back to working for my community,” Joe said.
Joe is running with her colleagues Rochelle Jones and Nievelina Carmona, who have formed strong working relationships. All come from different families in the community and “learned how to disagree” while maintaining their working relationships. That slate of candidates has been spending time with Elders, hearing about community health and well-being. They’re also speaking to youth, who the Elders have said need to be included as future generations.
The slate’s top three shared priorities are community health and wellbeing — which includes culture, language and housing — inclusive community engagement, and community-driven planning. Her campaign materials also highlight the need for long-term wealth strategy and financial transparency, as well as improving relationships with staff.
Joe also said she wants to modernize the constitution. While there have been many conversations about housing, “it starts with the finances and the planning,” Joe said.
Joe is also hoping to see a good voter turnout on Feb. 18, with the three chief and 10 council candidates, as well as the connection through social media for members who are living away from home.
“No matter what, it’s been a really amazing learning experience,” Joe says of the election campaign.
Joe can be reached at 604-989-3747, email@example.com and through Facebook.