shíshálh Nation is getting ready for a full election race as more than a dozen members have put themselves forward for consideration as the next chief and council.
Feb. 18 is voting day for the 2023 election to elect the hiwus (Chief) and four councillors. In the last election, in 2020, the four councillors — Corey August, Alvina Paul, Selina August and Barbara Joe — were acclaimed and voters chose between four candidates for chief. This year, only Philip Paul, elected through a by-election, is running for re-election to council.
Ten people are running for the four seats on council: Nievelina Carmona, Shain Jackson, Wesley Jeffries Jr., Raquel Joe, Tina Joe, Rochelle Jones, Andrea Paul, Philip Paul, Ben F. Pierre, and Lois Vader.
Advance voting will be held on Feb. 12 at the shíshálh Nation Community Hall from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Election day voting will take place on Feb. 18 in the Elders Boardroom of the shíshálh Nation Community Hall from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There are more eligible voters than the Nation’s last election, in 2020. This time, 1,060 people are eligible to vote in 2023 election compared to a previous total of 980 eligible voters. Voters must be 18 years of age or older by election day.
Nation members who do not live on shíshálh lands are eligible to vote. Voters who do not reside on shíshálh lands or are unable to vote in-person due to disability can vote by a mail ballot if they have completed the application by Jan. 19. Those ballots must be received by the electoral officer before the election polls close on Feb. 18.
Voters will need to show a piece of identification, such as a Status Card or valid B.C. driver’s licence.
After polls close, the count begins. The election officer will report his findings to the chief and council, who will announce the election results.
shíshálh Nation holds an election every three years. The last election was on Feb. 15, 2020, when five people ran to become councillor and four people ran to become chief.
Please note a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that none of the current councillors are running for re-election. Philip Paul, who was elected by by-election, is running for re-election.