Chief Helen Henderson. (Photo submitted).
Chief Helen Henderson. (Photo submitted).

Chief Helen Henderson. (Photo submitted). Chief Helen Henderson. (Photo submitted).

Helen Henderson re-elected as Tsq’escenemc kukpi7

The Canim Lake chief will serve her second term

Kukpi7 Helen Henderson has been re-elected for her second term as chief of the Canim Lake Band (Tsq’escenemc).

Henderson received 70 of 234 votes cast, receiving a solid endorsement by the community to continue as the community’s political head, the band said in a news release. The voting took place April 24-30.

Over the past four years, Henderson has led the community through unprecedented times, including COVID-19 and last summer’s nearby wildfires. She said she is particularly proud of “watching the resiliency of our people through the pandemic and every other emergency thrown at us. Our collective ability to respond with strength, confidence and skill shows our capacity to safeguard our members.

“Our people suffered great losses and we continue to pull together to support one another – as is our Secwepemc value.”

Marg Shelley, executive director of the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council, offered congratulations, saying “the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council is very fortunate to have a Board of Directors member such as Kukpi7 Henderson to provide support through her vast experience in the treaty process as well as her skills in administration.”

Henderson said she intends to continue her initiatives of transforming Tsq’escen governance to reflect Secwepemc laws and incorporate Secwepemc values into community management structures, including policies. Her priority, she said, is “moving our people forward out of the Indian Act and toward self-determination and self-governance is her priority.

“There is a lot of heavy lifting ahead of us, and I look forward to effecting change along with my council, my people and community,” she said in the release. “We are stronger together.”

Elections will be held for three councillor positions in the upcoming months.

The band thanked all the candidates who ran in the election and provided a range of viewpoints on important issues.

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