The new Chief and council for the Canim Lake Band were sworn in on Thursday, June 28.
The occasion marks the second time the Canim Lake Band has a female Chief, with Charlotte Christopher having held the role in the early 1970s. The council now also has a representative for members living away.
“My top priority is to advance our community through economic development. I think for a very long time, too long actually, our community hasn’t benefited as much as it could through resource development and I see that as part of my shared responsibility with council in moving our community forward,” says Chief Helen Henderson.
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She was enjoying the day, she says.
“I’ve enjoyed my Chieftainship since I took office on May 1 really,” she says. “I’ve been going and going and going and there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t enjoyed going to work.”
There are things to deal with every day but she’s enjoying connecting with community members both those who are part of the band and those who live in the immediate and broader area.
“I’m very honoured to be chosen for this role,” she says. “I always held Charlotte Christopher in high esteem.”
Henderson says she’s got a lot of faith in the new council as well as the old council and community member’s support of the council.
“My message is about reconciliation. It’s the key. We’re in a key time right now for our first nations and I’d like everybody to know that the more that we do things like this and celebrate with one another with our neighbours in 100 Mile and the surrounding area, our path will be a good path.”
To her reconciliation is coming to terms with the past and history and educating everyone on what that means for them, as well as their ability to move forward and bring health and wellness to the community, she says.
“The more understanding that people have of the traumas of our past, the more that we can move forward in a good healthy way.”
Outgoing council members were also thanked with George Pete receiving a pair of gloves.