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Gitanmaax Band elects new chief

The first council meeting of the new administration was scheduled for July 9.
Tracy Woods campaign poster. (Contributed photo)

Tracey Woods is the new chief of Gitanmaax.

Woods defeated incumbent Chief Veronica Green 192 to 170.

Edward Gordon Green received 61 votes for the chief councillor position.

“It’s a new and exciting experience for me,” Woods said. “I’m really excited about being given the opportunity to take on this role for my community and to work with fellow council members to do some great work for our community.”

Crystal Tolmie, Bonita Daves, Logan Maitland, Ang Smith, Toni Muldoe and Martha Wilson were elected to the office of councilor for the first time.

Veronica Green, Jacqueline Green, Mavis Sebastian, Roger Sterritt, and Woods were reelected to council.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Veronica said of being a councillor instead of the chief. “At the end of the day it’s about the community. I’m not there to get anything for myself. I’m there to serve the community and enhance the services and programs that we offer our community.”

Veronica was selected as the deputy chief councillor after the passing of the elected chief Marjorie McRae. Veronica served one term.

Woods first joined council for the 2006-2008 term. After a few years off she was elected backed to council in 2012 and had served three consecutive terms before becoming chief.

In the previous election, members of the community nominated Woods for chief but she declined because she felt she wasn’t ready for the role.

“I had community members asking me whether I would let my name stand if they nominated me,” Woods said. “I think it must have been the timing of when they asked and with everything that was going on where I just told them yes, I will let my name stand. If I get in, I get in. If I don’t, I don’t. I still have the ability to help my community out.”

Woods was nominated by her Uncle Larry Woods.

“We need changes in the community,” Larry said. “The community is divided.”

Although the new council come in power on June 19, they are still working with the old council to complete the transition smoothly.

The first council meeting of the new administration was scheduled for July 9.

Woods said the first order of business is to get the six new council members up to speed on protocol as well as expectations of the council.

She also wants to have a planning session to identify and prioritize initiatives for the community.

“We want to have a good relationship with our community’s members off and on reserve, keeping them apprised of activities that are going on in our community.”