Saik’uz First Nation is heading towards an election March 25. Two candidates will be elected to the Office of Council for a term of two years.
The candidates running in the election are Jasmine Thomas, Alison Agatha Johnny, Albert George, Dee Dee Alexis, Harvey Raphael, Dennis Thomas and Melanie Thomas.
“All off-Reserve voters for whom a residential address has been provided will automatically be sent a mail-in voting package,” said Saik’uz First Nation in a Facebook post Feb. 22.
In case the voters do not receive a mail-in voting package or live on-reserve, contact Nicole Hajash, Electoral Officer, to provide the current residential mailing address.
For in-person voting, members can visit the Saik’uz band office between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The Express has tried to reach out to all candidates standing for election, however, only two candidates Jasmine Thomas and Alison Agatha Johnny have responded. For all other candidates, please send in your contact information to email@example.com.
Jasmine Thomas is currently serving as a councillor at Saik’uz First Nation and is running for re-election.
Thomas looks after environmental stewardship, which works closely with employment, training and economic development. She has also been working on projects to seek a balanced approach in terms of environmental stewardship concerns that the Saik’uz community is facing.
“I continue to work alongside my council members and strive to advance environmental stewardship goals and sustainable economical development opportunities while trying to address other social and health issues that our community members are facing,” Thomas said.
Meanwhile, Thomas aims to see the implementation of 231 calls for justice of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Thomas participated in the national inquiry, travelled across the country and heard not only the problems but also the solutions.
Thomas is the vice-president for BC First Nations Technology Council and also sits on their Board of Directors.
She feels not having the ability to have internet, wifi, cellphones, really hinders the ability to participate in economic and educational systems.
“I would try to advance the discrimination that our communities are facing, in terms of accessibility to technology and connectivity to meaningfully participate in the economy and pursue education,” she added.
Alison Agatha Johnny
Alison Agatha Johnny has been working with Saik’uz First Nation since she was in high school. She has worked in various departments, including finance and social development.
Currently, she works part-time with the indigenous community, and does wellness work with kids.
“I work with the ministry to try to keep our kids in the community,” Johnny said.
Johnny aims to work on issues faced by Saik’uz, and serve the community.
“Our community is so separated that I want to try and figure out the way that we can get back together as a community and start working on some of the issues we have to face,” she said.
Johnny feels all candidates have different things to offer and is wishing them good luck.
“I do not think I am better than the other candidates. I think all the candidates that are running are all good candidates for the community,” she added.