The Lower Similkameen Indian Band is in the midst of an election for the chief and one councillors position.
With the close of nominations last week, there is a two way race for chief and a four way race for the councillor’s position, with the election slated for November 4.
We were recently disappointed to find ourselves denied when we asked the LSIB for permission to cover an all candidate’s meeting, which was held at Cawston Hall on October 28.
Relationships with the region’s First Nations bands and local governments have been moving forward recently, as matters of mutual interest combine with increasing awareness and enlightment amongst the various players.
As examples of increasingly meaningful participation, we look at the recent regionally-oriented protocol agreement signed between the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen and most of the region’s native bands, as well as the recent efforts made by Similkameen Valley Planning Society members to ensure that the LSIB was fully represented at the SVPS table.
As First Nations and other local governments begin to engage more fully in meaningful discussion, we believe there will be a corresponding increase in interest by the public to understand the issues and backgrounds of everyone sitting at local decision making tables.
Even though non-natives do not participate in the election process, the outcome of these elections has the potential to affect us all.
Hopefully, the LSIB will see fit to look at a policy regarding media coverage and non native attendance for future election debates.