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Chief contested in Okanagan Indian Band election, 26 running for council

All candidates forum March 14 ahead of March 30 vote
Daniel Anthony Wilson (left) is taking on incumbent Byron Louis in the candidacy for chief of the Okanagan Indian Band. (Contributed)

The stage is set for the Okanagan Indian Band’s (OKIB) 2023 election.

With two candidates for chief and 26 for councillor, there is sure to be plenty of issues to be debated.

Ahead of the March 30 election there will be an All Candidates Forum on March 14 at the Head of the Lake Hall, where inquiring voters can speak and hear from the candidates. That takes place from 6-9 p.m. If you cannot attend in person, you may watch via Zoom.

The election for chief will be contested by incumbent Byron Louis and Daniel Anthony Wilson.

Louis has 33 years of experience and knowledge at all governmental levels.

According to his candidacy profile, Louis has “actively and successfully put forth numerous resolutions at provincial and national levels for immediate action: support for disabilities, agriculture, natural resource management, economic development and environment.”

If elected again, he promises to work towards securing funds for litigation of title and rights at the Okanagan Nation level.

Meanwhile, Wilson has been a member of the OKIB council for eight years. According to his candidacy profile, Wilson believes he can “best serve our community as chief as the best interests of the Syilx Okanagan people has always been the guiding principle in my life.”

Wilson touts his prior success on council to “leading key negotiations with the Crown, land purchases and expansion that are now coming to fruition, as Beau Park will soon be designated reserve land.” He is prepared “to navigate the social, cultural, and economic development for the best interest of our community now and with the next generations in mind.”

There are 26 candidates seeking one of the 10 councillor positions: Gary Bonneau, James Bonneau, Raymond Bonneau, Ricky Bonneau, Cynthia Brewer, Viola Brown, Valerie Chiba, Donna Good Water, Tim Isaac, Joseph Jack, Mary Patricia Jack, Allan Louis, Erica Louis, Jo Ann Louis, Monica Louis, Richard Louis, Judy Marchand, Rachel Marchand, Raymond Marchand, Floyd Oppenheimer, Irvine Paul, Raymond Paul, Ranger Robins, Rochelle Saddleman, Patricia Wilson and Tiffany Wilson.

For more information on the candidates, and to access the Zoom link for the forum, visit the Okanagan Indian Band website

OKIB members can vote Thursday, March 30 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Head of the Lake Hall.

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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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