Over the weekend Stuart Jackson was elected Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band. After serving on Council for 15-years before the last two terms, Jackson decided the time was right to re-enter the political world.
“It was six years, it was a good opportunity for me to hit a reset button and re-energise myself,” said Jackson. “I ran because community members wanted to support me and jump into the position and serve the community.”
Jackson and former Chief Aaron Sumexheltza have been working together to bring him up to speed on the wide range of issues facing the community. Jackson outlined some of the key discussions ahead.
“We have a lot of inhouse situations that have been echoed and emphasised by our community members with respect to service delivery and the like. There are issues the Council will have to address when it comes to education, our housing, and our water,” said Jackson. “We have to start paying attention to our role in our local ecology.”
“Another important issue to start looking into and start discussing is this agreement the Band has signed with Trans Mountain. We need to talk about that and plant our feet as a band, as a nation and make sure everything aligns with the things that are important in our community,” added Jackson.
Jackson agreed that the Band isn’t saying the agreement could be changed, just that it needs to be reviewed by the new Council.
In terms of working with the City of Merritt, the Chief mentioned looking forward to sitting down with City Hall and having a conversation.
For Jackson, his challenge will now be to bring together the Council who all ran on different platforms for the betterment of the whole community.
“If we all believe in the same principles of leadership, that whatever decision we have to make or business we have to attend to, that it is always in the best interest of the community,” concluded Jackson.
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