Relative ewcomer Bryce Williams has been elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation.
In a surprising result, the 23-year-old first term member of the TFN council toppled incumbent Kim Baird when the votes were counted Wednesday evening (Sept. 5).
While official results will not be posted on TFN’s website until Thursday morning, Baird Tweeted shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m. that the votes were close.
“Count down is a horse race. Bryce is 3 ahead of me. Should be another half hour. Count is switching between chief & legislators,” Baird Tweeted.
A total of 260 TFN members from the population of 439 were eligible to vote.
According to figures released by TFN officials Wednesday night, 148 members voted, a turnout rate of 57 per cent.
Baird, 42, had been chief for the 13 years, steering her community through the treaty negotiation process and into the early development stages of large-scale residential and commercial projects.
In the 2009 election she was acclaimed chief.
Williams, (seen below) a native carver, was the youngest member of the TFN executive, and a selection in the South Delta Leader’s 30 Under 30 feature edition in 2010.
In an interview at the time, Williams said that as a member of the executive he wanted to be a positive role model and benefit his community the best he could.
One of his goals was to create more recreational opportunities for youth living on Tsawwassen First Nation land.
“I want to be there for the youth and help get a hockey/lacrosse box going here, and a baseball field or soccer field—things like that,” he said.
According to TFN’s 2012 Election Fact Sheet, this is the second general election under the post-treaty governance structure that was established in April 2009.
Also elected Wednesday night to TFN’s Legislature were:
Tony Jacobs (also on Executive Council)
Karl Morgan (also on Executive Council)
Sheila Williams (also on Executive Council)
Ken Baird (also on Executive Council)
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