Big changes are expected at the Shuswap First Nation after last week’s election saw two new councillors replace chief Paul Sam and Alice Sam.
The ex-husband and wife made national headlines earlier this month after their six-figure salaries were revealed after the band complied with the First Nations Transparency Act implemented by the federal government last year.
Councillor Barbara Cote earned the most votes, and she’ll be joined by newcomers Timothy Eugene and Rosalita Pascal.
There was no landslide victory as the ballot count was close. In the basement of the band office on election night (Friday, November 7th), the votes were read out one by one. Paul Sam and Alice Sam both received a substantial number of votes, along with other candidates Dorothy Warbrick, Suzanne Thomas, and Pauline Eugene. There were just over 100 votes cast, which was an increase of about 30 to 40 more than the average turnout.
“We knew it was going to be a close election,” said Mr. Eugene. “I was worried for a little while, but I began to feel relieved when I started to see more numbers come through.”
The first council meeting was held on Monday, November 10th after The Echo’s press time.
For more on this story, see this Friday’s Pioneer.