Gitxaala First Nation elects its first female chief councillor

Linda Innes will lead her community on B.C.’s North Coast for the next three years

Linda Innes is the new chief councillor for Gitxaala First Nation. (Submitted photo)

Gitxaala First Nation has elected its first female chief councillor.

Linda Innes was sworn in with the new governing council on Wednesday, April 17.

“I’m pretty proud of that,” she said.

With 157 votes, she defeated incumbent Chief Councillor Clifford White, who received 124 votes.

White was chief councillor for 4.5 years after being re-elected on half of a term, and he had served another six years as the elected leader prior to that.

READ MORE: Clifford White elected new Chief of Gitxaala Nation

Innes has experience in health and social services. She’s looking forward to building the capacity of administration in the community and building relationships with members.

“When I look at the challenges our community members face, I feel that I have the capacity to work with chief and council to build a strong leadership team to create the conditions required to improve the socio-economic conditions for our community,” she said.

She ran on a platform of transparency, accountability and inclusion.

Innes said she’s been involved in the impact benefits agreements with the province and industry. She said that not all community members felt involved in the process and she wants to look how to strengthen relationships with her members.

“It’s an exciting time,” she said. “With the entire nation and addressing our socio-economic conditions and building partnerships with the province and Canada.”

Gitxaala Nation held its governing council elections on April 15, when 427 people cast their vote. Bruce Innes was elected deputy chief, and council will be Phillip A. Gamble, Keith Innes, Joseph F. Lewis, Warren Nelson and Edgar George Jr.

READ MORE: Gitxaala sign LNG pipeline benefits agreement

Shannon Lough | Editor
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