By Lyonel Doherty
Elections on Indian reserves are always an emotional time, says OIB Chief Clarence Louie, who was re-elected for another term yesterday, garnering 214 votes.
First elected in 1984, Louie has seen many a voter’s day, but they don’t get any easier with time.
“Elections are always tough to go through on Indian reserves because the people all know each other . . . it’s a tough emotional time to pick.”
Louie is joined by a new council consisting of Tony Baptiste, Theresa Gabriel, Veronica McGinnis, Sammy Jo Louie and Leona Baptiste.
Yvonne Weinert was not re-elected.
Clarence Louie said it was nice to see veteran councillor Tony Baptiste back at the council table after he lost his seat in the previous election.
“I’m glad to see the two rookies returned, Leona and Sammy,” the chief said.
Louie pointed out that he had trouble picking the fifth councillor because he knows all of them on a personal level, and many people are related on the reserve.
“It’s like a sports team; who do you pick for the power play . . . they all want to get up to bat.”
Now that the election is behind them, Louie said their focus is enhancing the band’s business model by improving the performance of each business. They also need to attract more companies to Senkulmen Business Park and more people to buy into Desert Canyon golf villas.
The band is also working on developing parcels of land in Osoyoos, Louie said.