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Lheidli T'enneh elects first female chief in more than 50 years

Dolleen Logan won nearly 57 per cent of the vote

For the first time since 1969, the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation has a female chief.

Dolleen Logan won the bi-annual election last night (April 8) by earning a total of 151 votes in her favour, or 56.8 per cent, defeating Clay Pountney (102) and Jason Gillis (13). Results are still 'preliminary' as of this publication (April 9).

Logan served on the local Indigenous Nation's council for three terms before choosing to run for chief.

Mary Pius was the last female chief elected by Lheidi T'enneh members.

According to spokesperson Kevin Brown, nearly 270 Nation residents voted in the 2021 election, which accounts for 60 per cent of its population.

"Many elections, local government, federal, provincial; you're doing well if you get to 40 or 50 per cent voter turnout, so Lheidli T'enneh members have a lot to be proud of," he said.

"We welcomed about 100 members for in-person voting. We were all safe and COVID-appropriate."

There were a total of four voting options for Nation members, including in-person, online, by phone or by mail-in ballot.

Five council members were also elected Thursday night with some familiar faces.

Crystal Gibbs received the most votes (94) to be elected for a first term as a Lheidli T'enneh councillor. She was followed by Helen Buzas (90) to win a second term.

Former Chief Dominick Frederick (74) is back on council. Pountney took over his chief's chair in 2019 after seven consecutive two-year terms.

Marcel Gagnon (73), who was recently named a recipient of a UNBC honourary degree, and Joshua Seymour (70), who won a third term on council, round out the five electoral seats.

Additonally, Rena Zatorski, Elaine Gagnon and Wendy Jael were voted to the Lands Authority Committee.

Lheidli T'enneh is the unceded territory to which Prince George is built upon.