What is believed to be a record number of candidates are running for chief of K’atlodeeche First Nation (KFN).
When the list of candidates was released on Oct. 5, seven people were in the running to replace Chief Roy Fabian, who is not seeking re-election.
The candidates for chief in the Nov. 6 election are Andy Cardinal, Amos Cardinal, Lenny Fabian, April Martel, Jeffrey Norn, Ken Norn and Doreen Tambour.
“I guess I’m hard to replace,” Chief Fabian said with a laugh. “But seriously, the people right now, they need choices. So I guess that’s the key thing.”
The outgoing chief thinks it is a record number of candidates for leadership of KFN.
Fabian believes the large number of candidates may be partly inspired by the ongoing issue of how to distribute a $28.3-million settlement with the federal government for the agricultural benefits in Treaty 8.
Last month, the membership voted against a proposal that would have meant a $15,000 individual one-time payout to all band members, while setting up an $18-million trust fund.
At that time, the chief and council announced in a news release that the next chief and council will have to deal with the issue.
Fabian noted some candidates for chief are saying they will have a payout for members within days of being elected.
However, he said that is not possible.
“Nothing can be paid out unless it’s voted on,” he said. “So $15,000 was not accepted. Fine. If they’re going to do something else, they still have to follow our process.”
Fabian also noted that, in general, some people might not understand what being chief really involves.
“I never did anything that the band council did not tell me to do,” he explained. “As a chief, you just carry out the wishes of the band council and then the council carries out the wishes of the community.”
Six candidates have been acclaimed to fill the seats on council.
They are Robert Lamalice, Patrick Martel, Doug Lamalice, Peter Sabourin, Raymond Sonfrere and Henry Tambour.
Four members were also acclaimed to the K’atlodeeche First Nation District Education Authority. There are Julia Maryleigh Fabian, Leona Fabian, Roseann Judith Tourangeau and Crystal Sabourin.
That leaves one seat vacant on the K’atlodeeche First Nation District Education Authority.