The Doig River First Nation has elected a new chief.
On Nov. 20, Doig River members voted in Trevor Makadahay as the new chief of the band. He was officially appointed Nov. 24.
Two other people, Gerry Attachie and Kelvin Davis Jr, will serve with him on the two-person council, for a two-year term. Makadahay replaces former chief Norman Davis.
According to a Facebook profile, Makahaday served as a councillor for the band from 1996 to 2003.
A Doig River representative declined to provide the Alaska Highway News with a vote count.
“As far as the votes, council is not interested in publicizing the results,” Shona Nelson, the band’s administrator, wrote in an email.
Attachie is an incumbent councillor, and was appointed last January, according to the BC Assembly of First Nations website.
Coun. Kelvin Davis Jr. replaces Shirley Acko, who had served on council for 17 months, according to First Nations Financial Transparency Act documents.
Makadahay referred questions about the election to Nelson.
In an email to the Alaska Highway News, Nelson described her chief and council’s plan for the future.
“The DRFN Council is looking forward to working with government and industry to protect treaty rights and the environment while fully participating in the local economy,” she wrote.
“It is a high priority for Doig River to create and secure opportunities for our membership to become employed or start businesses to work on major resource development projects in our treaty territory. This will be accomplished by strengthening our nation’s economic development capacity.
”Key initiatives such as the K’ih tsaa?dze Tribal Park will remain a large focus for our elders, community and lands department,” she continued. “We will ensure that our land is protected for cultural use and the ongoing exercise of treaty rights.”
In 2011, under the leadership of Davis, Doig River declared plans to establish a 90,000-hectare park spanning its traditional territory in Northeast B.C. and northwest Alberta.
“Council will be advocating government to support us in providing seamless and enhanced community programs and services in the areas of early childhood development, elder’s care, education and health,” Nelson said.
“Improving housing and community infrastructure will also be incorporated into our plans. We are committed to good governance by being transparent in our decision-making and accountable to our membership.”
[Editor's note: This story originally carried an incorrect photo of Coun. Kelvin Davis Jr. The photo was actually of the late Kelvin Davis Sr. of Doig River First Nation. We apologize for the error.]