By Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
As the newly-elected Dayi, Dolleen Logan says she will be taking a steady-as-she-goes approach to leading the Lheidli T’enneh Nation while she works to live up to her promise of generating “real involvement” among the band’s members.
Logan drew 151 votes when the ballots were counted on Thursday, enough to defeat incumbent Clayton Pountney, who attracted 102 votes. Jason Gillis finished third with 13 votes.
In an interview, Logan said she saw a need to improve communication between band council and LTN members and, in particular, wants to better engage the band’s elders.
An effort to get laptops into each of their hands so they can keep in touch online is part of that campaign as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent LTN from holding in-person meetings.
Logan said she wants that communication to be two-way, where the rank and file can voice their opinions on what the council is up to and make their proposals on how the life for band members can be improved.
“I want real involvement. Not just an annual general meeting to say ‘this is what we’ve done,'” Logan said. “I want the elders to take pride in it and say ‘yeah, we helped them get that done.'”
While that’s put into place, Logan said the band council will continue to pursue the matters already on the agenda.
The lawsuit against Enbridge over the October 2018 pipeline explosion that forced an evacuation of the Shelley reserve will remain in play, as will the efforts, in partnership with the McLeod Lake Indiand Band, to establish an industrial park southeast of Summit Lake and to have a member from each of the bands sit on the School District 57 board of trustees.
On the pandemic, Logan had accolades for LTN members, saying they have adhered to the restrictions on social gatherings and the requirement to wear masks and continue to do so even though the first round of vaccinations has been completed.
“We tell them that ‘just because you’ve had your shot, you’re not invincible,'” Logan said.
As a result, she said there have been just “one or two cases” among LTN members in the Prince George region.
Logan was a member of the band council for six years prior to Friday’s outcome. She was also the executive assistant to long-time Dayi or Chief Dominic Frederick, who lost to Pountney in 2019 after a 15-year run.
Among those elected to band council, Crystal Gibbs topped the poll with 94 votes, followed by incumbent Helen Lisa
Buzas with 90 votes. Frederick was also elected to band council with 74 votes as was Marcel Gagnon with 73 votes and incumbent Joshua Seymour with 70 votes.
Elected to the lands committee were Rena Zatorski, 140 votes, Elaine Gagnon, 137 votes, and Wendy Jael, 106 votes.
All were elected for two-year terms.