The Squamish area lost a representative in the Squamish Nation election on the weekend.
On Sunday (Dec. 8), members took to the polls to vote in 16 councillors and a band manager. Once the votes were tallied, Squamish had one less representative at the table.
Squamish resident Dale Harry, who has served three terms on council, lost his seat, while local resident Joshua Joseph kept his foot in the door. Joseph received 536 votes, according to unofficial election results.
Before being elected to council, Joseph was a Squamish Nation youth support worker. The Howe Sound Secondary School graduate's family has a history in politics, as Joseph's great, grandfather's signature is on the Nation's 1923 amalgamation document.
As the lone Squamish-area representative, Joseph said he feels a lot more responsibility on his shoulders.
“I was disappointed that Dale Harry didn't get re-elected,” the 33-year-old said.
Last week, the duo celebrated the signing of the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement between the Nation and the Sea to Sky School District. Born and raised in Squamish Valley on the Stawamus Reserve, Joseph said Squamish residents face same opportunities as North Vancouver residents to gain a seat on council.
“I am excited because there are five new faces that I haven't worked with before,” Joseph said.
Two new faces will represent the Squamish Nation — Wilson Williams and Danielle Mellish. Although not on the most recent council, former councillors Ritchie Baker, Veronica Baker, and Antony Moody are back in the ring.
Incumbent Glen Newman soundly beat out his closest competitor, Debbie Baker, for the title of band manager, with 616 votes to 292 for the second-place Baker.
The election saw some major shifts. Harry was one of four councillors not re-elected into council chamber — Harry, Julie Baker, Chief Bill Williams and Chief Gibby Jacob.
Jacob has spent 32 years in the political arena. He was one of the major players in the 2010 Winter Olympics. He also helped develop the Nation's Community Development Plan — an update to the Capilano Master Plan.
For the past 10 years, young adults between the ages 25 to 39 have made up the largest proportion of the Nation's population. The new council reflects this, said Alice Guss, who unsuccessfully ran for council.
“I think it was just time for change,” she said.
Councillors Deborah Baker, Chief Ian Campbell, Carla George, Krisandra Jacobs, Bryon Joseph, Christopher Lewis, Ann Whonnock, Dennis Joseph, Alroy Baker and Chief Richard Williams retained their seats. Lewis garnered the most votes with 684 calculated on the unofficial ballots. Councillors will serve four-year terms.