A young chief has won his second election in barely seven months, confirming his position as leader of the Tsawwassen First Nation, B.C.’s first urban First Nations government.
Chief Bryce Williams has been elected by members of the suburban Vancouver First Nation, defeating former chief Kim Baird by 20 votes.
Williams’s first victory, last September, along with the outcome of the entire Sept. 5 election, was overturned in December by the nation’s judicial council because of a discrepancy with the election date.
On Wednesday, the 23-year-old chief captured 106 votes to Baird’s 86, for his second victory.
Baird’s loss, last September, was considered a significant upset because she had led the First Nation for six terms, guiding it through self-government negotiations that ended in 2009 with a treaty conferring the status of a municipality on the Tsawwassen.
Since signing the treaty, the First Nation has pressed ahead with programs to upgrade community services and increase development, including approval of a long-term lease, paving the way for a two-mall shopping complex on land not far from the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.