Big turnout as Skidegate Band Council sworn in

  • Feb. 25, 2008 5:00 a.m.

By Jeff King–About half the residents of the village turned out Friday evening to Skidegate’s rec centre for the swearing in of the new band council. The election, on February 1, brought in a new slate of young councillors, and the hall was filled with cheers, enthusiasm and energy as the new council members took the oath of office, part of which was delivered, for the first time ever, in Haida. Only two members of the previous council are now serving, Chief Councillor Willard Wilson and Councillor Ed Russ.”These guys are full of energy, they are very excited and ready to go, Councillor Russ said, ” It’s a good feeling. I look forward to these next two years. Once again, thank you.””You elected young people. It’s another phase of our community that is going to happen,” Chief Councillor Wilson said, “these councillors have priorities that are different than previous councils I have worked with. We have lots to do in the next two years. We have to hit the floor running. 104 weeks, that’s not really that long.”Mr. Wilson also said anything is possible. “If the Skidegate Band Council decides to get something done, it just gets it done,” he said. All the new councillors gave short speeches. Remi Levesque said “it’s a big job, I am young, fresh, and looking forward to the challenge”, James Cowpar said “I’d just like to say thank you to all who voted. Now, the story begins Howa,” and Rose Russ said she wanted to revive the recreation committee and get a youth council going. CHN President Guujaaw said he never thought he’d see the day when Eddie Russ was senior man on council, and added “I’ll be looking over my shoulder at these guys to be taking over my job.”After the swearing-in ceremony, the band council honoured its long-term employees, including Babs Stevens (36 years), Corrine Pearson (32 years) Sheila Williams (27 years) and Eddie Hans (23 years). The evening also honoured the village’s basketball teams and coaches, and thanked Diane Brown and Kevin Borserio of SHIP, celebrating its 10th year, for helping to save the Haida language. Then there was a money dance which raised more than $1,200 for youth programs, and Chief Skidegate-Dempsey Collinson said “Congratulations to the new council. I know we have a bright future. My congratulations to our young council. Howa to the cooks, howa to all of you.”