The Observer asked all candidates in the Skidegate Band Council electio to submit statements outlining why they are running and what they hope to accompplish. We received the following:
I’ve been in service to the good people of Skidegate most of my life – as the Band Manager, Council Member and I’m currently your Chief Councillor – a position that I’m proud to hold. I am very dedicated to serving my people – my focus is financial success and economic independence for our community.
I’ve demonstrated my commitment to you by working hard to improve our village in many ways including the following key areas and my goal is to continue support in these areas:
– Local Employment – I support our Council mandate of hiring local band members for projects in the village. As a result, 57 band members are working at various sites in Skidegate.
– Economic Development is at the forefront of my mandate. If our community is successful, we all benefit financially – including all islands’ communities.
– Housing & Infrastructure – we have been successful in ensuring that our funding continues to flow in both these areas.
– Pension Plan Funding I have worked diligently with our Plan Administrators to put a package together to present to INAC for back funding of pension plans.
– Healing and a Healing Centre – We have supported all modes of healing in Skidegate and have set up a team to pursue the building of a healing ventre.
– Training & Education – Over my mandate we have successfully obtained funding for sawyers’ training for the Qay’llnagaay Centre and for a 5 year training plan for band members.
– Accountability – through our annual ‘Open House’ and bi-weekly newsletters, I have run an accountable Council.
– Sport Complex we hope to partner with other on island communities to build a swimming pool & skating rink.
To keep moving forward, I respectfully ask for your support on February 16th Make your vote count.
Hello. My name is Walker Brown, my Haida name is Geda Ku Juus, and I am in the Ts’aahl Eagle clan. My parents are Amanda Reid-Stevens and Stacy ‘Jags’ Brown.
I am concerned with the direction Skidegate is headed in, and feel I can help change this community for the better if I am elected to the Skidegate Band Council.
I am 24 years old, and if elected, feel I would be a valuable bridge, connecting the Skidegate Band Council with Skidegate’s younger generation. I am hard working, and can communicate with the majority of the youth in our community. The youth are the future of our community, and the Band Council needs to be in touch with all youth related issues.
I think the formation of a Skidegate Youth Council would keep the Band Council informed about many issues facing the youth today. I have many other ideas that I would like to look into if elected to the Skidegate Band Council, but have a 200 word limit.
I thank you all for taking the time to read this. I encourage all Skidegate band members to exercise their right to vote on February 16th. Howa.
I am running for the position of Councillor on the Skidegate Band Council because I believe I have qualities that are required for the position.
I am honest, hard working and believe in good clear communications. When I was working as a Representative on the CHN, I learned a lot about the many issues affecting our people and I will use this experience to be effective.
Communications is critical. We hear this over and over but there is still no follow through. If elected, I will insist on making sure you know what is going on.
Another of the issues is crime. We all need to be involved in this problem. I will investigate options on how other communities addressed the problem and seek solutions that deal with the causes of crime, not just the symptoms.
I will also support the economic development projects that the Council has underway and work hard to bring more jobs to our community – we all need good, meaningful work.
If elected, I will represent the people of our community with the utmost respect and integrity.
I am asking you to support my bid for Council.
Howa for your consideration, Irene Mills
Robert (Bopper) Mills
My name is Robert (Bopper) Mills, I am running for Council because I believe I have the qualities, experience and character to represent the people of Skidegate. I am honest, fair, hardworking and able to make the tough decisions. I will work for solutions to problems already identified in the areas of; alternative activities for youth, education, drugs & alcohol, crime and unemployment. I have experience in public service and can manoeuvre through or around “red tape”. I believe everyone has a right to pursue a better life with support, I believe everyone has the right to feel safe in their home and secure in their community. I believe everyone including Band employees deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I also believe we have a responsibility to help ourselves, our friends, our families, our community and our nation. I believe in putting community interests ahead of my own and promise to do just that as your representative in the Skidegate Band Council. I will listen and bring your concerns to council and ensure open and honest communication. Please come out and vote on February 16, 2006 from 9a.m. to 8p.m. at the Skidegate Community Hall.
Earl “Ginger” Moody
As my second term with the Skidegate band council is now coming to an end, I would like to thank everyone for their help and support over the past four years.
As you know I will be seeking re-election as a councillor on February 16, 2006.
We have had a very productive term and have created some good jobs for our band members at Qay, the sewage treatment plant and in the new ocean view subdivision. In the coming term I would like to find funding and start construction on the Qay hotel. Most of all I would like to find funding for a youth centre for our children and continue to seek partnerships in the forest industry to be able to create productive and full time jobs in logging and value added wood products.
I would also like to see the night watch increased in hopes of fewer break-ins in our village.
I have really enjoyed working with the Skidegate Band Council staff as well as representing the Haida people and I hope I may continue to do so in the future. Howa! Earl “Ginger” Moody.
To the electors of Skidegate.
I am very serious in my desire to represent Skidegate for another term as a councilor; my commitment to improving our community is as strong as ever. Your support of me is very precious, and I ask you to come out and vote for me on Feb. 16/06. We have many challenges in front of us, both socially and economically,
Our community is having problems, break and enters and crimes. We as a community must not live in fear; we must bring safety to our citizens. If re-elected I will represent you on our Drug Advisory Committee and work with those individuals to come up with solutions to our identified social problems.
Training and schooling is essential to us moving forward, as we enhance our economic well being we must put ourselves in a position to benefit from these opportunities. Our Qay’llnagaay Heritage center is an incredible direction for us and others, the creation of Destination Haida Gwaii is a detailed marketing strategy aimed specifically at Skidegate and Qay’llnagaay Heritage Center, it is also looking at the business potential in and around our center and maximizing that opportunity.
My name is Gary Russ Sr., I’m a member of the Eagle Clan from Ts’aalth, Chief Gaathhlay (Watson Pryce) is my hereditary chief. I believe I am a fairly intelligent person and well versed in all aspects of the Band Council portfolios: education, health care, land use planning, fisheries and forestry. In the last twenty years I’ve been involved with the Council of the Haida Nation and the Skidegate Band Council.
I am accountable, honest and out-spoken. Approximately 2 _ years ago I took sick but have recently been given a clean bill of health. This, in conjunction with the arrival of my new grand-daughter, has given me a new perspective on life.
Approximately twelve years ago we were promised a new hospital and I think the time is ripe to re-open negotiations with the province.
With the CHN, I was involved with the Haida Education Council and really enjoyed working for the benefit of our youth and the Haida Language. A good education is essential and necessary to attain a good, well-paying job. Education would be a priority for me, if elected.
I’d like to wish everyone the best of luck.
Howa, Yaahl daajii Gary P. Russ
I attended the last house of assembly and listened to the concerns. The CHN addressed some very serious issues. I’m not one to sit on the sidelines and complain. Quite a few people raised the point of employment and our youth and what that means for our children’s future.
I’ve never really had any political aspirations until now, I have always saw myself as a worker, and I have a reputation as a guy who gets a tough job done.
I have a vision for what direction our village needs to take to offer hope for our young people. I know unemployment is very high and I’m hoping to change that. With direction from our older people, I know we can make it work.
If elected, I look forward to working with CHN in fisheries and forestry to help secure a future for our young people. I look forward to finding more funding for our much-needed programs e.g., health, elders, education, etc.
These will make our village safer.
I can make a difference. I’ll work hard and I am approachable on all your concerns. Not only will I listen, you can be assured I’ll act in an appropriate manner.
My name is Godfrey Williams Jr. I am from the Raven Clan in Skedans. Many of you know me as Didi. I thank Alvin and Aaron Hans for nominating me for a councillor position. We support youth in Basketball or Haida dancing, what about the youth that don’t participate in these activities. What do we offer them? Youth programming is essential to having this community filled with productive adults in the future. I fully support the creation of a youth council. We need to send out a questionnaire asking the youth what they want. Personally I’m involved with the Father’s Initiative, and a commission on the QCI recreation committee. I am passionate about getting the breakfast for learning program into Sk’Aagdaa Naay. Our children need to be nourished before they can be expected to learn. I would like to see the Council spend more time with our Elders. Economic stability is important, we need as many people from our village working or going to school. I have had two years experience in Council 2002-04, if voted in I will work hard with Council and the band membership. I am honest, accountable, caring, respectful and I will listen. Howa.