For the first time in Malahat Nation history, a woman has been named chief.
Caroline Harry emerged victorious Monday after the membership’s votes were counted.
She received 40 of the 85 votes for chief. A 40-year-old mother of six and grandmother of one, with another on the way, Harry has lived in the community all her life.
She said she will be guided by the past as she looks to the future.
“My example is my elders,” said Harry. “I was raised by my grandparents. I believe that our culture and teachings should be the foundation of everything we do as Malahat people. We, as Malahat, need to work together and for each other.”
In addition to being the first female chief, Harry will also be the first chief under the new four-year term. It replaces the old two-year system.
Joining chief Harry on council are: brothers George Harry Jr. and Matt Harry. They received 45 and 37 votes respectively.
George Harry Jr. is a young Malahat citizen working hard to provide for his growing family. Both he and brother Matt are pursuing their carpentry Red Seal designation.
According to a press release, the brothers have worked on various Malahat Nation projects including new housing projects and also helped construct the Kwunew Kwasun Cultural Centre.
Former chief Vince Harry, who served as chief for three terms during the 2000s and as a councillor before that rounds out the new council with 41 votes. He’s looking forward to a longer term this time around.
“A four-year term will give us more time,” Vince Harry said. “Two years isn’t long enough for all the work that needs to be done.”
While all are Harrys, with the exception of the two brothers, they are all from different families within the band.
The chief and council were not available for comment as they were in orientation meetings.
The Malahat band is comprised of close to 300 members, with about half living on Malahat lands.