William C. (Chip) Seymour has retained his position as Chief of Cowichan Tribes after the band’s Dec. 4 general election.
Seymour earned 616 of 1,340 ballots cast for chief and will lead the band through 2017.
He was first elected in 2013.
The runner up for chief, with 477 votes was Howie George. While he didn’t win the top spot, he did receive the most votes in the run for council and thus claimed a seat there.
George is no stranger to the job having served on council from 2007 to 2011 before taking one term off.
Also elected this term and having prior experience in years past were Darin George (2009-2013) and long-time councillor Calvin Swustus Sr. (1996-2013).
Newcomers to the table are Craig George and Stuart Pagaduan.
Returning for consecutive terms are Andrew Canute, Albie Joe Charlie, Cindy Daniels, Garrett Elliott, Debra Toporoski and Dora Wilson.
It’s a new mix this time around, according to Chief Seymour.
“I think it’ll work,” he said. “It’s a young table now and three of them have previously served on council and two of them are new but they’ve both been active in the communities in various ways working with children and youth so I think they’ll bring a lot to the table.”
Seymour said his priorities haven’t changed and he’ll continue down the path he’s been on since being elected in 2013.
“I have been working on a lot of projects so those projects I’m hoping to get done within the next two years,” he said.
Housing issues, infrastructure, education issues and looking at ways to help the band’s youth are priorities.
“Everything I’ve started I’m still working on,” he said.
“Hopefully we’re going to come up with some good answers and get some of these housing issues dealt with but we’re working hard on it,” Seymour said.
Consultants have been called in to look at different avenues.
“We’re still looking at apartments and how we can make that work, we’re looking at other areas where we can assist our band members in getting their own mortgages — all of those things that I’ve been working on in the past I’m still working on,” Seymour said.
Seymour aims to be there for his members, when they need him.
“I’ve always said I’ve got an open door policy and that’s going to continue,” Seymour said. “I’ll be here for anybody that needs any help.”