BUICK, B.C. – Newly-elected Blueberry River First Nations Chief Judy Desjarlais is happy to be finished with the campaign, and she’s eager to learn as much as she can during the transition period.
The election results were announced on Friday, a day after the five family council members were chosen.
Desjarlais won by a narrow 3-2 margin over outgoing Chief Marvin Yahey.
During the campaign, Desjarlais admits that she had a big task in going up against Yahey.
“There was a former Chief on there as a candidate, and I thought, I’m up against a former leader, I’ve got some big shoes to fill.”
Desjarlais says she’s happy with the result, but she knows the next couple of months are going to be busy. She recently resigned from her position with the Fort St. John & District Chamber of Commerce to focus her attention on the campaign, and her transition into the position of Chief.
“At the end, the people had their confidence in me, and so I’m very honoured for that. There were a lot of great campaigns out there with all the candidates. It was an amazing turnout,” said Desjarlais, who says she’s fortunate to be able to work with former Chief Marvin Yahey during the 30-day transition period.
“There’s lots going on with Blueberry at this moment…Within this period, I’ll get the knowledge of where we sit, how things are going to move forward, and where he’s left off. He and I have talked already, and he’s definitely going to be taking me under his wing, showing and teaching me the role.”
Desjarlais says the election created a lot of buzz in the community, making it the focus of many discussions.
“It was definitely the topic of conversations at dinner during the holidays.”
Desjarlais sent out the following statement after her victory on Friday:
“What a great Honor to be elected as Chief of Blueberry River First Nations, by the Elders, Youth, and Members of our Nation, Ujoh Saan’elah (Thank You Very Much), looking forward to working with a Great Team of Councillors who will bring our Nation together in Unity and Prosperity, together we will establish a new Era of Transparency Accountability and equal opportunity , as we build a prosperous future for our Nation, ensuring our elders thrive in Peace and great Honor, with their wisdom and knowledge , Our Culture and Traditional Values will be a common goal to establish for our future generations. I want to thank our Former Leader Marvin Yahey Sr., for the many years of Service to our Nation, he has established a great movement in the past year protecting our Traditional Territory and Rights of our Nation, making a great message to Governing bodies of what our Rights, Culture and Traditional values means to our People, I wish you all the best on your next Chapter”.
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