FORT NELSON, B.C.— The Fort Nelson First Nation’s newly elected council selected Sharleen Gale to serve as Chief Councillor for the 2022-2024 term.

Gale has served on the council for over 13 consecutive years. She has served as the head of the council at several different points during her long tenure in the leadership of the nation.

“We must all work together to build a community that honours our ancestors and supports our members and elders to ensure our rights, our culture, our language and our history is preserved and protected while we work towards our goals of a sustainable economy that brings prosperity for the benefits of all members,” Gale said in a statement announcing her election to the chief councillor position.

“We must all work together to find the best path forward for our collective interests,” the statement continued.

Gale is the chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition and is a senior fellow with the MacDonald-Laurier Institute. She has 20 years of experience working in the oil and gas industry and sat on Premier John Horgan’s Economic Recovery Taskforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council is made up of seven members, and the chief is elected from among the council during its first meeting.

The FNFN council for the 2022-24 term is made up of Archie Harrold, Curtis Dickie, John Michel, Patricia Capot Blanc, Chrystal Fincaryk, and Roberta Michel.

FNFN elects councillors under the Indian Act and has done so since 1986. This Act includes western systems for band council elections set out by the federal government, and includes the appointment of a chief councillor by the elected members of the council.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.