News & Updates

News Release: Thomas Elected Kukpi7 (Chief) for 2022-2026 Term

January 11, 2022

Secwepemcúl’ecw (Secwepemc Territory)  – Former Tkwamipla7 (Councillor) Doug Thomas has been elected Kukpi7 (Chief) of Splatsin, finishing first with 89 votes. The former Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian took 84 votes. Randy Williams finished third taking 49 votes.

“To be elected Kukpi7 is an honour,” said Thomas. “We have a lot of work ahead of us to improve all of our lives. We can work together not only as a newly elected Chief and Council but as a community.”

“Continuing Truth and Reconciliation initiatives is a key element in overcoming prejudice and racism that many of our people face. Getting our history into the mainstream realm is a must. Another goal is to get our people engaged by listening and acting on their words as many of them have given up on the system. We need to adapt to new ways of engagement and merge with our traditional ways of living.”

Thomas also thanked outgoing Kukpi7, Wayne Christian, for his 40-plus years of service to the Splatsin People. Christian served seven consecutive terms as Kukpi7 with major accomplishments dating as far back as 1980, when Splatsin took jurisdiction over its children, resulting in its own child welfare system.

Five Tkwamipla7 (Councillors) positions were filled with Loretta Eustache taking the most votes at 137. She was followed by Sabrina Vergata with 111 votes, Leonard Edwards with 110 votes, Beverly Thomas with 103 votes, and incumbent Tkwamipla7 Theresa William with 92 votes.

Other candidates who ran for Tkwamipla7 include Crystal (River) Johnson [90 votes], Edna Felix [89 votes], Trina Antoine [88 votes], Brock Thomas-Charles [64], Laureen Felix [49 votes], and Floyd (Stan) Felix [33 votes].

See the official election results here.

There will be a Swearing-In Ceremony today at 1:00 p.m. at the Splatsin Community Centre. Although this is not a public event due to COVID-19, it will be broadcast live on Splatsin’s Facebook page.

The Splatsin people reside on reserve lands adjacent to the City of Enderby to the south and across the Shuswap River to the east, within the traditional and unceded territory of the Secwépemc, the largest Interior Salish-speaking First Nation in Canada. Their traditional territory stretches from the B.C./Alberta border near the Yellowhead Pass to the plateau west of the Fraser River, southeast to the Arrow Lakes, and the upper reaches of the Columbia River encompassing 180,000 square kilometres, 32 communities, and a population of 15,000 people. The Splatsin and Secwépemc has total jurisdiction and title to all of their people, lands, and resources and have not surrendered, ceded, or released them to the government.


Media Contact:

Dudley Coulter, Director of Communications
o (250) 838-6496 ext. 705
c (250) 306-1541
e [email protected]

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