Council and Chief will be elected this Thursday November 26th with voting taking place between 9am and 7pm after a three week election period. Over 88 candidates ran in the council election from which only 12 will be selected through popular vote. Eight Tribal Members have submitted their name to be on the ballot for the one position of chief including incumbent chief Roy Fox. All current councillors are also running for re-election.
The selection of chief and council on the Blood tribe happens every four years, on a different schedule than the municipalities in the province who will not be holding elections until fall 2021. Due to the global health situation, Indigenous Services Canada enacted new temporary regulations to allow Chief and Councils to extend their roles and duties for another six months with the potential to extend again after that period in order to reduce large gatherings where COVID19 can be transmitted. The Blood tribe decided to proceed with the election following improved safety precautions in order to reduce transmission. These measures include (but are not limited to) personal protective equipment for administration and election officers, strictly enforced physical distancing at designated polling stations, masks and gloves for voters entering building, allowance for the elderly and physically disabled to skin to the front of the voting line, regular sanitizing and disinfecting of all tables and voting compartments.
The Blood Tribe voting locations include:
Blackfoot Confederacy Office in Calgary
Moses Lake Hall in Moses Lake
Exhibition Pavilion (Saddle room) in Lethbridge
Both the nonmination meeting on November 5th and the Advanced poll on November 19th were live-streamed for public viewing and are still available on the website bloodtribe.org
Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star