The Piikani Nation General Election concluded on Jan. 9 and the results are in, with Troy “Bossman” Knowlton elected as the new Chief.
Winning with 450 votes, Knowlton beat out runner up Adam North Peigan by 264 votes. Following the win Knowlton is ready to serve the community, hoping his experience and time served on council will aid in his time as Chief.
“It is validation that what I have been doing for the last eight years as a council member, that I’m doing something right,” said Knowlton. “I served two consecutive terms, 2015 to 2019, and 2019 up until yesterday. Now I’ll start my third consecutive term, only this time as Chief.”
Knowlton also served from 2000 to 2002 when council seats were held for only two years, completing a total of ten years of service on council.
With his years of experience, Knowlton hopes his time as Chief will see positive change with blossoming connections growing in the community.
“I’d like to change the culture of our governance, and more interactions with our people. Utilizing ideas, opinions, thoughts, and criticism of our people to help us to create a more open relationship between Chief and Council and our people,” said Knowlton. “People appreciate transparency and that willingness to interact and meet with them to address any concerns they have.”
Looking at inclusion, Knowlton is pleased with the eight council members also elected alongside himself, while noting the diverse collection of members will bring more to the table with insights and knowledge.
“We need to have a balance in our council. We need to have older members with experience, we need those who are aware of our culture, our language, we need women in there to bring a mother’s perspective. To bring that perspective in that is not just from a male way of thinking,” said Knowlton. “When we become leaders of the Nation, we become the mothers and fathers of the Nation. Having that balance with experience.”
Normally the inauguration happens within the first couple of days after the election, but an unfortunate passing has resulted in Knowlton asking Corbin Provost, the Chief Operations Officer for the Piikani Administration, to put off the inauguration for next week.
Knowlton says this individual was a very “cherished member of the Piikani Nation” and wants to let the Nation mourn and grieve their loss. Monday, Jan. 16 will be the first time the new Chief and Council meet.
With a new title and seat at the table, Knowlton is ready to represent the Piikani Nation as the newly elected Chief.
“A lot of it has to do with character and how you approach life in general. Those who take the time out to really try to help out our members in a personal way or political way, I think that goes a long way,” said Knowlton. “One of our Elders told me one time recently, we need a leader who is connected to the people, who goes out of their way to interact with the Nation, and is also connected to the land. He said, you fill that responsibility mandate that our people have always looked for in leadership. I really appreciate that, and I guess others have seen that as well.”
Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald