Sipekne'katik First Nation elects first female chief

Michelle Glasgow in a photo displayed on her campaign page on Facebook. (Michelle Glasgow-McDonald Campaign Page/Facebook - image credit)
Michelle Glasgow in a photo displayed on her campaign page on Facebook. (Michelle Glasgow-McDonald Campaign Page/Facebook - image credit)

Michelle Glasgow has been elected as the first female chief of the Sipekne'katik First Nation, after winning a narrow three-way race.

She won the election by an 18-vote margin against Brandon Maloney, with outgoing chief Mike Sack 38 votes behind.

The results of the Nov. 2 vote were confirmed in a document signed by the electoral officer that was shared with CBC News.

A total of 1,011 votes were cast with Glasgow winning 344 of them.

The new chief, who was born and raised in the community in central Nova Scotia, previously served on council, alongside Maloney.

She takes over from Sack who became known for being at the forefront of a movement to pursue treaty rights to fish in the region.

His approach often resulted in disputes with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Sack himself was arrested by federal fisheries officers last year during the launch of the treaty fishery in southwest Nova Scotia.

Some of the band's lobster traps were also removed.

Sipekne'katik First Nation self-regulates the treaty fishery which started in 2020.

It has not been endorsed by DFO.

'No place for dictatorship'

Glasgow, declined an interview request Friday, but a letter on her Facebook campaign page says she is "a firm believer in protecting our people's way of life and our ability to assert our treaty rights."

However, the letter — described as an introduction to her — goes on to say the last two terms as councillor have been challenging, with the community being left out of "a lot of important conversations and decisions."

There were no further examples but last month some community members said they wanted to pause two local wind farm developments claiming they were not properly consulted.

"Being intentionally misinformed and left in the dark of current band operations has proven to be problematic," said Glasgow in her letter. "There is no place for dictatorship."

Sack and Maloney have not responded to requests for comment from CBC News.

Glasgow wrote on her campaign page she wants to see council work "collectively as a team in a way that is beneficial to all band members."

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