Stoney Tribal council elections upcoming for Goodstoney, Bearspaw bands

Goodstoney First Nation and Bearspaw First Nation band members will head to the polls in the coming weeks to vote in two chiefs and eight councillors to Stoney Nakoda Nations’ tribal council.

A final list of Bearspaw nominations was to be announced Nov. 11 and band members will cast their vote Nov. 25 – earlier than in previous years. Goodstoney band members can put their names forward to run for chief and council by Nov. 22 and can cast their vote Dec. 9.

Marvin Yellowhorn, chief electoral officer for the band’s election, said three people have put their names forward for Bearspaw chief, while 15 people have put their names forward to run for two available Bearspaw council seats in Mînî Thnî (Morley), and seven for two available seats in Eden Valley.

As of press time, it was not known whether incumbent Chief Darcy Dixon or band councillors Anthony Bearspaw, Rex Daniels, Rod Hunter or Pierre Lefthand were planning to run again, although nominations have closed.

“We’ve got all week of verification, protests and stuff like that – until the final list is posted on Friday, I can’t say who is running because it’s all only rumour at this point,” said Yellowhorn when asked about the candidates on Nov. 7.

Bearspaw Couns. Daniels and Bearspaw representing Morley and Eden Valley, respectively, were voted in to serve another term in the 2019 election with 146 votes and 331 votes. Couns. Hunter and Lefthand, Mînî Thnî and Eden Valley, were voted in as new councillors with 168 votes and 290 votes.

Chief Dixon is in his third consecutive term leading the Bearspaw band, winning the last election with nearly 70 per cent of the vote – a count of 496 over runner-up David Jr. Bearspaw who received 196 votes, and Lenny Wesley who received 81 votes. Dixon was previously band chief from 1998 to 2008.

Goodstoney First Nation Chief Clifford Poucette, who previously served as chief from 2006-10, unseated the incumbent former Chief Ernest Wesley in the band’s last election in 2018, winning 28 per cent of the popular vote. Of 647 votes cast for chief, Poucette garnered 184. Wesley finished third with 132 votes.

Voters elected four councillors including Rufus Twoyoungmen and Krista Hunter. Hank Snow was re-elected and Shane Crawler was re-elected to represent the Big Horn community.

The four-year term in office for Goodstoney chief and council officially began on Dec. 9, 2018, and expires on Dec. 8, 2022. The band has four councillors, with three representing Mînî Thnî and one representing Big Horn.

A final list of nominations for this year's Goodstoney election will be announced Nov. 30. Advance polls will be open Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with voting stations located at Big Horn Medical Office in Big Horn, at Chief Jacob Bearspaw School in Eden Valley and at the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre in Mînî Thnî. Election day is Dec. 9 and polls will be available at the same times and locations.

Advance polls for the Bearspaw election will be open Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and voting stations will be held at the Eden Valley Arena in Eden Valley and the Bearspaw Youth Centre in Morley. Polling stations for the election will be open on election day (Nov. 25) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the same locations. There will not be a Bearspaw polling station set up in Big Horn due to the low population of band members who typically travel to Morley to vote instead, according to Yellowhorn.

Chiniki First Nation, part of the three-band Îyârhe (Stoney) Nakoda First Nation, is due for its next election in December 2023.

For nominations and election updates, visit Bearspaw First Nation's Facebook page:, or Goodstoney First Nation's website: Information can also be found posted on bulletin boards at the Stoney Tribal Administration building and some other central areas in Mînî Thnî.

Jessica Lee, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Rocky Mountain Outlook