Musqueam band elects Wayne Sparrow as new chief

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Wayne Sparrow has been elected the new chief of the Musqueam Indian Band, following a community vote Monday.

Musqueam band manager Ken McGregor told the Straight in a phone interview that Sparrow won the election with 211 votes. The results were tallied in the early morning hours today (December 4), following the closure of polls Monday evening.

Once he is sworn in early next year, Sparrow will replace long-time chief Ernie Campbell, who did not seek reelection.

McGregor said band members also voted Monday to ratify the Musqueam Land Code, a document intended to give the First Nation greater control over its reserve land. Out of 471 ballots cast, 271 community members voted in favour of the land code.

“Musqueam Indian Band will move out from underneath the Indian Act in terms of land management, and through a process will assume control of its reserve land,” McGregor said.

He added the land code has been under development for the last four to five years.

“It’s been an interesting journey of consultation with our membership and with other parties,” he noted.

The other candidates for chief in the Monday election were Wade Grant, who came in second, Gail Sparrow, Nolan Charles, and Chrystal Sparrow.

Two new members will also join the Musqueam band council. In addition to Wayne Sparrow, Nolan Charles, Allyson Fraser, Howard E. Grant, Wade Grant, Morgan Guerin, Tammy Harkey, Myrtle McKay, Michele Point, and Nora Stogan were elected.

The new chief and council will be sworn in during the first two weeks of January.

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