Sheg First Nation chooses Richard Shawanda as chief

SHEGUIANDAH FIRST NATION—The people of the Sheguiandah First Nation have made their voices heard through the ballot box, electing a new slate for band leadership for the next two years, with a mix of experienced and new politicians.

In the November 23 election, Sheguiandah First Nation voted Richard Shawanda in as chief over Orville Aguonie, 86 to 60.

The three councillors elected to council are former chief Georgina Thompson, with 78 votes, and newcomers Jackie Bowerman, 66 votes, and Constance (Connie) Donaldson, 53 votes. The rest of the contenders for council are as follows: Jake Ago Neh, 52; James Atkinson, 45; April McDowell, 20; Kevin Mishibinijima, 43; Tanya Gertrude Sagutch, 52; and Matthew Waindubence, 20.

There was one rejected ballot for chief and two rejected ballots for councillor, according to electoral officer Vaughan Johnston.

Richard Shawanda has had 10 years previous experience as chief of the Sheguiandah First Nation and two years as councillor, with Georgina Thompson also having previous experience as chief and councillor. Jackie Bowerman and Connie Donaldson are fresh faces to Sheguiandah politics.

None of the incumbents, Orville Aguonie, Jake Ago Neh nor Kevin Mishibinijima, were re-elected on Saturday which would seem to speak to the mood of the community as wanting a fresh start following over a year of turmoil.

Alicia McCutcheon