New chief elected at Caldwell First Nation
Caldwell First Nation logo. (Courtesy Facebook)
The Caldwell First Nation has a new chief and band council.
Mary Duckworth is the new chief. She defeated her lone competitor, Lonnie Dodge, by a margin of 132 votes to 40.
Robyn Van Oirschot, Stan Scott, James Peters and Steve Simpson Sr. were also voted in as band councillors.
The election came after council removed former chief Lousie Hillier and councillor Lonnie Dodge following the forensic audit of a 2016 powwow.
Auditors found nearly $250,000 in "unsupported" prize payouts for drummers and dancers during the event. They also found a $190,000 contract awarded without competition to a company owned by the chief’s son to livestream the powwow and create a video telling the history of Caldwell.
The Caldwell First Nation has been working for years to establish a reserve near Leamington after receiving a $105-million land claim settlement from the federal government in 2010.