New Brunswick

Oromocto First Nation re-elects chief, 2 new councillors

Chief Shelley Sabattis was re-elected in Oromocto First Nation. She was first elected in 2015 as the first female chief of the community.

Oromocto First Nation re-elects its chief and elects two new councillors for four-year terms

Shelley Sabattis was re-elected chief of Oromocto First Nation. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

The Oromocto First Nation has re-elected chief Shelley Sabattis in its first election since moving from two-year to four-year terms. 

Sabattis was elected in 2015 as the first female chief of the community. Several of her other council members were re-elected yesterday as well.

The peaked hat is meant to remind Shelley Sabattis that she follow spiritual guidance. The cloak has the symbol of the four nations, and the shawl that she wears is to show she embraces all her community. The sash symbolizes she is bound to her community and the name on it is the original Maliseet name for her community (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

A total of 316 people voted in the election. About 500 people were eligible.

Re-elected councillors were Allan Sabattis-Atwin, Ryan Atwin, and Chris Atwin. They are joined this year by Stefan Saulis and Jason Buchanan.

Sabattis-Atwin happens to be the son of re-elected chief Shelley Sabattis.  He said he is pleased with the outcome of the election, and is looking forward to the chance to work with his mother and fellow councillors again.  

316 people voted in this election. About 500 were eligible to vote. (Kirk Pennell/CBC )

"I'm really excited for the next four years," he said in an interview. "There was a good team elected and our chief was re-elected and she gets to continue her projects that she's been working on."

He said the council has lot of plans around community infrastructure, business and education.

"A lot of language and culture initiatives," he said. The band council wants to offer indigenous oriented curriculum to help students flourish in their culture.

I'm really excited for the next four years- Allan Sabattis-Atwin, councillor for Oromocto First Nation

He has been working with elder-in-residence Imelda Perely from the University of New Brunswick to bring a program will promote the language for all ages. He heard last week that he's been approved for a language grant from Heritage Canada.

Support through the community

Sabattis-Atwin said many people showed up at Chief Shelley Sabattis' house in support of her win.

But support from the greater community of Oromocto has been welcomed too.

The Oromocto First Nations held their chief and council elections today. (Kirk Pennell/CBC )

MLA Jody Carr has worked closely with Sabattis in her time as chief. He said he looks forward to working with her for another four years.

He said her re-election is a testament to how hard she has worked for the community.