Semiahmoo First Nation is to hold its election Thursday.

Semiahmoo First Nation to vote

Semiahmoo First Nation is to vote for its leaders this week

Semiahmoo First Nation is to vote for its leaders this week.

The Dec. 22 election, conducted under the Indian Act, is held every two years.

SFN spokesperson Joanne Charles could not be reached for information on who is running for chief and council.

The current leader is Chief Willard Cook; Charles and Roxanne Charles are current councillors. Their terms expire Dec. 27.

Under the Indian Act, the election may include the appointment of an electoral officer, the opportunity for voters to nominate candidates, the ability to vote in-person or by mail and the counting of votes and declaration of elected candidates.

Any appeals – which can be filed within 45 days following the election – are dealt with by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

It’s unclear if remuneration will play a role in this week’s election. Last year, word that the SFN chief and council were together paid nearly half a million dollars in the 2013-2014 fiscal year – with $267,729 of that going to Cook and $200,756 to Joanne Charles – was the subject of discontent from some members who claimed the bands’ finances had never been shared. The salaries were defended in an August 2015 statement from chief and council that noted the majority “comes from revenue that has been generated on behalf of the nation, and negotiations on some of these agreements are ongoing.”

According to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, the band has 92 registered members as of December 2015. Of those, 49 live on the 129.1-hectare reserve itself, seven live on other reserves and 34 live off the reserve.

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