OHSWEKEN — Incumbent Elected Chief Ava Hill is tossing her “red hat” into the ring again for the 57th Elected Administrative Council. She will be running against former Elected Chief William Montour and Cynthia Jamieson.
Although the official list comes out Saturday, after nominees accept the nomination, are vetted and have filed the proper documents, Hill confirms she will run.
“I’m running again because a lot of people have been telling me I should,” she explains to Two Row Times.
She believes that although proud of the accomplishments of the past three years, she see’s a lot of things still undone, which she would like to continue to push ahead.
“We still have to get the water line piping and infrastructure done,” she says. “We have to keep at that so eventually the whole community has services.”
Education is still on her to-do list.
“We are still struggling with the education issue,” she adds. “We need to put our heads together and figure out what we are going to do there. There are a number of issues we need to continue forward with.”
Her immediate battle is with Ontario Hydro, in talks surrounding billing on Six Nations, remuneration of the electricity towers running through the reserve, and the sale to Six Nations of a portion of Hydro One.
Elected Chief Hill says she wants to continue working with economic development corporation in finding new sources of revenue for the community as well.
“We’re trying to get into more partnerships and businesses, and we have to finish off our child welfare designation, the Save the Evidence campaign at the Mush Hole to make sure it is renovated for the museum.”
The past three years with Hill as Elected Chief Councillor, has seen some changes evident today at Six Nations.
“Just look around downtown Ohsweken and you will see that there has been a lot of infrastructure projects,” she points out. “Our director of public works has tallied it up and says we were able to bring in more than $12 million for several infrastructure projects.”
She lists the opening of the new fire hall, thanks to G.R.E., we’ve opened Dajoh, the new Elder and Youth Centre, two new bridges, resurfacing several roads, and laying water mains, new stop sign locations, the new Splash Pad and Skateboard Park and others.
Hill has also been very active with speaking engagements and in supporting the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and residential school survivors, among many other things.
She has invited a parade of government officials, including Caroline Bennett from the province and the federals to discuss matters important to the community and Canada’s entire indigenous population at large.
She has also been a part of several trips to Ottawa to lobby on Six Nations behalf.
Regarding the future under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s watch, Hill is pleased with the words he is saying and the full acceptance of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Residential Schools Inquiry conducted by Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, and other issues including a moratorium on new water extraction rights. But, promises to keep his feet to the fire on many other issues brought to him by the Indigenous community.
Ava says that she made several attempts to find reconciliation with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs, and that she commits to continue trying to find some common ground that will better represent the entire community. She says she hopes to make headway on this subject as well, if re-elected.
Three years ago, Hill won her seat by a microscopic two votes over her predecessor Bill Montour, who has re-entered the political forum seeking another term as Elected Chief. His interview will appear in next week’s Two Row Times, along with that of challenger Cynthia Jamieson, the third contender.