Six Nations Election 2016: choosing the ideal candidate

Now that the nominations are over and the candidates have been confirmed; the next step is trying to decide which of the candidates should we — the voting public choose — to handle our political affairs for the next three years.

Elections on Indian Reserves are not like elections off the reserve where the voting norms are; one candidate and one vote. Here on the big 6, each voter gets to pick his or her favourite two candidates for each of the District Councillors and one vote for the Chief’s position.

For many young people this will be their first chance to actively participate in a civic election and are probably wondering how to go about deciding which of the four or five nominees should he or she vote for in their district and which of the three nominees for Chief will be the correct one.

For many voters young or old the choice is easy as most people choose his or her family member who has decided to run for office. However; for those people who are voting for the first time you want to actually study each candidates biography and check out what each candidate has to offer in the way of previous council experience, civic volunteer experience as any candidate should be trustworthy; honest; and approachable. Another good indicator for choosing a particular person is whether or not he or she has an altruistic attitude (puts the needs of others before themselves).

Now when it comes to electing the Chief Councillor, the best candidate should possess several if not all of the above mentioned attributes as the Chief is the most important position on the council and each of the three candidates deserve to be scrutinized more carefully than the others.

Here in the 2016 election, one could assume the majority of voters will be younger than in previous Band Council Elections and therefore; one could probably deduce that the Chief should also be much younger than in previous years if he or she (the new Chief) will be able to identify with and be able to understand the younger councillors. So; the choice is yours; do you the voting public want more of the same when it comes to electing the 2016 council or should we (the voting public) throw caution to the wind and elect a completely new and unique council and move forward into the future and not backward into the past?


Doug Whitlow

B.A. First Nations Studies, 2005

Associate Degree, Indigenous Governance, 2001

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