On September 26, Duane Nookemis won the by-election for an empty seat on Huu-ay-aht’s Executive Council.
Duane was officially sworn in on October 5, 2020 on Zoom, in order to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Derek Peters) carried out the official oath of office. Members of Executive Council, administration staff, as well as friends and family joined to meeting to witness the event.
Each member of Executive Council offered a message of encouragement to their newest councillor. Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Derek Peters) offered congratulations to Duane and reminded him that this is an important role and he must take his new responsibilities seriously. He added that he is confident Duane will serve Huu-ay-aht citizens well in his new role.
Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. also congratulated Duane and offered him some words of advice. He said to always remember we are all one big family and that decisions must be made with that in mind. He said Duane focused on making things better for the people when he spoke during his campaign. He said this is an important thing to remember. He stressed the importance of Duane’s interest in finding employment for citizens and focusing on education, pointing out this is something that will make the Nation stronger. The Chief said it is an essential step in order to close the gap that exists between the average Canadian and that of Huu-ay-aht citizens when it comes to economic stature and income.
Robert offered a personal congratulations to Duane and said he should be proud of himself. He said Duane is a role model in how he conducts himself and how he has raised his family.
Duane thanked everyone for their kind words and support. He also offered his appreciation to all of the citizens who supported him. He looks forward to continuing to have open communication with citizens so he can address their issues and work with them. He said he particularly looks forward to working with the youth and being the role model Robert spoke about.
The next step is a review of Executive Council portfolios. These will be announced soon.