Ballots are being mailed out today for the election of Algonquin Negotiation Representative (ANR) in three communities in Ontario.
The ANRs include the Chief and Council of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and one representative from each of the nine other Algonquin communities.
Six candidates have been acclaimed by their community, leaving an election necessary in the Algonquin communities of Greater Golden Lake, Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini, and Shabot Obaadjiwan.
The elected officials will serve a three year term representing their respective Algonquin First Nations in a settlement claim that includes a territory of nine million acres within the watersheds of the Kichisippi (Ottawa River) and the Mattawa River in Ontario.
The community of Shabot Obaadjiwan lies about an hour north of Kingston, and has an eligible voters list of about 475 people.
Anyone who has been able to prove their lineage to Pikwakanagan Algonquin First Nation and is over 18 is eligible to vote.
There are roughly 300 living in the community, but others span as far as British Columbia, the United States and of course the Kingston area.
The election in Shabot Obaadjiwan will decide who represents the community between the incumbent Doreen Carline Davis and Danka Brewer.
Brewer has been active in the community since moving back to help out with her mother and siblings after the death of her stepfather and for over twenty years has been an Indigenous knowledge facilitator for school boards in eastern Ontario.
Brewer says if elected, she hopes to bring more transparency and collaboration to the negotiation table.
“Transparency, more community input, more communication within the community to keep them updated and to bring the community voice back into the negotiations,” she said.
Brewer added that she’s been within a few votes of a council seat in the past, and decided the time was right to run for ANR.
Doreen Davis declined to comment on the election.
Bob Potts, the acting chief negotiator, said that the election is not overly political in nature, and is more focused on identifying community members with the right credentials for negotiations.
Voting can be done in person, by mail or through OneFeather, a secure online voting platform.
In person voting will take place August 23 to August 26 and resume on August 30 to September 1.
Shabot Obaadjiwan will hold in person voting at the Royal Canadian Legion in Sharbot Lake on August 31.
Article originally published by YGK News/Local Journalism Initiative.