June 16th, 2024

Candidate Adam North Peigan ‘prepared to meet the challenge’ as Piikani election enters final week

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 3, 2023.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke Adam North Peigan speaks during a recent Piikani election forum at the Lethbridge Public Library.

The Piikani First Nation Chief and Council will be elected Jan. 9 in Brocket. Nominations were held on Dec. 14 for the positions of Chief and eight council seats. An official candidate list can be found online at piikanination.com/news/. Five members are running for Chief, while 31 candidates are seeking election for council. The list was posted on Dec. 20.

The general election day polling is scheduled for Jan. 9 at the Community Hall in Brocket, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Advanced polling is available on Wednesday at the Delta Hotel South, 135 Southland Dr. S.E., in Calgary, and on Friday at the Sandman Hotel, 421 Mayor Magrath Dr., in Lethbridge.

Among those running for Chief is Adam North Peigan, an advocate for Indigenous rights who is well known for lobbying an apology from the Alberta Government on May 28, 2018 for the Sixties Scoop and all those affected by it.

“I feel very humbled and competent of this nomination. It is a great responsibility and everything I have done in my career, I feel, it is time and I am prepared to meet the challenge and do whatever I need to do to move our community forward,” said North Peigan. “Should I become Chief of the Piikani First Nation I want to bring our community back together. There was a time in our history where we had strong values of community supporting one another, and I am feeling the whole notion of the lateral violence, systemic racism, and the oppression needs to be addressed. That starts with creating awareness.”

Hoping to be an advocate for those he serves, North Peigan’s history shows he is for creating good relationships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. “I took the lead on behalf of the grassroots members in my community to raise awareness on the impacts of coal mining in southern Alberta and Crowsnest Pass,” said North Peigan. “Because of the work that we did at the end of the day, the Alberta Court of Appeal, they ruled in our favor that coal mining was not in the best interest of Albertans.”

North Peigan also hopes to work on issues affecting the community including the rise in drug related offences.

“The opioid crisis that my nation has been facing through the pandemic, we probably saw at least close to 100 of our youth through the pandemic that are not with us today because they had succumbed to drug overdoses,” said North Peigan. “That is a huge issue in our community, and we are still seeing that to date. The opioid crisis needs to be addressed. Bringing together community social service agencies in the nation as well as the local RCMP detachment to come together and put together a strategic plan in moving forward and address the crisis that we are faced with.”

With a goal of unity and moving Indigenous issues to the forefront, North Peigan said “I am strongly encouraging all of our Nation members to come out and coast the ballot. Even if you are not going to vote for me, at least come out and participate in the voting process because it gives the community a voice.” “I am respectfully requesting the support of the community for Chief, but we all need to get our votes out.”

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