June 16th, 2024

New chief and council sworn in for Piikani Nation


By Lethbridge Herald on January 17, 2023.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke Chief Troy “Bossman” Knowlton, centre, dances with Tobias Provost and Leonard Weasel Traveller following the bestowing of the headdress to Knowlton as the new Chief during a ceremony Tuesday at Piikani Nation Secondary High in Brocket.

Ry Clarke – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A ceremony was held in Brocket on the Piikani Nation Tuesday to inaugurate the new Chief and Council. 

The election was held on Jan. 9, with Troy “Bossman” Knowlton being named the new Chief, replacing the previous Chief, Stan Grier. 

This is Knowlton’s fourth term on the Piikani council, and in his new position as Chief he is looking forward to re-engaging with the Piikani people and serving in their best interest.

“I didn’t aspire to be Chief throughout my life, the creator had a path for me and he brought me to this point where I am today,” said Knowlton. “I never really had aspirations to become a chief, but over the past eight years on council, the support that I was getting from our nation, our members, and the encouragement from our elders…it made me think about it, as we got closer to nomination day, I thought that this was something I ought to consider based on the amount of support I got.”

Looking to connect with his community, Knowlton notes his openness to the Nation was key during his campaign. 

“To get out and meet the people in their homes, and to talk about the issues of the day and their concerns, and where they see the Nation going is the biggest thing. That face-to-face, every day trying to get out there and meet people,” said Knowlton. “We are embarking on some big things. I want to bring the Nation members with us every step of the way. That means band meetings, communications, getting it out in print, and out on radio stations, having gatherings, like this, where people can ask us those questions, and can get those answers firsthand.”

Knowlton will serve with councillors Albertine Crow Shoe, Wesley Crow Shoe, Helen Flamand, Martin Iron Shirt, Jordan No Chief, Cynthia “Cindy” Provost, Neil Sharp Adze Jr., and Dimples Stump. 

“It is a nice balance, we have never seen a half male, half female council before, so it is quite exciting and we are quite happy about that,” said Corbin Provost, chief operations officer for Piikani Nation. “There is a number of individuals returning, we have one direct incumbent from the last term. But there are two other individuals that were formerly at the table as well, so they have a wealth of experience as well. Then we have got about five that are new to the table, and we are excited for that as well.”

Looking forward to working with Council, Knowlton is eager to see what work they can accomplish. 

“It is very exciting, I look at the group of people that are there, some have experience, but we have got a really diverse crowd,” said Knowlton. “We have got some older, more experienced gentlemen that have been on council before and know our language, our culture and spiritual ways. We have got women in their academics, graduated in various fields and hold degrees. And we have got a young man who is also very educated. We have got a great group, I know all of them and I’m very excited to work, they all bring something unique to the table.”

Meeting after the inauguration, Chief and Council are already getting down to business in their new roles. 

“We will have a quick sit down and start planning out our orientation,” said Knowlton. “There is a lot of important things we have to deal with. We are going to have to start right off the bat orientating (new members) on the most important issues of the day. Then looking at orientation, committees or sending them into committees. Once that happens, I want to have a band meeting immediately after so every individual that is a new counsellor could talk about the committees that they have been assigned to.”

Ready to hit the ground running, the new Piikani Nation Chief and Council will serve for the next four years. 

“It is an amazing experience, and not very many people can go through. Our Chief is a very small fraternity of people, when you look at all those who have been in this position since the electoral system, there is not a whole lot of us. For me to be here with the presence of those men is an honour in itself,” said Knowlton.

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