By: Journalism Initiative Reporter

JAMES SMITH FIRST NATION – A new chief was elected at James Smith First Nation after almost 16 years.

Kirby Constant was declared the winner of Thursday, March 28, band election with 208 votes. Wally Burns, the incumbent, received 155 votes in second. Darryl Burns and Marcia Burns also ran for chief.

Constant posted on his social media, “Thank you deeply for entrusting me with the honor of being your Chief. Your support and belief in me fuel my commitment to lead our community towards a brighter future. Together, we will face challenges, embrace changes, and work tirelessly to make our home a place of prosperity and unity. I am ready to listen, serve, and lead with our shared dreams at the forefront. Let’s move forward together, shaping a legacy that generations to come will be proud of.”

Elected candidates for headpersons include:

Justin Burns, incumbent with 212 votes

Gerald McKay, incumbent with 183 votes

Tanya Moostoos with 121 votes

Alvin Moostoos, incumbent with 237 votes

A total of 10 candidates ran for headpersons in this election.

Constant said, “I’m going to be here at my other job during the critical two-week appeal period, eagerly anticipating the swearing-in ceremony to officially begin my duties. Your confidence in electing me as your chief is both a privilege and a responsibility I take to heart. My commitment to you is unwavering—I aim to lead with integrity, inclusivity, and professionalism, ensuring no one is left behind.

“And of course, to everyone who cast their vote for me, your support is the foundation of this new chapter we’re about to embark on together. I’m excited to return and start putting our plans into action for the betterment of our community. Once again, thank you for your trust and patience. The work begins soon, and I’m ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead.”