MITCHELL Stevens defeated two challengers in winning the election to be president of the Nisga’a Lisims Government for the next four years.
Stevens received 741 votes compared to Eva Clayton who received 557 and Charles Morven, who received 414 votes.
General voting day was Nov. 7 but results weren’t released until Nov. 10 when elections officials collected tallies from the four Nisga’a villages in the Nass Valley and from urban voting stations in Terrace, Prince Rupert, Vancouver and Prince George.
Stevens, from Laxgalts’ap in the Nass Valley, was first elected president in a 2010 by-election made necessary by the death of Nelson Leeson.
He had been regarded as an establishment candidate with Clayton and Morven promising more involvement by Nisga’a citizens and more openness.
The Nov. 7 elections also saw national government positions filled for chairman of the council of elders and secretary-treasurer.
Village chief councillor and village council positions were also filled as were positions for the three urban Nisga’a locals of Terrace, Prince Rupert and Vancouver.
The surprise result of the elections was the defeat of Edmond Wright in a bid to continue being secretary-treasurer of the Nisga’a Lisims Government.
Corinne McKay won that job with 886 votes compared to 618 for Wright and 186 for Curt Johnson.
Wright was among a core of Nisga’a leaders involved in the negotiations leading to the Nisga’a Final Agreement of 2000 and held elected office since then as the Lisims government established itself.
Kevin McKay retained his position as chairman of the Lisims government by acclamation.
Nisga’a national and local elections are held every four years.