The Penticton Indian Band elected five new members to band council this week: (L-R) Joan Phillip, Fred Kruger, Ernest Jack, Kyle Alec and Inez Pierre. (Photo courtesy Tracey Kim Bonneau)

Penticton Indian Band selects five new councillors

PIB aiming for internal reconciliation after by-election

A handful of Penticton Indian Band members protested outside the band’s community hall as others went inside to vote Wednesday. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

The Penticton Indian Band has completed their by-election, electing five members to fill the seats on council left vacant by resignations earlier this year.

In a Nov. 22 poll, PIB band members selected Kyle Alec (91 votes), Ernest Jack (132 votes), Fredrick “Fred” Kruger (162 votes), Joan Phillip (140 votes), Inez Pierre (145 votes).

In total, there were 197 ballots cast with five spoiled ballots.

This election came after five council members — Jonathan Kruger, Tim Lezard, Naomi Gabriel, Denise Lecoy and Joseph Pierre — resigned. The band has been divided, with one group abstaining and protesting the vote.

Related: Two types of civic engagement in PIB

The new council members will meet with Chief Chad Eneas and the existing council members on Dec. 5 to express their collective vision and scheduling for upcoming community engagement for reconciliation within the PIB.

Eneas, who was elected as chief last fall defeating Jonathon Kruger, has worked to reassure band members.

Related: Chief responds to council resignations

“We are so proud of all our community members and their passion for being involved,” said Eneas. “We welcome the newly elected council and look forward to their fresh perspectives as they each contribute their own personal and professional experience for the whole of the community.”

Related: Video: Penticton Indian Band Chief runs on community platform

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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