Ernie Crey was elected as Cheam First Nation’s new Chief last Thursday in the band’s all-day election.

Ernie Crey elected chief of Cheam

First Nation has 'many irons in the fire' moving forward as new council takes over this week

Results of the Cheam First Nation chief and council election were announced on social media late last week after Thursday’s poll.

Council member Ernie Crey will be sworn in as new chief for the band replacing outgoing leader Chief Sidney Douglas.

“It’ll be an honour to serve as Chief of Cheam First Nation,” Crey said. “We have many irons in the fire and some longstanding projects we want to complete in the near future.”

He added that Cheam will work with others who are respectful of their Aboriginal title and rights.

And the outcome of October’s federal election will bring change to First Nations, according to Crey.

“We look forward to seeing what we can accomplish with Prime Minister Trudeau and his colleagues,” he said.

Crey will be joined by re-elected councillors Darwin Douglas and Chad Douglas and newly elected councillors Andrew Victor, Muriel Victor and Dionne Shaw.

“We’re moving ahead in a few things,” said outgoing chief Sidney Douglas about his latest term. “If you don’t get it done in one term you hope the next council will continue it on in the next term.”

Under his watch, Cheam has upgraded their water system on the south side of the Fraser River and are looking at upgrading sewer systems and are currently in the middle stages of that change.

Cheam First Nation is also putting the final touches on financial details so they can start building a new complex that will have administration and health offices along with a gymnasium for the community, said Douglas about the project he’s leaving.

The Cheam band is still on a two-year election cycle under the Indian Act system, though a four year system is now recommended through the First Nations Elections Act.

Canada’s Indigenous and Northern Affairs introduced the First Nations Elections Act and the First Nations Elections Regulations in April which a First Nation can opt into with a band council resolution.

Chief Douglas served three terms up until 2009, took one term off before he got back on council and then into his current position that ends when Crey is sworn in.

The time and date of that ceremony are not yet known, but are expected to take place Friday, according to Douglas.