The K’atlodeeche First Nation election is heating up with a new candidate throwing her name into the ring.
April Martel is accepting the nomination to run for chief against incumbent Roy Fabian.
“People want change in the First Nation,” Martel told The Hub. “They want to see more things happening here for everyone, at all ages.”
Martel, who works as the secretary at Chief Sunrise Education Centre and previously ran the KFN Youth Centre, said she sees services and programs for young people lacking in the community.
“I’ve been there, worked with them and I grew up here, so I know what it’s like,” she said. “I know it’s hard, but it can be better.”
At 35, Martel said as far as she knows, she is the youngest woman to ever run for chief and would be the first female leader of the community if elected. She does, however, have some political heritage. Her grandfather, Pat Martel, held office as chief and also as a councillor.
“My grandpa has taught me a lot about how to treat people, how to help them and approach them,” she said. “Their needs should be met first.”
As well, Martel said that if she is elected chief, she will focus on wellness programs and activities for elders.
“There needs to be more activity, more going on, for all ages,” she said.
Fabian, who has accepted the nomination to run again for the position he has held since 2009, refused to speak to The Hub for this article.
K’atlodeeche First Nations members running for council are Jeanna Graham, Robert Lamalice, Shirley Lamalice, Fred Martel Jr., Pat Martel, Peter Sabourin, Raymond Sonfrere and Joe Tambour.
The election is scheduled for June 24.