The Lower Kootenay Band candidates forum was hosted last Thursday.

It was made abundantly clear during the forum that there is a division in the community.

Each of the candidates were given a chance to come up with a solution.

Rob Louie senior said going back to their ancestral ways and having family matriarchs could unite the community. Wayne Louie said it starts with leadership, transparency and ethics. He also made reference to split in the community beginning in the early seventies.

Eleanor George laid some of the blame parents who are making their kids divided. She also made note of a wasted resource when an audience member made a complaint about her knowledge of ancestral lands not being put to use within the community. This sentiment was shared and acknowledged by all council candidates.

Both Carol Louie and Sandra Luke said everybody must take ownership, unite and focus on family healing.  Carol Louie also said the she’s been asked not to run in a series of emails and claims to have been attacked for asking questions.

Current Chief Council member Jason Louie iterated that everybody counts no matter the skin tone or last name. Jason Louie spoke on his commitment to healing initiatives and workshops for those in need.  He and current councilor Sandra Luke also referenced funding for education that they have secured.

Doreen White said there is no easy solution, only hard work needed to bring the community together. She also spoke on respect and how people can respect others by first respecting themselves. Only then, she said, will people stop arguing and start asking to help one another.

Both Wayne and Rob Louie senior stressed the importance of unity and transparency. Rob Louie  also noted the importance of old traditions and the preservation of oral history.

Of the seven candidates only three council members can be elected, with the most votes electing the new chief council member.

The election will be held November 22nd.