Fort Folly First Nation Chief Rebecca Knockwood is running for a second term so she can finish the work she started when she was first elected chief in 2013.
“I want to try to better my community,” Chief Knockwood, 48, said in a phone interview. “I want to try to be able to bring more housing, acquire more land and have better economic stability for my First Nation,” she said.
Band members elect a new chief and council on November 23. Fort Folly First Nation is located approximately 14 kilometres west of Sackville, N.B.
Knockwood’s only opponent for the top political position at Fort Folly First Nation is retired prison guard Hanford Nye.
If elected, Knockwood says she would like to pursue a plan to acquire land near the Trans Canada highway to commercially develop similar to what Eel River Bar and Madawaska First Nations have done in New Brunswick. She explained that profits from the band venture could be passed down to band members.
“Right now, we don’t give any royalties out or anything like that and I know other First Nations do,” Knockwood says.
Knockwood served five terms on council before being elected as chief in 2013. She previously worked as the Fisheries Manager with Fort Folly First Nation.
Nye promises more transparency if elected
Hanford Nye, 68, is promising more transparency and accountability if he is elected chief.
“The governing of the band itself will be far more open and transparent and inclusive,” Nye said when reached by phone.
Nye, who lives in Sackville, N.B. with his wife, also promises to hold two band membership meetings every year.
“We have not had a regular band (membership) meeting in almost three years,” he said.
Nye says in addition to the lack of band membership meetings, no committees have been set up through the band’s annual strategic plan.
Nye worked as a prison guard at nearby Dorchester Penitentiary for more than 40 years. He then was as an alcohol and drug abuse counsellor with Fort Folly before he retired.
This is Nye’s fourth time running for chief.
There are five candidates running for two council positions. Current councillors seeking re-election are:
- Joseph Knockwood
- Michael Knockwood
Other candidates running for council include:
- Michael Nye
- Debra Nye
- Jolene Knockwood
The current chief and council’s term expires on December 2, 2015.
According to the federal Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website, the yearly honorarium for chief and council is $12,000.
According the 2013-14 audit, Chief Knockwood received $56,410 in remuneration and $70,200 in the 2014-15 audit.
Fort Folly First Nation has 35 band members on reserve and 96 band members off reserve.