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Lake Babine History

Chief and Council

Our Chief and Council members are elected for a 3 year period. The current council was elected in June 2012.

Lake Babine Nation Chief & Council Chronological History

Lake Babine Nation traditionally utilized a governing structure called the ‘Bah’lats”. Within the Bah’lats there were Hereditary Chiefs and four clans (Bear, Caribou, Beaver and Frog) who enjoyed a vibrant economy based of inland fishery.

  • 1822 – The first missionaries came into the territory
  • 1836 – The first Hudson Bay Company post (Fort Kilmore) was established at current day Old Fort
  • Early 1900’s – Indian Affairs Agent started distributing provisions in Old Hazelton.
  • 1905 – Lake Babine people were very independent since the fish weirs were still in use. Then Department of Fisheries and the Commercial fisheries of BC closed the fish weirs. Two Hereditary Chiefs, Gwist’a’ (Big George) & De Wis Sum Ts’ik (Jack Williams) traveled to Ottawa and successfully negotiated the Babine Barricade Treaty, which has never been fulfilled by the Government of Canada to this day.
  • 1906 – Due to the closure and destruction of the fish weirs, Babine Lake people became poverty stricken, resorting to trapping and working for small developing logging companies. As more settlers started to move into the territory, work became scarce. Membership was estimated at 10,000. Small pox ravaged the Babine Lake Nation resulting in members being buried in mass graves.
  • Early 1950’s – Poverty continued to take its toll on the Babine Nation people as more people came to the territory, therefore, Babine Nation leaders started to meet with the Indian Agent in Topley & Burns Lake, BC.
  • 1957 – The communities of Fort Babine and Old Fort were amalgamated in order to cut down on travels for the Indian Agent.
  • Late 1950’s – Leaders were selected from the Babine Nation people who would communicate to Indian Affairs on their behalf.
  • 1960’s – The elected Lake Babine officials started to take root where people were given the opportunity to select their leading officials.
  • 1967 – Completion of the forced move of Lake Babine people from the Lake to the Woyenne Reserve in Burns Lake.
  • 2007 – Chief & Council elected under custom election code.

Elected Officials

  • 1959-1962 – Nee Ughin’ Lee and Indian Agents
  • 1960’s – Chief Margaret Patrick, Councillors JB Charlie, Lawrence Tom, & Joe Alec Sr.
  • 1968 – Chief Lawrence Tom, Councillors Dennis Alec, Mark Michell, & Casimel Williams
  • 1969-1972 – Chief Margaret Patrick, Councillors Garnet Williams, & Ted Lowley
  • 1972 – Chief Ted Lowley Sr. & 5 Councilors
  • 1975-1979 – Chief Margaret Patrick & 5 Councilors
  • 1979-1988 – Chief Ted Lowley & 5 Councilors
  • 1988-1994 – Chief Wilfred Adam & 9 Councilors
  • 1994-1997 – Chief Emma Palmantier & 9 Councilors
  • 1997-2000 – Chief Betty Patrick & 9 Councilors
  • 2000-2003 – Chief Betty Patrick & 9 Councilors
  • 2003-2006 – Chief Emma Palmantier & 9 Councilors
  • 2006-2009 – Chief Betty Patrick & 9 Councilors
  • 2009-2012 – Chief Wilf Adam & 9 Councilors
  • 2012-2015 – Chief Wilf Adam & 9 Councilors
  • 2015-2018 – Chief Wilf Adam & 9 Councilors

 

July 2015 – Chief and Council

Chief: Wilf Adam

Deputy Chief: Bessie West

Council:

  • Bessie West – Economic Development Portfolio
  • Clara Williams – Health Portfolio
  • Darcy Dennis – Treaty/Cultural Portfolio
  • Darren Patrick – Education Portfolio
  • Delores Alec – Social Development Portfolio
  • Derek MacDonald – Housing Portfolio
  • Melvin Joseph – Administration Portfolio
  • Mildred George – Fisheries Portfolio
  • Verna Power – Natural Resources Portfolio