New Piikani chief Gayle Strikes With A Gun will make transparency and interaction with band members main features of her new administration.
The first female chief of the Piikani Nation was inaugurated in a ceremony at Brocket on Friday.
Communication with band members both on and off reserve will be a priority, Strikes With A Gun said.
“Open communication is a priority, the membership need to be informed.”
Strikes With A Gun will involve input from band membership in the Strategic Plan meeting Feb. 8-9.
“This initial strategic planning process will allow for the people of the Piikani Nation to have an opportunity to express their views and have input into the four-year strategic plan,” Strikes with A Gun said. “I am very excited about this because from it the specific goals and priorities will be established for the duration of the plan, and it will have the input from the people. It will establish the direction that we will take, and it will be visited annually to assess the progress and determine whether changes are required.”
Strikes With A Gun was referring to the annual performance assessments with which she intends to follow up the strategic plan.
Elected Jan. 5, the new chief and council have already taken other steps to ensure band members have more open access to what’s going on behind council chamber doors.
“We have made a motion to post the minutes and they will be conveniently placed in the band office for membership review,” Strikes With A Gun said.
“And our communications officer is working on a plan to improve communication using quarterly newsletters, radio, and exploring other forms of media that would ensure that updates are provided for the membership both on and off the reserve. We must ensure that communication is made with our membership that reside off-reserve.”
There are 2,016 residents living on the Piikani Nation and 1,321 off-reserve.
The Piikani Nation Web page and Facebook pages are also being updated so that information is available to all the membership.
“Our leadership are also committed to making home visits to hear what the membership have to say,” Strikes With A Gun added.
Orientation sessions scheduled this week for the new leadership are also open to the membership.
“The orientation will provide Piikani leadership with the information that is needed to make informed decisions in ensuring that the immediate and pressing tasks on hand are actioned, and that supports are provided for the departments. The leadership will not be travelling away from the nation to do this orientation (as in the past) and we have extended an open orientation whereby all membership may sit in as observers.”
Strikes With A Gun has not yet had time to deal with the troubling issue of the Oldman Dam settlement trust.
“Members have expressed strongly their concerns with regard to the Piikani Nation Settlement Trust Agreement,” Strikes With A Gun said. “Once leadership have received full and complete information we will develop a plan of action to address the concerns. We have in council a great team of professionals who will proceed to ensure that the stakeholders are gaining maximum benefits as outlined in the Agreement.”
Strikes With A Gun expressed her appreciation to the band for electing her the new chief.
“I’m very honoured to have the confidence of the Piikani Nation. They made their decision at the polls and they made history by voting for the first ever female chief of the Piikani Nation. I am here to serve them to the best of my ability.”