Stan Bird ousts Glenn Hudson as chief of Peguis First Nation

Manitoba’s largest First Nation has a new chief after a one-day election on Friday that had been preceded by some controversy and the burning of a box of advance polls.

Stan Bird, a registered clinical and school psychologist, defeated incumbent Glenn Hudson as well as former chief Cindy Spence.

Hudson was first elected chief in 2007. He was re-elected in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2019. Spence served a two-year term from 2015-17, defeating Hudson.

Just over 2,100 votes were cast:

  • 915 for Stan Bird.
  • 481 for Glenn Hudson.
  • 409 for Marty Favel.
  • 226 for Annette Spence Meeches.
  • 116 for Cindy Spence.

The newly-elected councillors are: Kelvin Wilson, Linda Sinclair, Mary Tyler Bear, Donna Sutherland, Dennis Cameron and Terrance Gyn Sinclair.

CBC News reached out to Bird and Hudson for comment on the results but has not yet heard back. 

Peguis, located about 160 kilometres north of Winnipeg, has more than 10,000 members — roughly 3,500 of whom live on the reserve.

An advance poll was held March 28 at the Peguis Community Hall, and two others were planned for March 30 in Winnipeg and March 31 in Selkirk.

The latter two were cancelled after a disturbance following the March 28 vote. The ballot box was going to be taken from the community and stored at a U-Haul facility until ballots could be added to the totals from the April 6 election day.

According to a notice posted by the chief and council on the Peguis website on March 29, the independent election administrator, Victoria-based OneFeather Mobile Technologies Ltd., reported that a group of people created a situation that made the poll workers feel unsafe.

No information was provided on what took place but the notice said it put the election at risk.

Worried about something similar happening at the other advance polls, a decision was made to cancel them and have all voting take place April 6 at polling stations in Peguis, Selkirk and Winnipeg.

The 178 ballots cast on March 28 were declared null and void and destroyed publicly, burned by the Peguis Fire Department in front of community hall.

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