Grand Chief Doug Kelly chaired his last meeting Dec. 11 for Stó:lō Tribal Council. (Submitted)

Grand Chief Doug Kelly chaired his last meeting Dec. 11 for Stó:lō Tribal Council. (Submitted)

Grand Chief Doug Kelly chaired his last meeting as tribal chief

‘For the past 20 years, my life belonged to the people,’ Kelly said in his gratitude-laden post

After more than two decades in service to his people, Grand Chief Doug Kelly said his life belongs to him again.

“I chaired my last event Friday,” Kelly said.

It was one of his last official tasks as president and tribal chief of the Stó:lō Tribal Council. He chaired the Dec. 11 annual general meeting which saw the election of Darwin Douglas, Alexis Grace, and Tyrone McNeil as new tribal chiefs.

The election gave Grand Chief Kelly pause to look back on his lengthy career of service, including four stints as chief of Soowahlie First Nation, as well as being elected tribal chief in 2004.

Other jobs and titles came in the years that followed with the First Nations Summit, First Nations Health Council, First Nations Fisheries Council, Stó:lō Nation and the B.C. Treaty Commission.

He played a key role in the Stó:lō Health Transfer, Stó:lō Child Welfare, and other programs including fisheries and economic development.

“I learned a lot, I travelled a lot, and I’m feeling good about what I had a hand in doing,” Kelly said. “I was blessed by the people.”

He’s happy and excited about what’s in store for the tribal council, and its new trio of chiefs. The three were elected to represent the eight member nations of the tribal council: Chawathil, Cheam, Kwantlen, Kwaw-kwaw-Apilt, Scowlitz, Seabird Island, Shxw’ow’hamel, and Soowahlie.

One project he’ll still be working on is recognition of Indigenous jurisdiction for children and families.

“One of the priorities has been reclaiming jurisdiction for our matriarchs,” Kelly said.

He’s also been doing some work around systemic racism in health care.

On Dec. 11, 2020, he posted a social media message in the wake of the election at the AGM, expressing his congratulations and gratitude for the newly elected tribal chiefs:

“I woke refreshed, rested and ecstatically happy this morning.

“For the past twenty-years, my life belonged to the people. Today, my life now belongs to my dearest wife, Sherry, our collective brood of six adult children, and eight grandchildren.

“My life belongs to me again,” Kelly shared.

RELATED: Reclaiming jurisdiction for Indigenous children and families

RELATED: Leaders look for long-awaited renewal of relationship with PM

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

electionFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Chilliwack driver’s vehicle was impounded for seven days after an excessive speeding violation. (RCMP photo)
RCMP catch Chilliwack driver doing 60 km/h over posted speed limit

The motorist was hit with a big ticket and a seven day vehicle impoundment

Glenwood Seniors Community is the second long term care home in Agassiz to have a COVID-19 outbreak. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz

The long term care home is the second of Agassiz’s three facilities to have an outbreak

UFV assistant kinesiology professor Dr. Iris Lesser exercises along Chilliwack's Vedder Rotary Trail with her daughter Kaia. (UFV photo)
UFV study finds women with reduced physical activity had more mental health struggles during COVID pandemic

The study suggested women suffered more than men as gyms, parks and playgrounds shut down

The section of Princess Avenue from Young Road to Nowell Street, seen here on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, will be converted to one-way traffic to help increase parking in the area. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack council opts to convert downtown street to one-way traffic to create parking

Council voted to start with Princess Avenue, holding off on converting Victoria Avenue until later

Uber Eats has announced that it is now delivering food orders in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Submitted photo by Justin Walker)
Uber Eats announces expansion into Chilliwack

Food-delivery company is starting with 60 local restaurants

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

BC Place Stadium in a photo posted to cisc-icca.ca.
Roof of BC Place a stage for performers during online music festival

‘This will be the first time any artists have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Most Read