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Joanne Miles to move from vice-chief to chief of Flat Bay Band Inc.

A ceremony to recognize the upcoming change to the top position of the Flat Bay Band Inc. took place at an annual general assembly of the band last Saturday night. From left: Joanne Miles, who is taking on the position of chief in January, Elder Calvin White - explaining the staff he made for Miles - and outgoing Chief Liz LaSaga.
A ceremony to recognize the upcoming change to the top position of the Flat Bay Band Inc. took place at an annual general assembly of the band last Saturday night. From left: Joanne Miles, who is taking on the position of chief in January, Elder Calvin White - explaining the staff he made for Miles - and outgoing Chief Liz LaSaga. - Frank Gale

Joanne Miles is honoured to help out her community and is now looking forward to when she takes on the role of chief of the Flat Bay Band Inc. in late January.

During the band’s annual general assembly last Saturday, current Chief Liz LaSaga announced her upcoming retirement from the position she has been in during the past 12 years.

Miles, who is currently vice-chief, admits she has a big task ahead of her in carrying out the position, but noted she has resourceful people to give support, including Elder Calvin White and LaSaga.

While it’s close to another three months before she takes on the position, a ceremonial staff change was performed at the assembly with White carrying it out.

Miles will take office on Jan. 27 for an interim period until the next election.

She recognized that both LaSaga and White, who was the previous chief, have been her mentors and she’s been there to help them and expects they’ll be there to help her.

While LaSaga held the roles of chief and band manager, she remains solely as band manager until sometime next year, when she sees the band is established enough to operate under the hiring of a new manager.

The latest date of her stay as band manager would be 90 days from the next election Oct. 26, 2019 — Jan. 26, 2020.

White developed a new staff for Miles to use when she takes office. During the ceremony, he explained the features of the staff, taken from all the elements of their own land, naturally shaped to represent the union of man and woman, the pine martin and seven eagle feathers to reflect the seven teachings.

Since Chief Liz has never let her Eagle staff touch the ground in all her 12 years of reign, it will remain affixed as decor on the band’s boardroom wall, as a memory of her time.

LaSaga told Miles she trusts her implicitly to carry out the role of chief and all she asked of her was to pay forward the mantra of leading with a golden heart.

Miles said while LaSaga was great in her role as chief and it will be difficult to “fill her shoes,” she will bring different skillsets to the position and she’ll still have LaSaga as manager for some time.

White said LaSaga did an awesome job as chief and noted that you can’t please everyone in public life and while there were only a few that she couldn’t, she fought for what she believed in.

“Her conviction and passion to the people and community are to be recognized,” he said.

White also had great words for Miles, who he said no doubt will be equally as strong as LaSaga and the two will work in consultation.

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