- By Native News Online Staff
WALPOLE ISLAND — A First Nation with about 5,000 band members is seeking to remove the names of Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and legendary ex-Beatle Paul McCartney from its slate of candidates for chief after community members nominated the two.
Walpole Island First Nation in southwestern Ontario can elect non-Indigenous people as leaders under the Indian Act, James Jenkins, Walpole Island’s director of operations, told CBC News.
The two celebrities have no known ties to Walpole Island, and had their names placed on the ballot for the First Nation’s Sept. 19 election. Community officials have reportedly reached out to both but have not heard back. Including the two celebrities, there are 12 nominations for chief.
Seeking guidance on how the situation should be handled, Jenkins reached out to Indigenous Services Canada. After consultation, it was decided if the two celebrities have not responded by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, their names will be removed from the ballot.
The current incumbent, Chief Dan Miskokowmon, is running for reelection. He is seeking his third consecutive two-year term. Miskokowmon served as chief during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Since you're here...
We believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift of $5 or more to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.