Mississauga First Nation has elected Brent Niganobe as its new chief.
The two-term band councillor was declared leader of his community following the Dec. 6 elections, edging out runner-up Roger Daybutch by a single vote: After all 394 ballots were tabulated, Niganobe garnered 101 votes compared to the 100 votes cast in favour of Daybutch.
The outgoing leader for the community, Bob Chiblow, mustered just 59 votes in the race for chief. Chiblow was elected leader in 2021 after former chief Reg Niganobe stepped down to assume the role of grand council chief for the Anishinabek Nation.
According to his electoral platform, Niganobe grew up in Mississauga First Nation before leaving for Peterborough, where he graduated from Sir Sanford Fleming College with a law and justice degree and later, a bachelor’s degree in Indigenous studies from Trent University.
He also worked as a youth counsellor during his time in college and university in order to support his family.
Niganobe would eventually return to Mississauga First Nation with his wife, Giselle, and four children after graduating from university.
In his platform, Niganobe identified community consultations on the $10-billion Robinson Huron Treaty annuities settlement as his first priority. Infrastructure, community safety, job growth and community-focused programming for youth and elders were also identified in his platform as other key priorities for his community.
A host of new council members have also been voted in by community members following an election that saw a total of 28 candidates vying for nine seats on council.
Three people will return to their previous roles as band councillors: Gloria Daybutch, Peyton Pitawanakwat and Denise Boyer-Payette.
Meanwhile, Jubilant Sky Cada, Crystal Chiblow, Chance Counsell, Laura Mayer, Kenneth MacLeod and Nancy Whitehead will all serve their community as new faces on band council.
Mississauga First Nation has three-year terms of office, as opposed to the standard two-year terms, under its custom election code.