Karen Bell Becomes New Chief for Garden River First Nation

Garden River First Nation held their election on Tuesday resulting in an upset for Chief.

Former Garden River councillor, Karen Bell defeated incumbent Andy Rickard by a large margin.

Here is the official results issued by Garden River First Nation

Garden River First Nation is excited to announce the election of Karen Bell as the new Chief, following yesterday’s election. Members of the community have overwhelmingly supported Ms. Bell, giving her a significant mandate based on her compelling campaign theme, “Time for Change and Progress.”

Throughout her campaign, Karen Bell focused on wearing a new “HAT” – embodying values of Honesty, Accountability, and Transparency. These core principles are a reflection of her commitment to serve the members of Garden River First Nation with an unwavering work ethic, both firm and fair in decision-making.

“I am committed to being accountable to all members, whether they reside within our community or elsewhere,” says Bell. The Chief’s role demands a strong sense of fiduciary responsibility, and I pledge to honor this throughout my four-year term. Trustworthiness, accountability, and transparency will remain at the forefront of my tenure. Every individual deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and I promise to uphold this commitment.”

In the spirit of community, inclusiveness, and reverence, Karen will be actively reaching out to the elders of Garden River First Nation. Recognizing their wisdom and experiences, she plans to accord them a position of reverence, ensuring that their voices are not just heard but integrated into the decision-making processes.

Furthermore, Karen Bell is dedicated to fostering unity, healing, and progress within the community. To achieve this, she will be holding listening sessions throughout Garden River First Nation in the coming months. These sessions aim to encourage members to share new ideas, express concerns, and play an active role in community-building.

As Karen Bell steps into her new role, Garden River First Nation looks forward to a period of positive change, growth, and an era where every voice matters. The community’s faith in her vision and leadership promises a brighter future and progress for all its members.


  • Craig Huckerby

    Craig Huckerby is a seasoned broadcast and media professional with over 43 years in local media. Starting in television, Craig became known as "the weather guy" on local television before pioneering internet media in the Sault. Craig is credited for bringing local television back to the Sault via the internet in 2003 with LTVNEWS.COM and was instrumental in launching SooNews.ca and Local2.ca. Craig has also won numerous International Film awards for director of the documentary, "Was I Next?, The Sean Cribbin Story"

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