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Lil’wat Nation CAO Kerry Mehaffey to resign

Chiefs and council gave Mehaffey the Ucwalmícwts name áts’xsas, which translates to “watcher or one who watches over”
CAO of the Lil'wat Nation, Kerry Mehaffey, is resigning after 16 years working for the Nation.

Lil’wat Nation Chief Administrative Officer Kerry Mehaffey has given his notice of resignation after 16 years of working with the nation. His last day will be Friday, Aug. 23.

In a note sent to staff, Mehaffey described the decision to leave his position as “bittersweet.” He said he was driven by the desire to move to Vancouver Island to be closer to family.

Chief Dean Nelson said in a statement Lil̓wat’s chiefs and council accepted Mehaffey’s resignation with “heavy hearts.”

Mehaffey joined Lil’wat Nation in 2007 as lands manager. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming director of business and economic development in 2011 and CEO of Lil’wat’s management services in 2016.

Mehaffey served as acting CAO during two separate instances, and in 2020, he accepted the role on a permanent basis. Leading the organization through COVID-19 lockdowns, one of his main focuses when assuming the role was to help the community stay safe during the pandemic.

In 2023, chiefs and council gave Mehaffey the Ucwalmícwts name áts’xsas, which translates to “watcher or one who watches over.”

Nelson thanked Mehaffey for his hard work and dedication. 

“In his time here, Kerry has been a valuable leader who has made many significant contributions to both our organization and our community, from adding land to reserve, returning the businesses to profitability, establishing partnerships, advancing reconciliation, and restructuring the Nation’s departments to create more capacity and address the needs of the growing community,” he said. “He will be greatly missed.”

Mehaffey’s work with the Líl̓wat Business Group resulted in greater profitability for the Nation’s businesses and “new partnership opportunities that supported the re-establishment of Lil̓wat’s presence throughout its territory.”

Mehaffey said serving the Lil’wat Nation was an honour and a privilege.

“It has been an amazing opportunity to build relationships within the community and the Sea to Sky corridor, make positive contributions to a growing community, and supporting the long-term vision of the Nation,” he said.

A recruitment process to find a new CAO is currently underway.