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Mount Currie administrator moving to Pemberton

Daniel Sailland hopes to complement Pemberton’s relationship with First Nation community

Mount Currie's administrator is switching over to the Village of Pemberton in a bid to enhance Pemberton's relations with its First Nation neighbours.

Daniel Sailland, the administrator of the Mount Currie Band of the Lil'wat Nation since 2006, is to become chief administrative officer in Pemberton.

He takes over for Jerry Berry, formerly administrator for the City of Nanaimo who has been filling in on an interim basis since the resignation of Lori Pilon in December.

"It's tough to leave Mount Currie," Sailland said in an interview. "There's an excellent staff there, things are going in a good direction, which is great. On the same token, I look forward to working with Pemberton.

"It's a good challenge, a different set of challenges, it's different legislation than working for a First Nations community but I'm looking forward to the switch and to taking it in a different direction."

Sailland, an MBA graduate, took over from Sheldon Tetreault at the Mount Currie Band in October of 2006. Previously he worked in England as a Solutions Bid Manager with Capita Group in London, as well as a Research Associate with QinetiQ, the private research arm of England's Ministry of Defence.

Born in St. Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Quebec, a small agricultural community, he was adopted into a Clayoquot family at a young age and became deeply immersed in a First Nations community.

Mount Currie marked the first time that he was fully engaged in First Nation governance, giving him opportunities to deal with areas like business, school and health.

As administrator in Pemberton he hopes to continue efforts by the Village and Mount Currie to work together at the governing level.

"I certainly hope to complement that from Pemberton's side now," he said. "With my relationships in Mount Currie, the community and the staff, with governance, I'm hoping to facilitate better understanding and more commonly-based projects, both at a social and a governance and business level."

Sailland's time in Mount Currie has seen the ongoing implementation of the Winds of Change vision as well as construction of Ullus, the new community complex that now serves as the heart of the community.

It hasn't, however, come without its challenges. He was in charge of the band when it filed a lawsuit against Lyle Leo, former lead negotiator for the band and a candidate for Chief Councillor. The lawsuit alleged that Leo had taken over half a million dollars in kickbacks while negotiating towards a commercial development in the Soo Valley.

Sailland said in interview that he may yet have to testify in that case.

"Inevitably, I will end up being called to the stand," he said. "I'm still discussing with council how it is that they would like to see my role adjust because I am standing down from senior administrator. But it doesn't necessarily mean that council does not want me to be a part of the legal action team."