Incumbent city councillor Stacie Arden Smith, in conversation with Yellowknifer, addresses Indigenous representation in the city and her decision to run for another term.
Could you please introduce yourself for anyone who may not know who you are?
“My name is Stacie Arden Smith. I am a lifelong resident of Yellowknife. Born and raised, as was my mother and my family before me.”
What do you hope to change if you’re re-elected?
“I hope to continue the work that I’ve been doing, most definitely. On my plate last term was downtown revitalization, homelessness, and reconciliation in terms of recognizing having Indigenous people not only within city administration, but as well as in the work put forth with reconciliation out to the community.”
Why have you decided to run again?
“Because I really enjoyed my time (as a councillor) and the work is not done. The work is never done. I’d like to see it go further than where it is right now. Covid-19 kind of put the kibosh on a lot of projects that the council really wanted to put forward.
“I want to see this move a lot faster this term, in terms of homelessness and addressing the GNWT about an addictions facility, which is needed not only for Yellowknife but across the NWT. We have a lot of issues right now with vagrancy — it’s run rampant, and it’s gotten worse. (I want to address) those issues working with RCMP, the MED (Municipal Enforcement Division), and the CAB (Community Advisory Board on Homelessness) committee in terms of programming and funding.”
Could you tell me more about an addictions facility?
“It has been promised by the GNWT for decades. When I was a little girl, about 30-plus years ago, it was promised. It keeps being pushed further away but it’s needed. I do not understand why everything else takes precedence over this. We’re talking about human beings. We’re talking about the betterment of not only individuals on the street, but within homes too. Addictions are everywhere.”
What are some of your must haves?
“Representation for Indigenous people is a must have, and our ability to be able to move forward as well as supporting the concerns regarding the retention of Indigenous staff. Having Indigenous voices within administration and council is very important.”
Are there any other comments you would like to add?
“I’m just going around doing my bit. I’ve never been one to go door-to-door. (As a girl,) I hated doing Girl Guide cookie sales.
“I’m doing what I do best and meeting people. I’m really hoping that the work that I do within town speaks for itself, and speaks of who I am. I’ve been a resident my entire life so people know who I am and what I’m about.”