BC NDP elects first-ever Indigenous President, Aaron Sumexheltza

VOTING virtually at the BC NDP’s biennial convention, delegates from across the province overwhelmingly selected Aaron Sumexheltza (phonetically: Shoo-muh-hetsa) to serve as the party’s next president, the party announced on Wednesday.

“Aaron is the first-ever Indigenous person to hold the role, and is, to our knowledge, the first Indigenous person to ever serve as the president of a political party in BC,” the party said.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Aaron Sumexheltza as the next President of our great party,” said Premier John Horgan, Leader of the BC NDP. “Aaron’s experience and his perspectives will make our party better, and I know how deeply committed he is to building a stronger and more fair province for all British Columbians. I look forward to working closely with him.”

Sumexheltza is a practising criminal defence lawyer and the former elected chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band. A member of the BC NDP since 2013, he ran for the party as the candidate for Fraser-Nicola in the 2020 provincial election. Aaron lives in Merritt with his wife and two young children.

“I love seeing all the progress our party has made, particularly in the last election when we elected our largest-ever caucus of BC NDP MLAs. Ensuring we protect the gains we made in the last election will be important going forward, but there’s much more for us to do,” said Sumexheltza. “I know we can keep building, growing and thriving when we all work together.”

The BC NDP virtual convention concludes this weekend with resolutions debates and speeches from Horgan and Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP.