SHESHEGWANING – Candidate Alana Endanawas was elected as Chief of Sheshegwaning First Nation in this past weekend’s election. The elections for chief and band council were held this past Saturday.
“Oh yes, I was shocked when I heard the results. I was super shocked,” stated Ms. Endanawas. She said she is grateful for the confidence the community showed in electing her as chief.
Ms. Endanawas was among five candidates for the position of chief. She received a total of 47 votes to fill the chief’s position. Joseph Laford Sr. was Ms. Endanawas’ closest competitor, garnering 33 votes. Incumbent Chief Dean Roy (who served three terms as chief) received 25 votes. Joseph C. Endanawas garnered 17 votes while John E. Wabegijig received 13 votes.
For the four council seats, 19 candidates were in the running. The four persons who will be filling the four council positions include incumbent Nicole W.M. Bush who received 56 votes, Jennifer Sampson with 45 votes, Gregory Sampson with 40 votes and incumbent Marie E. McLeod who also received 40 votes. Albert J. Cada received 39 votes, Gene Cada garnered 36, Angela R. McLeod with 29, Alana E. Endanawas with 25 votes, Freda A.M. Endanawas with 21, Robin A. Malley with 12, Sebastian R. Malley with 21, Angela R. McLeod with 29, Christopher Sagon-Endanawas with 28, Deanna C. Sampson 23, Erica R. Sampson 17, Jessica L. Sampson with 18 votes, Emilio N.D. Tomaselli with 31, Kaitlynn M. Tomaselli with 21, John E. Wabegijik with 10 votes and Luke S. Wabekigik with 21 votes.
Ms. Endanawas, who has served three terms as a councillor in Sheshegwaning told The Expositor, “I’m so overwhelmed at being able to work with this new team on council and together I think we can work in a new positive direction for Sheshegwaning.”
“There are a lot of things I want to move forward,” said Ms. Endanawas. “In the new year I would like to hold a chief and council open house with members of the community to look at strategic planning. We want input and ideas from members of the community on what they would like to see.”
In her pre-election platform Ms. Endanawas had explained, “Some of the priorities I would like to accomplish in my term if elected chief is to continue with the existing initiatives; help ratify the land use plan when complete, help with developing policies that enable good governance over our lands. I would like to develop a “best practice” set of guidelines for development, develop a comprehensive community engagement strategy, develop a clear 10-year education and lifelong learning strategy. Continuing to support our youth is necessary. I would love to see a consistent youth council for our future leaders, to develop a strategy aimed at increasing self-confidence, self-awareness and self-reliance for all community youth.”
“I would love to see more training support and job opportunities for all community members who may be interested,” said Ms. Endanawas. “I endorse supporting our entire community by developing a holistic model based on the medicine wheel and elder advising to fully address the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of the community, to develop a community-wide strategy based on the Seven Grandfather Teachings, with the Truth and Reconciliation and the impact of our history for generations and supporting our entire community towards recovery is upper most.”
Chief and council will serve a two-year term.