Chief Dean Roy sets goal of new school for Sheshegwaning

SHESHGWANING — Dean Roy’s first foray into politics is as chief of the Sheshegwaning First Nation, and he’s ready to roll up his sleeves with his “team,” or council, beside him.

Chief Roy was nominated by a member of the community, he explained. “People seemed to think I had a lot of good experience to bring to the table,” the chief said of letting his nomination stand.

Chief Roy has a varied background, holding a Bachelor of Science from Laurentian’s University, working in finance and, most recently, as the information technology and systems person for the Sheshegwaning First Nation.

He explained that he led his platform for chief with his three-year background on the Sheshegwaning board of education, one of which he was the chair.

“I would like to see a new school built here, to go to Grade 8,” Chief Roy said, noting that the current St. Joseph’s School offers classes from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 4. “Our students (Grades 5 to 8) go to Lakeview School now, which is a one-hour bus ride, on a good day. They’re having to get up at 6 am.”

His first order of business is to see if the community can get a feasibility study done to build a new JK to Grade 8 public school. “The Liberal government has actually committed funding so we’re hoping to get part of that.”

Chief Roy added, “I’m not going to be making a lot of decisions on my own—I’ve got a good team of councillors to work with.”

The new chief said he also plans on making meetings more open and accessible. “I also want to have a community-wide annual general meeting in the summer to go over the auditor’s report before it’s approved by chief and council. I plan on a lot of community engagement, including talking to the elders.”

The first meeting of the newly elected Sheshegwaning chief and council, consisting of Chief Roy and councillors Leonard Genereux, Nicole Bush, Albert J. Cada and Greg Sampson, is this week.