Franklin Paibomsai reelected as chief of Whitefish River FN

WHITEFISH RIVER FIRST NATION—Franklin ‘Shining Turtle’ Paibomsai has been reelected as chief of Whitefish River First Nation. Councillors Gerald Lawrence McGregor and Leona Nahwegahbow, who served with Chief Shining Turtle on the previous term of chief and council, were also reelected and will be joined by Donald Gerard McGregor, Caralyn McGregor-Visitor and Esther Osche at the council table.

WRFN elections for chief and council took place last Wednesday with 15 candidates for chief and 50 candidates for council, though five candidates for council withdrew their names.

The results of the chief election were: Olga Naomi Abotossaway with 10 votes, 0 votes for Wilfred Laurier Cywink, seven votes for Brian Arthur McGregor, one vote for Dennis Lyn McGregor, 88 votes for Donald Gerard McGregor, one vote for Douglas McGregor, 53 votes for Gerald Lawrence Paul McGregor, four votes for Joseph Gregory McGregor, one vote for Leslie Florence McGregor, one vote for Stephen Gilbert McGregor, six votes for Valarie A. McGregor, 34 votes for Julian Nowgabow, 112 votes for Franklin (Shining Turtle) Paibomsai, one vote for Benjamin Jay Pitawanakwat and three votes for Richard Michael Shawanda.

There were 321 valid ballots cast for chief and three rejected ballots.

The results of the election for council are: 39 votes for Carianne Agawa, 11 votes for John Joseph Anthony Cywink, 13 votes for William (Bill) Ellison, 20 votes for Margaret Joann Esquimaux, 59 votes for George Francis, 42 votes for Caroline A. Jacko, 16 votes for Jordi Jerimiah Jacko, 39 votes for Sandy Jacko, 25 votes for Tania Mary Jacko, nine votes for Wyatt Wade Wilfred Jacko, 32 votes for Gregor David Joseph Jocko, 52 votes for Brian A. McGregor, eight votes for Brianna Elizabeth McGregor, nine votes for Calvin Norman McGregor, 14 votes for Crystal Angela Peggy McGregor, nine votes for Dennis Lyn McGregor, 26 votes for Michael Dennis McGregor, 79 votes for Donald Gerard McGregor, five votes for Elizabeth Nancy McGregor, 87 votes for Gerald Lawrence Paul McGregor, Jeffery Terrance McGregor withdrew from the election, 12 votes for Joyce Julia McGregor, 58 votes for Marida Lynn McGregor, Ronald Gregory McGregor withdrew from the election, 63 votes for Todd T. McGregor, 40 votes for Valarie A. McGregor, 12 votes for Wayne McGregor, 81 votes for Caralyn McGregor-Visitor, 33 votes for James (Jim) M. Megwanabe, 13 votes for Mary Jane Dolores Megwanabe, 102 votes for Leona Nahwegahbow, 68 votes for Julian Arthur Nowgabow, 83 votes for Esther Osche, Mary Gloria Oshkabewisens-McGregor withdrew from the election, Aloysius Finian Paibomesai withdrew from the election, seven votes for Brock Thorbjorn Pitawanakwat, 15 votes from Emmett Eugene Pitawanakwat, 29 votes for Ignatius Louis Pitawanakwat, Joseph Edward Thomas Pitawanakwat withdrew from the election, 18 votes for Blanch Mary Recollet, 29 votes for Emma Mary Recollet, 78 votes for John Recollet, 40 votes for Charles Gerard Shawanda, 58 votes for Mark Hilary Shawanda, 48 votes for Richard Michael Shawanda, 51 votes for Marilyn (Ziegler) Stevens, 24 votes for Mariette Eva Sutherland, 26 votes for Genevieve (Genny) Tahgaiwenene (Jacko), 11 votes for Paul Anthony Wilder and 51 votes for Ann Robin Ziegler.

There were a total of 316 valid ballots cast for councillor and nine rejected ballots.

“I would like to start by first thanking Whitefish River,” Chief Shining Turtle told The Expositor. “I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for giving me the opportunity to return as chief and serve for the benefit of our community. I am grateful for the support of the voters who have entrusted me with this role for the next two years. It is a privilege and an honour that I take very seriously and I vow to work tirelessly for you.”

“I have met many wonderful residents during the election process and the experience is very humbling,” continued Chief Shining Turtle. “We all care a great deal about Whitefish River and the residents who make our community such a terrific place to live. Immediately after the election we began diligently preparing ourselves so that we can roll up our sleeves and get to work right away after we take the Oath of Office in February. I am interested in residents’ issues, both large and small, because these issues affect the quality life in our community.”

Chief Shining Turtle asked that anyone with suggestions or ideas contact him by email at or by phone at 705-285-4335.

“This will be helpful in planning for 2015-17 term and setting short-term and long-term goals for us,” he noted. “I am also making myself available if you would like to host coffee/tea so we can listen to any of your concerns.”

Chief Shining Turtle concluded that there are several boards and committees in Whitefish River with vacancies and urged community members to come forward. “These bodies have multiple positions but the vacancies are staggered so only a few positions on any given year,” he said. “Nevertheless, we will consider citizens for appointments as volunteers with a focus on moving Whitefish River forward for the betterment of our community.”