Saddle Lake to welcome new chief and council
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 02:00 pm
The community of Saddle Lake will welcome a new chief and council just in time for this year’s annual PowWow. On Wednesday, eligible voters will choose a chief from a handful of the newly elected councillors, who were voted into their positions on June 12.
According to one of Saddle Lake’s new councillors, Shannon m. Houle, a total of 36 candidates ran in this year’s election.
All of Saddle Lake’s previous council did run in last week’s election, with two of the nine members being re-elected. Councillors elected into council on June 12 include: Herbert Cardinal, Terry Cardinal, Leonard Jackson, Shannon M Houle, Charlene Houle White, John Large, John Shirt, Dennis Steinhauer, and Jason Whiskeyjack.
Councillors who have allowed their names to stand for the election of chief are: Charlene Houle White, John Shirt, Leonard Jackson, Terry Cardinal, and Jason Whiskeyjack.
Chief and council will be sworn in later this week.
“Our nation has a lot of potential and they’ve got a lot going for them, we just have to access the gifts of our people,” says Houle. She adds that council has already agreed to put its full support behind whoever is chosen as chief.
Houle says she decided to run for council, mainly out of consideration for the next generations. As a grandmother herself, Houle is now more aware than ever of the importance of looking to the future.
She believes that the resources she has gathered through her involvement with the Idle No More movement will also be beneficial as a councillor. Houle is concerned with some of the bills being passed federally, and believes people need to be educated about the policy changes taking place.
As a schoolteacher, Houle strongly believes educating people is important. Becoming a councillor is “not something I’m doing for myself,” says Houle, adding, “It’s about waking up our people . . . empowering them, guiding them, and educating them . . . We have to be strong with our treaty.”
Houle is also positive about the council that has been elected. She says there is a good combination of councillors who are strong in culture and strong in education.
“Our community has such potential,” says Houle.